From the moment he emerged from the womb, Todd Marinovich's father began breeding his son into "the perfect quarterback." Marv Marinovich, whose NFL career was cut short, made it his life's goal to produce that perfect quarterback by raising his son in "the perfect environment." All you really need to know about Todd Marinovich's childhood can be found in this excerpt from a Sports Illustrated feature:
"He has never eaten a Big Mac or an Oreo or a Ding Dong. When he went to birthday parties as a kid, he would take his own cake and ice cream to avoid sugar and refined white flour. He would eat homemade catsup, prepared with honey. He did consume beef but not the kind injected with hormones. He ate only unprocessed dairy products. He teethed on frozen kidney. When Todd was one month old, Marv was already working on his son's physical conditioning. He stretched his hamstrings. Pushups were next. Marv invented a game in which Todd would try to lift a medicine ball onto a kitchen counter. Marv also put him on a balance beam. Both activities grew easier when Todd learned to walk. There was a football in Todd's crib from day one. "Not a real NFL ball," says Marv. "That would be sick; it was a stuffed ball."
Marinovich became a high school football star, shattering California state passing records on the way to a scholarship to play at USC. However, Marinovich developed a serious habit for marijuana during his high school days, which eventually led to his demise.
After earning College Freshmen of the Year honors from the Sporting News in 1989, Marinovich began struggling to balance a drug habit with his playing career, and bolted for the NFL in 1991. He was selected with the 24th overall pick by who else but Al Davis and the Oakland Raiders where he endured very mild success before both his play and drug habit imploded. Marinovich's NFL career ended after just two seasons, and has since been arrested on multiple drug related charges.