Ryan Leaf: How Do Failed Sports Stars Keep Getting Book Deals?

Tom EdringtonSenior Writer IDecember 22, 2010

Ryan Leaf has a deal to become an author?
Ryan Leaf has a deal to become an author?Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Ryan Leaf: incredible NFL draft bust, convicted felon...author?

Yes, you heard that right, rub you eyes, thump your head and contemplate the writings of one Ryan Leaf.

Seems as though Leaf has landed himself a deal to write not one, not two, but possibly three books.

If you think about it, it just might take three books to explain everything this guy has done the wrong way.

You might recall that back in 1998, a lot of NFL scouts and general managers told us it was a "coin toss" between Leaf and Peyton Manning for that top spot in the draft.

Indy took Manning, San Diego took Leaf and we all know how that worked out for both teams.

We all know how Leaf's life was one giant downward spiral going at the speed of light and we know how it ended up when the Baron of Bad Behavior pleaded guilty last April to seven counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud and one count of delivery of a controlled substance. The Prince of Probation got 10 years, probation that is, no jail time.

Some jail time would no doubt have made for a better book.

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So will readers consider making some space on their shelves next to the Da Vinci Code for Leaf's upcoming classics?

Perhaps he can take a chapter from Eric Burdon and The Animals and that famous line from their 1964 classic House of the Rising Sun:  "Mothers, tell your children, not to do what I have done..."

So how does a train wreck that is the life of Ryan Leaf warrant a book deal?

Let's face it, Americans love a good train wreck and Leaf is a classic pileup. Leaf's disaster isn't a few cars getting derailed, it's an entire 100-car freight line going off the tracks on a high bridge over a gorge.

Disaster sells. Just look at the Titanic.

Here's Leaf, a guy who pocketed an $11.25 million signing bonus, and who ended up stealing pain killers ready to write his story. He's been in rehab and now he's back in Montana, and perhaps when you're holed up during a Montana winter, it might just be time to write a book.

It's not as if Leaf is lacking for material.

He's already written the book on bad behavior when he was in the league. So he does have expertise there.

Leaf has a world of titles he could use.

Ryan Leaf: First Round Pick, Last Round Human.

Ryan Leaf: Fame And Fortune Didn't Spoil Me.

Ryan Leaf: The Life And Times Of A First Round Burglar

Ryan Leaf: Hero, Jerk, Felon And Then Some.

Ryan Leaf: How I Stole $11.25 Million, LEGALLY!

Oh the possibilities are countless.

The great part of it all is that you couldn't make up something like this. Ryan Leaf is a walking, talking soap opera.

So why not, why not recount every juicy detail of the mindset it takes to go from world-class athlete to convicted felon?

There's simply nothing like a great train wreck, is there?