There’s weird and then there’s former NFL QB Todd Marinovich, who was arrested after hiding in a neighbor’s backyard while naked and on drugs. The former USC and Los Angeles Raiders signal-caller has gone down as a colossal bust in terms of his NFL career, but it’s his personal life and the trainwreck nature of it all that truly defines how far he’s fallen.
Marinovich was found naked in a backyard in Southern California with a brown bag containing marijuana and what lab results will likely confirm to be methamphetamine.
Here’s how Irvine police Commander Mike Hallinan explained the incident to the OC Register.
“The caller stated that there was a naked person on Venta Spur Trail. He was carrying the items in a brown bag.”
It’s hard to call this incident a surprise given that drug problems are ultimately what drove the former QB from the NFL in the first place. He was arrested just one month after the 1990 Sun Bowl win over Michigan and still selected in the first round of the 1991 NFL Draft by the Raiders ahead of Brett Favre. Marinovich lasted just two seasons in the league before repeated drug use cut his career short.
While his stay as an NFL QB didn’t last long, Marinovich hasn’t been a stranger to the public eye for his erratic behavior and drug use.
In 1997, the former NFL QB pleaded guilty to felony charges of cultivating marijuana and a misdemeanor charge of illegally possessing prescription medicine. There was an attempt to revive his football career with the Los Angeles Avengers’ Arena Football team in 2000, but it too was short-lived after Marinovich was arrested on suspicion of heroin possession and cut eight months later. In 2005, the former NFL QB was arrested for drug possession in Newport Beach. Then, two years later, he was charged with felony possession of a controlled substance, unauthorized possession of a hypodermic needle, and resisting arrest.
Some thought the now-47-year-old former NFL QB may have finally been growing up when he posted a video of himself filling up water balloons with two children with the caption, “A total game changer! Happy Fathers Day all you dads!” Unfortunately, it seems pretty safe to say that this man will never realize just what a waste of time and effort he has been for all of those people in his life.
Although present NFL players are the targets of most of the scrutiny involving how these men from the league conduct themselves, there’s no denying just how much a former QB getting arrested multiple times tarnishes the NFL’s image. At such a celebrated position, having a repeat offender of numerous drug laws as a former player is certainly a detriment to the perception of the NFL and its culture.
While some blame the reckless behavior of these current athletes on head injuries or other physical maladies from their playing time, Marinovich wasn’t on the field enough to give him that built-in excuse. The former NFL QB did have a very strict father, according to Pro Football Talk, who banned all junk food as he tried to train him. And while the training did work to produce a stellar college career at USC, the former QB bombed out of the NFL and has been nothing but an addict since then.
There’s often an adage that so long as you produce between the lines, players can get away with just about anything off the field. That’s the only part of this equation where Marinovich failed, as he was an absolute abomination in the NFL and his name still gives Raiders fans heartburn.
[Photo by Mike Powell/Getty Images]