Wednesday, June 17, 2009

On Ryan Leaf

WEll, the greatest fall from grace in the history of professional football is complete.

Ryan Leaf. Selected 2nd overall in the 1998 NFL draft after a successful college career at Washington State University. Awful 4-year NFL career, characterized by disappointing play and petulant behaviour.

Exhibit A:

And today, an arrest on charges of drug use and burglary.

There's something about this story that's sadly familiar and becomes another example of how ill-prepared many athletes are to succeed in life outside of the sport in which they excel. And it makes me wonder at what stage of a developing athletes career do coaches and advisors decide that someone has enough talent and potential to not need some basic lessons about how to live. Ryan Leaf is the perfect example of why, no matter how talented and how promising an athlete is, they gotta have life skills. Because I suspect that when Ryan Leaf realized that his football career was over, he had absolutely no idea what to do with himself.

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