We all remember when quarterback Ryan Leaf was going head-to-head with Peyton in the 1998 draft. Who would go first? Of course he lost out, and apparently rightfully so, but the 14-year aftermath has been tumultuous at best.
Leaf never caught a break in San Diego, after a wonderful career at Washington State. A dismal first few seasons had the former #2 pick announcing his retirement, citing “injury” problems. No one really bought that.
I remember feeling a little sorry for him. Not because I thought he was some nice guy who deserved the world – I didn’t know the guy at all. What I felt bad about was the almost unparalleled fall from grace. He was so hyped-up, too much so, that he had himself believing he was really that good. Many analysts at the time were spot-on saying he was mostly like a mid-first round pick, not “top-five” quality, but just as many were pitting him against Peyton as if there was some comparison. Queue the epic fall from grace.
Fast-forward to 2012 and we have Ryan Leaf in the news again, this time for things unrelated to football. Leaf was charged with Leaf facing “Two counts of felony burglary and two counts of felony criminal possession of dangerous drugs.” Basically, the claim is that he was in the dumps and was looking for prescription drugs.
The former Washington State pivot was previously put on probation in 2010 when he pleaded guilty to seven counts of “obtaining a controlled substance by fraud and delivery of a simulated controlled substance.” That certainly doesn’t help his case.
I guess I just feel for a guy who was seemingly on top of the world, considered second to arguably the best quarterback in the history of football. And now, well, he’s just sad.
…and that is the last word.