The Indianapolis Colts held the first pick in the 1998 NFL Draft and they had a huge decision to make. Do they select quarterback Peyton Manning from Tennessee or fellow signal caller Ryan Leaf out of Washington State? The Colts decided to pick the more polished Manning first overall and Leaf, who had a higher ceiling, and more upside was selected second by the San Diego Chargers. Manning and Leaf would always be compared against each other throughout their careers.
Fourteen years later, I think it is fair to say that the Colts made the right decision.
Peyton Manning is an eleven time Pro Bowler, and a four time NFL MVP, who brought the Lombardi Trophy to Indianapolis.
Ryan Leaf has been out of the NFL since 2001.
On the field Leaf was known for his interceptions, poor work ethic, and bad relationships with teammates, management and the media. Leaf was even more notorious for his behavior off of the field.
Following his playing career, Leaf stayed with the game he loved and took a job as an assistant coach at West Texas A&M University, starting as assistant quarterbacks coach. At first Leaf received praise from the staff, however he was placed on indefinite leave in November 2008 and resigned a day later, because he tried to steal painkillers from an injured player.
In May 2009, Leaf was arrested on burglary and possession of a controlled substance charges in Texas. As part of his treatment, Leaf was sent a rehab in British Colombia, but was arrested again by customs agents upon his return to the United States. In April 2010 Leaf was again arrested in Texas, this time on seven counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud and one count of delivery of a simulated controlled substance, all felonies. This time authorities discovered that Leaf had obtained over 1,000 painkillers from area pharmacies over an eight month span.
His off the field troubles culminated this past weekend, when Leaf was arrested twice (March 30th and April 2nd) in four days, both times on the charges of burglary, theft and drug possession in his hometown of Great Falls, Montana. His weekend was epic:
Leaf was first arrested on Friday, as one of his friends reported that prescription hydrocodone pills were stolen by Leaf who entered his home without permission. When police searched Leaf’s truck, the pills prescribed to his friend were recovered in Leaf’s golf bag. A search of Leaf’s truck turned up another 28 of these pills, for which Leaf does not have a prescription. Leaf posted $76,000 bond and was released.
Then on Sunday afternoon a couple returned home to find “a tall man with an athletic build” in their house. They called police later when they realized three bottles of prescription pills were missing from their home. They described Leaf’s truck, and picked him out of a police lineup, and the truck’s GPS confirmed he was parked in their driveway at the time of the incident. A search of Leaf’s recovered 89 hydrocodone pills loose in the pocket of a bathrobe, although these are not believed to be the same pills stolen from the couple’s home.
Since his recent arrests several other cases of missing prescription pills have poured in from nearby residents.
Leaf is a different type of criminal athlete than most of his fellow Hall of Famers. Most of them abuse street drugs, drive drunk, beat women, fail to pay child support, pay for prostitutes, fire illegal hand guns and blow through their fortunes.
Ryan Leaf just does one thing, and clearly he is almost as bad at this as he is at throwing touchdowns, and that’s steal painkillers.
Here is what I don’t get, you are Ryan Leaf, you can’t just go to a doctor and claim that you have some sort of bullshit injury and get prescribed painkillers? I have various nagging injuries from my years as an athlete, and if I ever go to the doctor it does not take much for them to prescribe me a painkiller.
I get that oxycodone is basically legalized heroin in pill form, some say it’s more addictive than heroin, and once someone is hooked vicodin or percocet won’t do it any justice. They will do anything to get more, but how much do you need? Leaf had 89 pills in his bathrobe, use those up before you start breaking into houses again, it’s simple logistics.
Here’s a thought, Leaf, move out of Great Falls, Montana if you want to be hooked on oxys. It’s in the middle of nowhere, it’s freezing, and there are not a lot of people to help feed your addiction. Pack up your shit and move to West Virginia or Kentucky where oxys are readily available and you won’t have to break into houses to steal them anymore. You can’t be broke, you seem to have no problem posting bail, so go to the Southeast United States where the Hillbillies are famous for oxy and get your fix.
You could become Ryan Leaf, King of the Hillbillies. It has a nice ring to it.