Jesus Christ. The plight of Ryan Leaf continues. If you’re unfamiliar, he’s really good at ruining his life.
Honestly, the juxtapositions in the career and times of this guy are unequivocally unmatched in the history of football. I’m talking the highest highs and more recently, the lowest lows. Consistently catching the short end of the stick, the once-heralded Washington State quarterback turned 2nd overall pick by the San Diego Chargers in the 1998 NFL Draft, seems to live by one rule: “Never live up to expectations.”
After getting caught breaking into a neighbor’s home in Montana with the intent of stealing prescription painkillers last Spring, the former Heisman finalist was committed to spend nine months in a drug treatment facility with the possibility of curtailing his 5-year prison sentence. Naturally, not wanting to meet any of the judicial expectations bestowed to him, Leaf found a way to fuck this up.
The Montana Department of Corrections terminated Leaf from the treatment program and placed him in prison after he was found guilty of behavior that violated conditions of his drug treatment program. The violations included threatening a program staff member
Adult Community Corrections Division director Pam Bunke wrote that Leaf was too great a security risk to leave in a community setting, and that staff had exhausted all resources in keeping him there.
Leaf told his roommate at the treatment center that he wanted to drag a program staffer by his hair, according to the Department of Corrections document approving Leaf’s transfer to prison.
Leaf also wrote in three “Thinking Error Reports” that he wanted to throw the staffer against the wall and smash his glass into the man’s head.
Appearing at his hearing last Thursday, determined to disappoint even more, Leaf was assured he would not be sold short. Upon showing up, he was found guilty for wearing the clothes that he’d previously been instructed not to wear, and in true Ryan Leaf fashion, garnered another guilty conviction for contempt of court by repeatedly not cooperating when addressed.
When served the papers that court confine him to a Montana state prison until at least June 30, Leaf became enraged, grossed out the courtroom staff and refused to sign court documents before throwing them on the floor and posing for this fantastic mug shot:
Why stop there though, right? Funny thing about Ryan Leaf… he just happens to be a wanted man in Texas too, for the same kleptomaniac, pill-popping, authority-hating behavior that saw him violate his previous probation in 2009.
James Farren, the district attorney in the Texas county where Leaf was previously given probation in a plea agreement for drug charges in 2010, said his office will move to bring Leaf back to Randall County, where he could stand trial. The original Texas case stems from accusations that Leaf stole prescription pain medicine from a player’s home while he was a coach at West Texas A&M.
Seriously, this guy does not let one thing get in the way of his own incredible failure. Just how do you go from receiving the NFL’s highest rookie signing bonus for the time ($11 million) to facing upwards of 20 years in federal prison if convicted on all charges?
Well folks, I present you a horrific statistic filled, Ryan Leaf Failure Timeline:
1998 – Finishes 3rd in Heisman balloting behind the only defensive player to ever win it, Charles Woodson, and Peyton Manning.
Loses a heartbreaking Rose Bowl 21-16 to eventual national champion, Michigan.
Declares for the NFL draft and despite expert predictions, goes 2nd overall behind Peyton. Shortly after, fined $10,000 for skipping the final day of rookie symposium.
NFL career starts its descent when in his third start of the season, and he posts a perfect 0.00 QB Rating after going 1-15 for 4yds and 5 turnovers against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Benched after the ninth game of the season after throwing for only 2 TDs, 15 INTs and boasting a 45.3% completion rate.
1999 – Misses entire second season after an undiscovered shoulder ailment is found during preseason physicals.
Still manages to make media headlines when he’s caught telling Chargers GM Bobby Beathard, “Just fucking don’t talk to me, alright! Knock it off!” in a post game-locker room incident.
Violates his contract twice by partaking in a flag football game at a downtown San Diego park, and lying to team officials about a hand injury so that he could skip practice and play golf instead.
2000 – Starts the first two games of the season, but is benched after throwing just 1 TD and 5 INTs, again with a completion rate sub 50%.
Attempts a comeback in week four, but immediately injures his wrist, sidelining him until week eleven. Continues his abysmal performance upon his return.
Following the year, released by the Chargers having recorded just four wins in three years.
2001 – Marries a Chargers cheerleader.
2001 – 2002 – Time spent with the Buccaneers, Cowboys and Seahawks, primarily playing left-bench and refusing to adhere to doctors’ advice that surgery was necessary for his wrist.
2003 – Divorced from said Chargers cheerleader.
Eventually retires at age 26, citing injuries as the cause.
His god-forsaken NFL career statistics are as follows:
* 317 of 655 (48.4%) for 3,666 yards, with 14 TDs and 36 INTs.
* The champ sports a lifetime quarterback rating of 50.0.
Remember though, everyone isn’t perfect. In light of Ryan Leaf’s endearing attempts to finish last at everything in life, he was actually successful finishing first, just once.
Preceding convictions in 2010, Leaf was named the #1 Quarterback Bust of All-Time by NFL Films.
Here’s to turning that possible 20-year sentence into an even longer one, Ryan.
Image via ESPN