He tried and failed to turn his talent for throwing a football into stability. Now, at 48, he’s trying again.
….Most of all, perhaps, Marinovich is held up as a cautionary tale, widely depicted as a victim of his father’s attempt to engineer a star athlete with intense physical training.
Now, the old quarterback is experiencing a midlife crisis in the lower rungs of football that is as intriguing as it is desperate.
“We knew you’re crazy,” Marinovich says of the reaction from loved ones when he told them he was going to suit up for the SoCal Coyotes, a team in the World Developmental League. “Now it’s confirmed.”
But, in some ways, this makes sense, even as it creates odd scenes like Marinovich being tutored by a teammate half his age. Sports provide the structure, demand the discipline and establish the goals that can benefit a chronic substance abuser.
“I really haven’t known how to deal with life,” Marinovich said.
Marinovich has tried before, with little success, to parlay his talent for throwing a football into happiness and stability.
Sixteen years ago, his Arena Football League career concluded with ejections from consecutive games, followed by a suspension for dodging drug tests so he could hide his heroin addiction.
Marinovich might also be in search of family. His father, Marv, with whom Todd reconciled after a harsh upbringing in Newport Beach, Calif., has Alzheimer’s. Marinovich is divorcing his wife, and time with their two children is limited to weekends outside the summer.
He said he is clean and sober — for now.
…“This comeback has very little to do with football,” said David Miller, coach and conscience of the Coyotes, a self-professed faith-based organization built around family and football.
At 48 years old, he is the team’s starting quarterback.
Miller opens his home to players and their empty stomachs around practices. He pointed to a sofa and said, “Over a hundred of them have slept there overnight.”
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