Bred to Be a Superstar?

This is a tough topic to cover and, I’m sure both Todd Marinovich and his father may not appreciate my using them as the “what not to do” example but the articles below serve as stark reminders of what could happen when disrupting the normal child development process.

The following is from a 1988 Sports Illustrated article on then high school phenom Todd Marinovich:

“Marinovich wasAmerica’s first test-tube athlete. He has never eaten a Big Mac or an Oreo or a Ding Dong. When he went to birthday parties as a kid, he would take his own cake and ice cream to avoid sugar and refined white flour. He would eat homemade catsup, prepared with honey. He did consume beef but not the kind injected with hormones. He ate only unprocessed dairy products. He teethed on frozen kidney. When Todd was one month old, Marv was already working on his son’s physical conditioning. He stretched his hamstrings. Pushups were next. Marv invented a game in which Todd would try to lift a medicine ball onto a kitchen counter. Marv also put him on a balance beam. Both activites grew easier when Todd learned to walk. There was a football in Todd’s crib from day one. “Not a real NFL ball,” says Marv. “That would be sick; it was a stuffed ball.”

This is the sad epilogue to the story:  Todd Marinovich went on to play quarterback for both USC and the Oakland Raiders so if you are not familiar with the story, there appears to be a happy ending. However, read on to another SI story over 40 forty years later.

” Former USC and Los Angeles Raiders quarterback Todd Marinovich is facing new drug charges after he allegedly was seen trying to enter a stranger’s home naked.

Prosecutors filed misdemeanor charges Tuesday accusing the 47-year-old Irvine resident of trespassing, public nudity and possessing methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. He could face up to three years in jail if convicted.

Authorities say a naked Marinovich tried to open the sliding glass door of an Irvine home in August. He allegedly left a bag containing meth, marijuana, drug gear, his wallet and driver’s license on a nearby hiking trail.

The former USC and Raiders quarterback has struggled with drug problems that drove him from the NFL and resulted in several arrests. “

Child development is a process and, one that can not and should not be rushed or tampered with. It’s OK to let kids be kids. Remember, the prize may not be worth the price.


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: