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Pro Football Player, Addict, Finds New Life In Photography

The NFL has a great piece on former NFL first round pick, Tony Mandarich. Mandarich a one time professional football player with the Greenbay Packers and Indianapolis Colts, has had his stumbles in life with addiction. What is more amazing is that Tony Mandarich was drafted 2nd to quarterback Troy Aikman, and before, running back Barry Sanders, linebacker Derrick Thomas, and the fifth selection, cornerback Deion Sanders. All of these other players are in the professional football hall of fame.

Once addicted to pain killers, Mandarich went through rehab treatment, specifically the 12 Steps program, and talks about this in his book, “My Dirty Little Secrets – Steroids, Alcohol & God: The Tony Mandarich Story.”

One book reviewer writes, “While the media made insinuations about his steroid use during his career, and Tony admits to it, drugs and alcohol were what really caused his world to fall apart. His memoir depicts the extremes a person will take to hide and continue his addiction. Tony details how he cheated on drug tests so he could play in the Rose Bowl and other games, as well as how he tricked pharmacies and charmed doctors to write him out prescriptions for extra pills. At times, he even drove eight hundred miles round trip in a single day just to get pills so he could avoid withdrawal symptoms. Tony admits he was not sober a single day he played for the Green Bay Packers. The high expectations for his NFL career were more than he could handle. Then once his football career ended, he wasted the next three years doing nothing but living off his savings from his football days to feed his drug and alcohol addiction.”

The NFL posted this video about his new life as a professional photographer. Check it out here.

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