Just look at Michael Milken, the junk-bond felon turned philanthropist, who was lauded in 2004 by Fortune magazine as "The Man Who Changed Medicine" for his contributions to medical research. How quickly we forget that this guy ruined tens of thousands of lives, destroyed untold millions of dollars of wealth, and made Gordon Gecko look like Mother Theresa.
But for this post I want to focus on another football player, one who also has a Syracuse connection. Todd Marinovich (pictured in his heyday and in his most recent mugshot), older brother of Syracuse Defensive End Mikhail Marinovich, is a poster boy for wasted talent and squandered youth. I read this article yesterday from Esquire which painstakingly detailed his 20 year long slide from stardom, to rehab, to homelessness, to irrelevance and obscurity. To give you an idea of how good Marinovich was, he was drafted ahead of Brett Favre in 1991. Nicknamed "Robo Quarterback", he was an outstanding talent when he played for USC and he would likely have been one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time had it not been for his addiction to drugs.