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Ryan Leaf Chats With Playboy About Pills, Manning And His Spiral Down



Playboy’s September issue just hit newsstands and it features an exclusive interview with Chargers QB Ryan Leaf. It’s his first interview since returning to prison and he spoke with (of all people) his former cellmate, specifically for Playboy magazine.

The interviews were conducted from start to finish inside Ryan’s jail cell, and he really opens up about his addiction, and talks about where things went downhill in his life and how he’s trying to piece things back together.

Here’s part of the interview:

On what led him to pills:  “It was the expectations everybody had.  It wasn’t at all related to the way the drug made me feel, not at the beginning, not ever. It was what I didn’t feel—all that disappointment. I was lonely and sick of being criticized. But the bottom line is, I wanted to get high.”

On Peyton Manning: “I was drafted with Peyton Manning, and that certainly didn’t help.  He’s arguably the best quarterback of all time, so we were looked at under the same microscope. And he handled everything just like he was supposed to.”

On his downward spiral:  “I’d pretty much achieved the pinnacle of what success was available to me. I wanted to keep climbing, but all I could do was plateau. That held no interest. I guess I just got involved in sliding down the other side, as far and as fast as I could.  There I was, a 21-year-old millionaire. I’d reached the peak of every ambition I had as a child. Fifteen years later my perspective’s very different, but essentially the problem’s the same.”

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