NFL: The Legend of Ryan Leaf’s Psyche

February 16, 2011   ·     ·   Jump to comments

As the pigskin fluttered across the field in a panic, and he flailed his arms in frustration, it became clear Ryan Leaf was on the way to a defining career.
His legacy began in Great Falls, Mont. in 1976.
A golden arm with a self-righteous swagger, Leaf impressed scouts with his smug attitude. While his teammates and the locals despised his arrogance, it made him dominant on the football field and the basketball court. When he ditched Montana for Washington State University, Russell High School decided not to retire Leaf's jersey because he broke their hearts.
A first-team All-American at Washington State, Leaf was happy to move on from his small town and get rich. In 1997, he reached a significant stepping stone in his premature career as a Heisman Trophy finalist. After passing for nearly 8,000 yards and leading the Cougars to their first Rose Bowl since 1931, Leaf was building his legacy as the cockiest quarterback ever and was ready to cash in.
The San Dieg...

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