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Friday, December 9, 2011
Five questions with Todd Marinovich

By Bill Williamson

The compelling life story of former Raiders quarterback Todd Marinovich will be told Saturday night as ESPN debuts "The Marinovich Project."  It airs at 9 p.m. ET.

The documentary takes viewers through the rise and fall of the player know as the “Robo QB.” Marinovich had a controversial upbringing as he was driven hard by his father, Marv. Todd Marinovich played at USC and was a first-round pick of the Raiders in 1991. His NFL career lasted just two seasons because of a serious drug problem.

We caught up with Marinovich, 42, to talk about the film, his current life and his time with the Raiders:

Bill Williamson: What was your motivation for participating in the film?

Todd Marinovich: "The last few years, I wanted to tell it. When I was presented the chance, I was a little apprehensive, but I wanted to do it. I’m happy with it and I hope people take from it whatever is personal to them. I wasn’t really trying to put out a message, but I wanted to give a better understanding of the human being part of it. The most disappointing aspect over the years has been the whole media experience, that I wasn’t portrayed as a human being.  But that was lost in the shuffle and it sort of became a circus, the whole 'Robo QB' thing. I think this presents me as a human being. It’s a big weight that has been lifted.”

BW: What is the next chapter in your life?

TM: “I want to be a good dad. I always wanted to be a dad, but the timing was never right. I have a boy, who is 2, and a girl, who is 4 months. I just want to be there for them and love them the way my parents loved me. There was never any lack of love by my parents.”

BW: Are you as happy as you’ve ever been?

TM:”Without a doubt. It’s a different kind of happiness. It’s just pure joy.”

BW: What was your most memorable moment as a Raider?

TM: “Draft day sticks out because it was such a culmination of everything. But putting on that uniform for my first game against Kansas City was really special. I grew up on the Raiders and to put on the Silver and Black was very special.”

BW: What type of reflection did you have when Al Davis passed away in October?

TM: “I think I was as close to Al as players can be to the owner. I was definitely Al’s boy. But I think I blew an opportunity there, I cut my own throat. Some people think I may have hard feelings toward Al and the Raiders, but that’s not the case. In retrospect, I may have not been best suited for their system, but that is water under the bridge … I am very proud to have been a Raider.”