'The Marinovich Project'
From birth, Todd Marinovich was raised with a defined purpose of creating the perfect athlete. Trained by his father, Marv, a former pro football player and a strength and conditioning guru, the young Marinovich was meticulously engineered and nurtured into a star quarterback. When it came to performance, Marv expected perfection and Todd delivered. He was dubbed "Robo QB," and his performance initially lived up to the name as he set passing records in high school, vied for the Heisman while at USC and ultimately was selected in the first round of the 1991 NFL draft by his hometown Los Angeles Raiders. But two years later, he was out of the NFL, a full-blown drug addict in search of a life beyond football. "The Marinovich Project" tells the unvarnished story of Todd's unique ascent to stardom, the dark descent that followed and the complicated father-son bond throughout, ultimately answering the question "What went wrong with Todd Marinovich?"
"The Marinovich Procject," airs Dec. 10 at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Marinovich. For our generation of sports fans, the name conjures an epic saga in a single word. Over time, the name has become shorthand for one of sport's most cautionary tales.
20 years ago, he walked off the NFL stage and into oblivion. We wanted to find him.
For six months we tried to track him down and were greeted with radio silence. Then one day the phone rang.
"Don't you know I'm a recluse..."
Thus began our own crazy journey.
Since he was a boy, Todd Marinovich has been pushed toward the spotlight -- first by a father looking to build him up, then by the media eager to tear them both down. Our job was to convince sports most infamous recluse to turn the spotlight on himself and reveal the real person behind his own notorious persona.
Todd's initial hesitation was understandable. He had been branded a failure and his father, a monster.
Even as we started filming, we looked at this story through the lens of the myth we had been sold for decades: part Frankenstein, part Icarus, totally messed up.
What we found was a real life love story between a father and a son.
It's a story that has never been told. We are honored that Todd and his father Marv entrusted us to tell it.-- John & Andrew