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.”