We've all heard stories about athletes trying to overcome drug and alcohol addictions, but this could be the first case of a video game habit derailing one's NFL career.
Meet Quinn Pitcock, a third round pick of the Colts in the 2007 Draft, who picked an Xbox over pigskin. Now he's hoping to overcome depression and video game obsession for a storybook return.
Pitcock's comeback is already underway, as he's playing ball for the Orlando Predators of the Arena Football League with dreams of returning to the limelight.
After breaking into the NFL with 18 tackles and 1.5 sacks in nine games, including a start, he shockingly retired at age 24 before the start of training camp for his second season. In addition to depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Pitcock was battling dependance on one video game in particular.
"Call of Duty" was the culprit. The war simulation video game has more than 40 million monthly active users, yet few likely played as much as the former Ohio State All-American defensive tackle.
Pitcock's marathon days used to begin with a trip to the golden arches.
"I'd go to McDonald's for breakfast, order a bunch of food, come home and play for 18 hours into the next day, then crash, sleep for seven hours and do it all over again," Pitcock recently told the Orlando Sentinel.
"I couldn't put it down," Pitcock said. "If I visited family or friends, I timed it down to the last second where I could still play another game."
Keep in mind that Pitcock didn't dominate "Call of Duty," in fact, he often stunk, taking his anger issues out on the poor helpless game.
"I broke about four games in half, burned them, microwaved them, put a torch to them, letting my aggression out to get rid of them," he said. "But the next day, I was at Target buying another game."
By the way, the Orlando Sentinel reports (via GamingAddiction.net), nearly four million American's spend more than 40 hours per week playing video games, in other words they are addicts.
With solid numbers in the Arena League, someone in the NFL will likely give Pitcock another chance, however he's got a backup plan. Pitcock tells the Sentinel he can see himself working as a fireman.
-- Follow Ben Maller on Twitter @BenMaller.
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