Football Legend Tony Mandarich's New Memoir Tells Story of Drugs, Alcohol, and Hope

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In 1989, Tony Mandarich was the number two overall NFL draft pick and was featured on the cover of "Sports Illustrated." But the pressure to succeed became too much to bear. He succumbed to alcohol and drug addiction and almost lost his life.

My Dirty Little Secrets: Steroids, Alcohol, and God

Playing in the NFL is the dream of millions of American boys. Tony Mandarich saw that dream fulfilled, but the pressure to sustain his success caused him to make questionable decisions, as revealed in his new memoir "My Dirty Little Secrets: Steroids, Alcohol, and God" (ISBN 9781932690781, Modern History Press, 2008).

In April 1989 the cover of "Sports Illustrated" featured Tony Mandarich, stating that at 6'6" and 315 pounds, he was "The Best Offensive Line Prospect Ever." Tony became the number two NFL draft pick and was signed by the Green Bay Packers, the fulfillment of a dream he had worked for since he was eleven. Unfortunately, to achieve that dream, he had used anabolic steroids while playing at Michigan State and had even cheated on a drug test to play in the Rose Bowl.

Once Tony started playing for the Green Bay Packers, he found he had to meet the expectations set for him. The pressure was more than he could handle. Soon he was addicted to painkillers and had become an alcoholic. In fact, he reveals he was never sober a single day while with the Packers, and getting high quickly became more important to him than working out.

When Tony hit rock bottom, he knew he had to change his life. He went through recovery, attending Alcoholics Anonymous and turning to God for help. He credits the turnaround in his life to quitting drinking, not using drugs, the help he received from his comrades at Alcoholics Anonymous, and finding the God of his own understanding. Tony went on to play football for the Indianapolis Colts, regaining his self-respect and staying sober every day.

"My Dirty Little Secrets" will give football fans a look behind the scenes of college and professional football, the pressures of the NFL, and the constant media attention on drug and steroid use by athletes. Readers will find Tony Mandarich's story both heartbreaking and life-affirming as he discusses how he repaired the mistakes he made to become more than an NFL player, to become someone who loves life and can hold his head up with self-respect and faith in God. "My Dirty Little Secrets" proves that change is possible.

About the Author
Tony Mandarich was born in Oakville, Ontario, Canada, the son of Croatian immigrants who instilled in him a grit and determination to accomplish the impossible. Tony grew up with a love for football and decided early in his life that he would play professionally. After a highly successful and nationally publicized collegiate career at Michigan State University, Tony was drafted number two overall in 1989 by the Green Bay Packers. The hype about being "the best offensive line prospect ever," along with Tony's addictions, was more than he could live up to, and his life came crashing down around him. After three more years of alcohol and painkiller abuse, Tony accepted the hand of God, went into treatment and now considers it a privilege to help other addicts and alcoholics. Tony and his wife, Charlavan, have four children; they own and operate Mandarich Media Group, LLC, in Scottsdale, AZ, a full-service web media business specializing in web site development and optimization, video production, photography and Internet marketing.

"My Dirty Little Secrets: Steroids, Alcohol, and God" from Modern History Press is available in both hardcover (ISBN 9781932690774) and paperback (ISBN 9781932690781 ) editions and can be purchased through local and online bookstores. Interview with Tony may be heard on For more information, visit Publicity contact:


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