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Old 02-22-2012   #1
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Default Alcoholism, bankruptcy and the unhappy story of Leigh Steinberg, former NFL agent

Alcoholism, bankruptcy and the unhappy story of Leigh Steinberg, the NFL agent who inspired movie Jerry Maguire

IRVINE, CALIF.—In the movie Jerry Maguire, there is a scene in which the title character, played by Tom Cruise and modelled after real-life super-agent Leigh Steinberg, gets drunk in response to losing his job, his big clients and his gorgeous girlfriend.

Of course, in a Hollywood movie, the agent sobers up the next day, gets back to work and eventually finds true meaning in life — along with getting another gorgeous girlfriend and a big contract for his last loyal NFL client.

This differs from the real life of Steinberg in two crucial ways: Steinberg usually didn’t stop after just one night of drinking and he eventually had zero NFL clients.

Steinberg, who once represented half the starting quarterbacks in the NFL — and during one stretch represented the first pick in the NFL draft in six out of seven years — has not represented an NFL player since 2007. Nor does he work in lavish Newport Beach offices with the view of the Pacific Ocean or live in dream houses along the Orange County coast.

These days, he leases a townhouse and works in a drab, one-story building in an industrial park area of Irvine, Calif., trying to figure out a new life for himself, hoping to work through his recently declared bankruptcy toward the goal of once again representing athletes.

The real-life Jerry Maguire, after a series of business setbacks, bad luck, alcohol-related arrests and a divorce, ended up broke and drunk.

Steinberg, 62, says he drank to escape his problems. But, like most alcoholics, he found that drinking just made his problems worse...


read more: http://www.thestar.com/sports/articl...y-maguire?bn=1
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