Video Game Addiction Wrecked NFL Career
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Not many people get the chance to be a hot up-and-comer in the NFL. Even fewer give it all up because of an addiction to video games—but that's exactly what Quinn Pitcock did. The former third-round draft pick for the Indianapolis Colts battled video-game addiction and depression to the point where he was holed up in his apartment, playing Call of Duty on the Xbox during most of his waking hours. "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," says Pitcock. After success at Ohio State, Pitcock—6'2" and 320 pounds—was drafted to the Indianapolis Colts in 2007, where his rookie season included 18 tackles. He was in the running for a starting position in the 2008 season. Before training camp, however, Pitcock suddenly retired. "I didn't want football to be a part of my life," he says. "It wasn't just football. I felt like doing nothing." His video game addiction now interfered with his personal relationships to the point where he would schedule time with his family down to the second so he could quickly return to gaming. Pitcock finally decided to get help when he began destroying his video games in order to keep him from playing—only to find himself in Target the next day buying new copies. Now back on the field as a defensive lineman for the Arena Football League's Orlando Predators, Pitcock still struggles with his addiction, as well as depression and ADHD. But he'd like to return to the NFL one day. "It's a no-brainer for someone to give the kid another opportunity in the NFL," says Predators coach Bret Munsey.