The bad life of an illiterate tackler

star protection Washington Redskins, by his mere presence he was already intimidating. And look how he approaches with his 1.92 meters. and weighing 116 kilograms as if it were a freight train without brakes, he instilled fear in opposition defenders, who for more than a decade created his legend as a ball tackler in stadiums. There is a very revealing fact in his track record: in his entire career, he made 103.5 tackles (“bags”) to defenders.

But a successful professional career as a football player Dexter Manley (Houston, Texas, 02.02.1959) could not hide the weaknesses that the sports environment offered him. His addiction to cocaine and alcohol got him into serious trouble, and at 26, he had the literacy skills of a second grader.

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conflict after conflict

In elementary school, due to difficulties with reading and writing, he received 19 negative failures in his academic performance and was labeled “learning mentally retarded”. His frustration led him to become a bully, hitting one of his second grade teachers on a blackboard, and getting into numerous fights with his classmates. During college, when he lied about his real age in order to enroll, he continued to struggle with dyslexia with the help of a friend and girlfriend. On the sports front, the coaching staff did not think too highly of him. dexter he confesses that he received a call saying, “You will never be anything but a factory worker digging ditches all your life.”

‘Get out of my way!’. So Sports Illustrated called the cover of the magazine dedicated to Dexter Manley.

King of bags

But although he was not an outstanding player in nkkaawas on the radar of the 1981 draft. Washington Redskins they chose him in the 5th round. He had a good first year with Rocky and in his second season he Washington ranked first in points with Manlywho recorded 6.5 sacks and finished with a dominant 8-1 record. in the semi-finals against Dallas Cowboys, dexter he hit the defender so hard Danny White, which caused him to suffer a concussion and miss the remainder of the match. They’ve reached the end Super Bowl XVII 1983 vs. Miami Dolphins whom they defeated 17-27, earning their first league title in the modern era NFL. In each of the next three seasons Manly his bag count was in the double digits, peaking at 18.5 in 1986.

Dexter Manley was feared by defensemen of all NFL teams.

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V Super Bowl XXII season 1987/88, Washington he got away with it. Denver Broncos With John Elway as a quarterback, he received a correction, only managing to complete 14 of a possible 38 passes. redskins they won 42-10 and our player made three interceptions. With two world championship rings, Manly he was now at the pinnacle of his profession, but on a personal level, his life was taking dangerous turns.

dyslexia and drugs

every season in Washingtonskills Manly As a defense, they improved. Meanwhile, their literacy remained at the same level. All the while, he kept coming up with ways to hide his dyslexia by ordering the same dishes from restaurants as his teammates and “reading” issues Wall Street Journal in the locker room. During his rookie season, one of his teammates introduced Manly in the seedy world of cocaine use. He came to his house and showed him the lifestyle he led: women, alcohol, parties and cars. He was impressed. There he also became addicted to alcohol.

Manley signed with the Cardinals when his lifelong drug ban was lifted.

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In 1987, he had to go to a detox clinic, but he became addicted to drugs: in order to pass a drug test, he took several Sudafed (for a cold) before matches, which even more turned him on. Before redskins entered the field to play the final Super Bowl XXII, Manly he passed a drug test, which he failed. However, the team did not inform the league of the result until the end of the game in order to be able to take part in it. Later, in 1988, he tested positive again for cocaine and was suspended for 30 days. Then, during his final season with redskinsIn 1989, a third positive test resulted in a lifetime ban from the NFL.

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end of the race

They let him sign Cardinals from Phoenix in 1990, with whom he played four games. But his career was already over: in 1991, he tested positive for a fourth time in a doping test when he signed a contract with the club. Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Instead of receiving a lifetime ban again, he decided to retire. Convicted of drug problems, he served two years in prison and finally learned to read.

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