FORMER CHARGERS QB
Leaf, who was
drafted No. 2 in 1998 behind Peyton Manning, retired from football in 2002. He
is a football and golf coach at West Texas A&M.
Dan Patrick: If
Peyton Manning weren't so successful, would it have been easier for you in
terms of how you've been viewed and labeled?
Ryan Leaf: The
label probably wouldn't be as dramatic, but he's always been very successful.
More power to him, he's a great guy. And it doesn't diminish what I'm trying to
accomplish. Peyton and I, we're always going to be linked. It's ironic: I had
some of my storage stuff from Montana shipped down to Texas, and I ran across—I
forgot I even had it—an Indianapolis Colts jersey, number 16, with LEAF on the
back, that I think they had ready for draft day. I'm thinking about auctioning
it off for charity. There's no reason for me to keep it. [Laughs.]
DP: How did you
get the jersey?
RL: I don't know.
It was either [at the draft] or a football card shoot that we did, and we had
to dress up in both jerseys.
DP: When you start
getting phone calls during draft week, you know what it's for, right?
But we had our golf conference championships, and I was also in Phoenix
recruiting. So I haven't really had much time [to talk].
tougher: to be a professional quarterback or golfer?
RL: They say that
the toughest thing to do is to be a professional quarterback, and I can attest
to that in some sense. But when I watch people like Tiger, Trevor Immelman at
the Masters, it's a pretty awesome sight.