NFLer: Videogame Addiction Cost Year Of Career

Greg Johns of the SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER reports on the plight of new Seattle Seahawks defensive lineman Quinn Pitcock.

Two years ago Pitcock was entering his second year in the league as a member of the Indianapolis Colts when - out of nowhere - he quit football.

Something wasn’t right. Something was missing. And a day later, that something missing was Pitcock himself, who went underground after never showing up at Colts’ camp.“I’m introverted. I cast myself away from everybody and became almost a hermit,” Pitcock said Thursday after his first practice with the Seahawks, who are giving him a chance at a comeback. “I was a hermit for a year. No one knew where I was at. I just sat in my apartment and did nothing.”

Actually, that isn’t a totally accurate description. Pitcock became addicted to video games.Pitcock:

“I got sucked into that. I’m going to be working soon starting some sort of charity to help kids who are addicted to video games because that turned into my way out and I got lost to the world. It took me awhile to get myself back and get my bearings and get back into society.“You always say, ‘I’m fine, I’m fine.’ Then finally you just have an awakening where you say, ‘What am I doing?’ I got to the point where I broke and burned many video games trying to quit. That was my outing. Once I got rid of that and realized I could slowly start eating healthy, exercising and doing all that, I got back on track.”With help from the NFL Players Association he began getting counseling and treatment for depression and anxiety this past year while continuing to live in Indianapolis.

The next step in Pitcock’s recovery was to start living life as a normal human instead of a contractually-obligated professional athlete:

He started working out. He hung out at the neighborhood pool “with 9-year-old kids doing gainers off the board” and the kind of things he’d been afraid to do for years because he couldn’t afford to get hurt and jeopardize his football pursuits.

This is one of the best stories I’ve seen in a long time because there are so many people in similar situations who may be inspired by what Pitcock went through. The older generation still can’t comprehend the pull video games can have on anyone. Not just kids.If video games can be so powerful that they ruin an NFL player’s career on a Super Bowl contender, it can happen to anybody. Perhaps Pitcock’s public plight will inspire others to admit their addiction and put their life back together.