Sammy Watkins on How Depression, Alcoholism Nearly Destroyed His NFL Career: ‘My Whole Life Was In Shambles’

American Football
American Football

It’s not difficult to toss around “bust,” yet frequently there’s a story behind a player’s failure to perform on the field that is either failed to be noticed or stays untold.

In six NFL seasons, Kansas City Chiefs beneficiary Sammy Watkins suffered many exchanges and a perpetual storm of wounds before at last turning into a Super Bowl saint this past season. En route, he stayed quiet about probably the best inhibitor—and now he’s prepared to discuss it.

In a lengthy feature with Tyler Dunne of Bleacher Report, the Florida local opined on a wide range of wild poo, similar to heavenly powers and resurrection. However, unexpectedly, he declared how depression and alcoholism wrecked his career.

After the Bills sold their future to take the Clemson item fourth in general in the 2014 NFL Draft—over any semblance of Khalil Mack, Aaron Donald, Odell Beckham Jr. what’s more, other All-Pro bore whizzes—Watkins offered his thanks by turning “downtown Buffalo’s Chippewa Street into his own personal frat party.” He moved his homies from back home up North and screwed off his $12.8 million marking reward on alcohol, weed and God recognizes what else.

“I would go out and get wasted,” Watkins admitted. “Wasted wasted.”

Every night?

Every night,” he said.

Normally, this isn’t actually helpful for top execution on the field, which thus presented the foot cracks, hip tears, awful hamstrings, stressed calves, and broken ribs that damaged his vocation right off the bat. And keeping in mind that he attempted to perform on the field, different players in his draft class bloomed into easily recognized names, which just added to his mounting disappointments.

His attitude deteriorated too. As other receivers in his class became stars—OBJ turning early success into full-fledged celebrity—Watkins’ irritation and isolation grew. In October of his second season, he demanded the ball 10 times a game and said the front office was making itself look bad by not force-feeding him. In came the sarcastic cheers from 70,000 fans the next game. In came the social media blasts when he inevitably got hurt again, and no, telling fans on IG to “continue working y’all little jobs” didn’t quite help his cause.

Watkins couldn’t ignore online trolls, just as he couldn’t ignore everyone in real life treating him differently. The general manager. Coaches. Teammates. Friends. He felt like he was toxic—to everyone.

This burning workplace pushed him deeper into misery and at one point Watkins’ standard comprised of withdrawing into his storm cellar, drinking until 4 a.m. what’s more, awakening at 6 a.m. to do it once more—all while declining to converse with his colleagues, companions or family and barely uttering a word to his then-girlfriend, Tala.

Also, exactly when things couldn’t deteriorate, his stepbrother Jari McMiller got made up for an ugly RICO case and is now confronting lifelong incarceration.

“I don’t think the world knows what athletes go through off the field,” Watkins said. “We have a family. We have lives. You have good and bad in your family. I’m like fucking Jesus in my family. I was putting family before football. I wasn’t focused on football. I was like: ‘Fuck football. I have to figure out how I’m going to put my family in a position to be successful or not to get killed or not to get in a situation where they can go to jail.’”

He continued, “I was fighting a war outside of football. […] I went home into that dark place and was like: ‘Fuck. My whole life is in shambles.’”

After thinking about retirement, Watkins was, in the end, exchanged to the Rams in 2017, which empowered him to cement his profession. And keeping in mind that he presently can’t seem to turn into the extraordinary ability that scouts and observers had pegged him to be before the draft, he’s become a key supporter of the Chiefs—who currently accepts he merits a lot greater job.

“I’m praying and hope they do right by me if I go back,” he said. “If they don’t, it’s going to be World War III. Seriously. Because I feel like I’ve been doing everything in my power to stay positive, to continue to uplift everybody on the team. To put me last, to literally always put me last.”

Regularly, we take a look at players as details in a box score rather than real people with fears and difficulties of their own. I laud Watkins for being so courageous in offering his fight to depression and alcoholism, and ideally, it urges other expert competitors to be increasingly careful in looking for help in vanquishing their own evil spirits.

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