Before Todd could walk, Marv had him on a balance beam. The coach in the Raiders cap — they call him Raider Bill — asks Todd how he got along with his coaches, eliciting a huge guffaw from both Todd and Marv, which makes everybody else crack up, too.
He would stretch the boy's little hamstrings in his crib. Then Todd points the football at a boy with freckles.
Fathers hover on the periphery, wincing with every missed tackle and dropped pass.
Into this tableau ambles a tall man with faded-orange hair cropped close around a crowning bald spot, giving him the aspect of a tonsured monk. Somebody tosses him a football, like a speaking stick. I played waaaay before you guys were even born." Without his sunglasses, resting now atop his head, his blue eyes look pale and unsure.
As a child, he was allowed no junk food; Trudi sent Todd off to birthday parties with carrot sticks and carob muffins. He'd just cleared the line of scrimmage when Goliath-boy stepped into the gap and delivered a forearm shiver very much like the one that had gotten Marv ejected from the Rose Bowl. "And then I remember the parents cheering." Six years later, on the opening night of the 1984 football season, Todd once again gathered himself as best he could, rising to one knee on the turf at Orange Coast College. He'd just been blasted by two big studs from the celebrated front line of the Fountain Valley High School Barons.
By age three, Marv had the boy throwing with both hands, kicking with both feet, doing sit-ups and pull-ups, and lifting light hand weights. Three days before he'd even set foot in a ninth-grade classroom, the six-three, 170-pound freshman was the starting quarterback for the varsity team at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, the largest Catholic high school west of Michigan.
The press dubbed him Robo Quarterback; he was the total package. Thereafter, among his other transgressions — nine arrests, five felonies, a year in jail — he would be known derisively for naked surfing.
His Orange County high school record for all-time passing yardage, 9,182, stood for more than two decades. "One thing that I am today and that's completely honest," he tells the Chiefs.The spread was owned by his Croatian grandfather, J. Much of the core- and swimming-pool-based conditioning programs in use today owe nods to Marv's ideas.His latest reclamation project: Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu. The other part knew that it was the last few seconds of the scrimmage and the team was down by only a few points.When he was born, his father placed a big plush football in his crib.Marv Marinovich was the cocaptain of John Mc Kay's undefeated USC team of 1962. The team won the national championship; Marv was ejected from the Rose Bowl for fighting." For the nine months prior to Todd's birth on July 4, 1969, Trudi used no salt, sugar, alcohol, or tobacco. As Todd was being cleaned up, Marv convinced the coach that Todd needed to go back in the game. "That has always been my favorite route," he says now, sitting outside a little coffee shop on Balboa Boulevard, drinking a large drip with six sugars and smoking a Marlboro Red.