How a former NFL prodigy drank his way out of football

Montee Ball was a Heisman Trophy finalist, an NCAA record-holder and an NFL second-round draft pick, and yet the running back’s promising career flamed out faster than Peyton Manning’s crawled to an end.
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Three years after playing his last game with the Broncos, Ball has pinned his downfall on a dangerous bout of alcoholism that began during his junior year at Wisconsin.

I failed to use my platform to help others and to use the NFL as a steppingstone in life. I surrounded myself with bad people, not on the team but in the city. I was na?ve enough to believe I had all the answers. I’m still kicking myself in the butt for that.

Ball’s rebellious attitude seeped into almost every professional interaction, including when Broncos running backs coach Eric Studesville confronted him about his drinking problem.

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