Hi there Documentary Club. Today we're discussing The Marinovich Project, which chronicles the dramatic ascent and rapid decline of Todd Marinovich, popularly known as Robo QB. If you haven't seen it yet, drop what you're doing and watch it here.
"How well could a kid develop if you provide the proper environment?" Todd's father, Marv Marinovich, asks in the film. The best case scenario is, of course, extraordinarily. The worst case scenario is something more like Frankenstein's monster — a science experiment gone terribly awry. The documentary tells a story that is a bit of both: while there is no doubt that Marinovich's strength and childhood conditioning turned him into a high-caliber athlete, it came at a price.
So what triggered Todd Marinovich's downfall? And can a person be developed into a "perfect athlete?"
Possible Discussion Topics
1. Todd poses this question throughout the film: "if you're good at something, does that mean you're meant to do it?" What do you think?
2. Would you consider Marv Marinovich a "Tiger Dad?" Did his strict parenting and coaching cause, or at least contribute to, Todd's struggles with addiction?
3. Do you think anyone could become a successful football player if they were conditioned since birth? Or does there have to be some special gift or ability on top of a prime physique?
4. Although it's not really mentioned in the documentary, do you think Todd Marinovich's training lacked a mental and emotional strength component? How damaging might this oversight have been?
5. Todd Marinovich and Larry Smith's feud seemed to go deeper than just football. What do you think was its true root?
6. Where would you rank Marinovich in the tier of pro-football draft busts?
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