German-Irish, the son of a blacksmith, he was the one who'd passed down the carrot top. Rams of the NFL and by the Oakland Raiders of the AFL, Marv "ran, lifted, pushed the envelope to the nth degree" in order to prepare for the pros.
The Chief, as he was known to all, was the "most visible of all the Trojan alums," according to The Orange County Register. (After the Chief's death in 1997, at the age of eighty, the alumni laid a brass plaque on the hallowed spot.) The Chief's son was Craig Fertig, a former USC quarterback, responsible for one of the greatest Trojan victories of all time, a comeback against undefeated Notre Dame in 1964. was a general in the Russian army, a cruel man who'd overseen the battlefield amputation of his own arm. One exercise, he says: eleven-hundred-pound squats, with the bar full of forty-five-pound plates, with hundred-pound dumbbells chained and hanging on the ends because he couldn't get any more plates to fit. "I hadn't yet figured out that speed and flexibility were more important than weight and bulk.
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.
His own pale-blue eyes are focused intently on his son's performance, as they have been from day one. The opposing team was anchored by its middle linebacker, one of those elementary-school Goliaths, physically mature for his age.
"I was the first freshman in Orange County to ever start a varsity game at quarterback," Todd continues. With time waning and the score close, the game on the line, the Cheyennes' coach opted to give his second-string offense a chance. Over in his spot near the end zone, Marv's eyes bugged. The Marinovich family had recently returned from living in Hawaii, where Marv, after coaching with the Raiders and the St.
Whistles trill and coaches bark, mothers camp in folding chairs in the welcoming shade of the school building, younger siblings romp." 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.As a baby, Todd was fed only fresh vegetables, fruits, and raw milk; when he was teething, he was given frozen kidneys to gnaw. He tells the story from a place of remove, as if describing something intimate that happened to someone else. It was spiraling and there was blood just flying off of it, splattering out into the air." When the catch was made, there was silence for a beat.Before every USC game you'd find him, wearing his cardinal-colored shirt and bright gold pants, tailgating in his regular spot in front of the L. He was associated with the program for nearly fifty years as a coach, assistant athletic director, TV commentator, and fan until his death, the result of organ failure due to alcoholism. After high school, Marv played football for Santa Monica City College. After the championship, he was named Most Inspirational Player. I overtrained so intensely that I never recovered." After a disappointing three-year career with the Raiders and Rams, Marv turned to sports training.Marv Marinovich grew up with his extended family on a three-thousand-acre ranch in Watsonville, in northern California. The team went undefeated and won the 1958 national junior-college championship. Over time, he would develop his own system for evaluating athletes and maximizing their potential.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.Now he is thirty-nine, wearing surfer shorts and rubber flip-flops. "I wouldn't change anything for the world."As he speaks, Todd fondles and flips and spins the ball.He moves toward the field in the manner of an athlete, loose limbed and physically confident, seemingly unconcerned, revealing nothing of the long and tortured trail he's left behind. It seems small in his hands and very well behaved, like it belongs there.Louis Cardinals, had done a stint with the World Football League's Hawaiians.As Marv sorted out his work status, his family of four was living with the maternal grandparents in a little clapboard house on the Balboa Peninsula.