This is my latest story for bleacher report about the most notorious NFL bust of all time. Ryan Leaf, known as the biggest flop in history, was irrelevant under center in his limited time as quarterback. However, he is known more for his off the field tantrums and arrogant personality. Hated by his teammates and fans, Leaf snowballed towards mediocrity and was out of the league at 26. This piece looks at Leaf from a different perspective, as if all his mediocrity actually made him a legend. Doubtful, but enjoy the sarcastic article.                          -Z.Pumerantz 
As the pigskin fluttered across the field in a panic and he flailed his arms in frustration, it became clear that Ryan Leaf was on the way to a defining career.

The legacy of Ryan Leaf began in Great Falls, MT in 1976.

A golden arm with a self-righteous swagger, Leaf impressed scouts with his smug attitude. While his teammates and the locals despised his arrogance, it made him dominant on the football field and the basketball court. When he ditched Montana for Washington State University, Russell High School decided not to retire Leaf’s jersey because he broke their hearts.

A First-Team All American at WSU, Leaf was happy to move on from his small town and get rich. In 1997, he reached a significant stepping-stone in his premature career. A Heisman trophy finalist after passing for nearly 8,000 yards and leading his collegiate team, the Cougars, to their first Rose Bowl since 1931, Leaf was building his legacy as the cockiest quarterback ever and was ready to cash in.

The San Diego Chargers had the third pick in the 1998 NFL Draft but decided to trade up to the second pick, owned by the Arizona Cardinals, after becoming enamored with Leaf’s psyche.

The Indianapolis Colts had the first pick and had their choice of a Mississippi quarterback out of the University of Tennessee and Leaf. Many experts believed Leaf was a better prospect than his counterpart, a youth named Peyton Manning. The Colts felt differently and took their chances with the Tennessee quarterback. Colts fans missed out.

The Chargers were thrilled to draft Leaf second overall and gave him $31.25 million for four years and named him the starting quarterback before the season began. It was a great start to an egotistical career. Head coach Kevin Gilbride deserves most of the credit for helping Leaf enter the league. By naming him starter, he was altruistically stroking his ego and helping him become such a conceited figure.

His career didn’t begin as expected, however, as he won his first two games in the 1998 season, albeit passing for one touchdown and two interceptions. With the team winning, Leaf was seen hugging teammates and offering complements. Gilbride wasn’t going to allow this kind of kindness much longer as he urged his young quarterback to care less.

He began to take strides in his third game against the Kansas City Chiefs, completing 1-15 passes for four yards and two interceptions. In September, he was seen cursing at a cameraman and screaming on the sideline like a toddler. After four more games, Gilbride was fired because he couldn’t mold Leaf into a haughtier quarterback, despite the exciting recent outbursts.

While he failed mightily on the field in 10 games in 1998, completing 45% of his passes for 1,289 yards, two touchdowns and 15 interceptions, he was more arrogant than ever. He was on the way to becoming the cockiest. He decided to leave the chargers for the streets. He was ready for a new team and expected his agent’s phone to be busy. But it was his tantrums and aggravated assault on reporters and chatty fans that made him so unique. Teams hoped he still had that aggression within.

He then took his ego to Tampa Bay, where the Buccaneers were more than happy to embrace his personality. This is when his career plummeted. Lacking the violent outbursts that made him so famous in San Diego, Leaf didn’t feel at home. He chose to leave again. Jerry Jones jumped on the chance. The Cowboys picked up the confused signal caller.

Unable to find his immature attitude, Leaf’s career with the Cowboys lasted four games, until he ditched his team for one final time and went to the Seattle Seahawks. With injuries plaguing his psyce, Leaf was unable to find the violent tantrums that once hinted to such promise a promising career.

It started with so many expectations from coaches and fans in San Diego. The young quarterback from Montana had the world on his back, carrying them to egotistical stardom. While he displayed some skill for the tantrum at times, he got bored with San Diego and decided moving on was the best choice. The rest is karma.

He could never find the immaturity that defined his early career and retired at the tender age of 26. He had lost his spark, lost his vigor. Feeling as if he lost his libido, Leaf took his talents to court and was arrested numerous times on drug charges following his NFL career.

San Diego will never forget the star prima donna and the short, but exciting career he had in the NFL as the sports cockiest player of all time. In these times, when players are humble and good teammates, the sport needs another Ryan Leaf to come along and infuse the sport with unwanted tantrums. Only time will tell if there is a second coming of the biggest prick in sports. As of now, the best bust of all time will suffice.