It only took 3 years for former NFL player, Tony Mandarich to go from “The Incredible Bulk” to “The Incredible Bust“. He started on a path that most would consider a dream, but bad decision making that was influenced by steroids, painkillers, and alcohol took him off course. After hitting rock bottom, he had two options, sober up or death. Tony chose to get back on track, make a return to the NFL, and pursue his other passions as an entrepreneur.
There’s a lot of hype that goes into a professional sports career. Tony started writing down his goals in middle school and did whatever he needed to do. It’s a chance for athletes to learn from his mistakes of taking it too far and learn how to prepare, practice, and play the game with integrity, character and discipline.
Tony’s experience with all levels of football has shown him what it takes to run a successful football team. When ethical and thought out decisions are being made at the top, it filters down through the rest of the system. He has carried this management process into his business life and believes that “the system works“.
Improvise, have a vision, and stay ahead of the game. That is how Tony and his wife, Char were able to develop and run a successful business in a struggling economy. Tony experienced many tough obstacles in his personal and professional life and overcame them with vision and proactive thinking, and taking action.
Tony started taking steroids in high school, which then led to an addiction to painkillers and alcohol in his professional NFL career that spiraled out of control. Eight pills a day, turned into 70. His life was a blur until he was faced to see that this path was the quick way to death. Tony made the decision to take control of his life and checked himself into rehab. It was a personal battle that he fought and won. He is now sober and able to enjoy and appreciate the true blessings in life.
Falling flat on your face in the public eye can damage an ego, especially the one Tony had. Instead of tucking his tail and crawling into a cave to die, instead he grabbed the bull by the horns and took responsibly for his actions. His life story is filled with the highs of living a childhood dream to the lows of being an addict. After being sober for 17 years, he is now truly living the dream.