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NFLer Opens Up About His Games Addiction

Illustration for article titled NFLer Opens Up About His Games Addiction

Quinn Pitcock, the once promising defensive lineman who washed out of the NFL in 2008, citing games addiction, has opened up about his dark days in front of a screen. His game of choice was Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.


Interesting, as many typically associate compulsive games-playing with MMOs. Pitcock, however, numbed his depression and anxiety by playing FPSes, jumping on Xbox Live at 3 p.m. and going until 6 or 7 a.m. the next day.

"I was ranked at one point 55th in the world," Pitcock told the Dayton, Ohio Daily News (Pitcock played college ball at Ohio State). "I got just overwhelmed with so much stuff. I have my anxiety issues, which I didn't think I had but later learned I had very high levels of. ... You hear with other people how it's drugs or alcohol. I stayed away from that area. I refer to video games as my drug of choice."


Pitcock felt unable to acknowledge his depression, being a collegiate all-American and a well regarded rookie with the Indianapolis Colts at the time. To seek help with such things would have signaled a troubling weakness in the NFL's highly scrutinized talent-appraisal culture.

Pitcock said he tried quitting, cold-turkey, often destroying game discs just to go out and buy replacements the next day. He says that he's gotten rid of his console and hasn't played video games for three months. And in that period of sobriety, his love for football returned and he signed with the Seattle Seahawks, with whom he is trying to make the team. Teams set their regular-season rosters on Saturday.

Pitcock: ‘I Refer To Video Games As My Drug Of Choice' [Dayton Daily News via Game Politics]

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I can't get addicted to anything. And I've tried a lot of things that people say are super addictive, but it just never pans out for me. Maybe it's in my blood, I don't know.

That being said, never having experienced addiction, I have to withhold on my uneducated opinions and not delve into records and surveys and all that crap that generalizes people into unfair groups.

I just don't understand it. I've gone on week-long coke binges, drunk forgotten weekends, and Ive stayed in for about 2 or 3 days to finish a game where I'll only get up to eat and take a poo.

But once I had to go to school, or home, or to work, or I had to meet up with someone, Id be there. I wouldn't miss what I was doing either. I'd get captivated, but never addicted. Everything is fleeting.

I really think it's my lack of passion. I don't hold anything or anyone on any kind of pedestal where I have to rely on them/it to live my life. That's basically putting your guard down, something a person like me has learned not to do from previous bad experiences.

I'm such an asshole. And kind of emo. Dammit.