Sometimes, truth really is stranger than fiction. In his new book "The Agent", former NFL agent Leigh Steinberg admitted to a scheme that sounds more like a plot by his fictional counterpart Jerry Maguire than something from his actual life. The agent, who was the inspiration for the Oscar winning 1996 film, admitted to suggesting a way for Quarterback Ryan Leaf to make sure he was drafted to the San Diego Chargers, instead of the Indianapolis Colts. Both teams were interested in him right before the 1998 draft, and Leaf preferred playing in California, instead of Indiana. Steinberg admitted to advising Leaf to miss a meeting with then Colts coach Jim Mora, in an attempt to upset Mora, and free himself up for The Chargers. Because of this, the Colts drafted Peyton Manning in the 1998 Draft, while the Chargers choose Ryan Leaf. However, some sources dispute the truth behind Steinbergs claim. Former Colts president Bill Polian claims that the missed meeting between Mora and Leaf did not affect their decision to choose Manning over Leaf.
"We had decided that we were going to start with a clean slate,"
" Nobody had any previous record. We were going to do it from scratch. Look at every film, go through every detail and make a decision without any previous bias." Bill Polian
Whatever the reason, the results were the same. Ryan Leaf played four disastrous seasons with the Chargers before burning out, and is currently facing criminal charges for drug possession, burglary, and probation violation, while Manning played for the Colts for fourteen seasons, led them to two Super bowls, and one win, before leading the Denver Broncos to the Super bowl in 2014. Fans of both The Colts and The Broncos are certainly grateful for that fateful draft in 1998, no matter how it came to be.