Quinn Pitcock, a third-round draft pick of the Indianapolis Colts in 2007, is telling his tale of addiction to the world. The monkey on his back wasn’t alcohol, cocaine or any chemical. Rather, Pitcock says 18-hour Call of Duty sessions almost cost him everything. He shocked the football league by retiring in 2008, a decision he told ESPN he immediately regretted.
After leaving the NFL he filled the idle time with daily video game marathons. The Colts got him a psychologist but he wasn’t ready to get better. Now a member of the Arena League’s Orlando Predators, Pitcock received a diagnosis of ADHD and now is taking medication. But now he’s fighting a battle of perception. Dealing with his condition was the only way to get help. He’s also counseling other people with video game addiction. But he worries that, to NFL teams, he’ll always be the guy who quit on the Indianapolis Colts to go play Modern Warfare.
He told ESPN the league is more forgiving of drug addicts because they’ve seen so many. Pitcock is the first athlete to go on record with video game addiction. GamerTell previously reported on Louisville football coach Charlie Strong, who blamed gaming for his team’s underwhelming performance. The game in question? Call of Duty. Before that, several Boston Red Sox players stood accused of video game and Popeye’s Chicken binges during the team’s historic 2011 collapse.
There’s a lot of evidence that Pitcock isn’t the only athlete with a video game addiction. He may just be the only one willing to admit it.