The other day, the internet was abuzz with a rumor that former NFL receiver Reggie Langhorne would be retiring from the league with a secret hidden deep within him. It’s a rumor that’s been circulating since January, when he signed with the San Antonio Commanders and fans started to wonder why he was making the move to the secondary. Rumor has it that Langhorne got his start in the NFL as a wide receiver, but as he grew older his body became too weak to play the game of football. So, to protect his deepest secret, he retired, and became a private investigator.
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If you ever saw the 1992 film, “A League of Their Own”, you probably remember the scene when the girls compete in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League against the rest of the male players in the American League. One of the more famous quotes from the film came from the ever optimistic catcher, Connie Mack. “There’s a lot of talent in the league, that’s for sure, but we’ll be the best.”In the late 1980s, the Cleveland Browns, led by former University of Miami quarterback Bernie Koser, had one of the most potent offenses in the NFL.
Along with receivers Webster Slaughter and Reggie Langhorne, he led the Browns to three AFC Championship games, including two losses against John Elway and the Denver Broncos.
After a few years in Cleveland, Langhorne moved to the Indianapolis Colts, played there, and then suddenly retired, and at the time nobody knew why.
What fans didn’t know was that Langhorne, who had a long and successful NFL career, was battling an alcohol addiction and was about to be fired from the NFL.
In a candid interview with Yahoo Sports, Langhorne revealed that he has long struggled with drug addiction.
He says for years he told lies to anyone who asked him why he was retiring. He said he was just tired and his body was exhausted, but that wasn’t true.
It was a lie, Langhorne said. It’s so hard to look people in the eye and lie.
Langhorne suffered from loneliness while living in Indy and turned to alcohol for comfort.
Before you know it, you do it all the time, he said. Before I knew it, this drinking obsession became a problem.
Although he is sober during the game, Langhorne finds himself drinking after the game. He managed to keep his secret for a while until the NFL finally got him.
The league informed him that he would be suspended for four games at the start of the 1994 season.
Shortly thereafter, Langhorne was cut by the Colts’ staff and subsequently resigned.
Although Langhorne’s problems didn’t start in Cleveland, his former organization has often had to deal with players with alcohol and drug problems lately.
The two most notorious cases involve former Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel and receiver Josh Gordon.
Manziel was expected to lead the Browns not only to the playoffs, but also to the Super Bowl, but because of his partying, including drinking, he was eventually fired by the Browns and left the NFL.
Josh Gordon is another former Browns player who struggled with drug addiction.
A few years ago, Gordon admitted in an interview with GQ that he had started doing drugs in seventh grade.
I didn’t want to be scared. I didn’t plan on being 18. Daily life, and after that? Gordon said. To be honest, that’s where it all started for me. Fears, adjustments, and so on. I didn’t feel comfortable with who I was.
To this day, Gordon is still suspended by the NFL for not following the league’s drug policy.
Manziel seems to be getting the better of the standup routine.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Mark Robinson kicks receiver Reggie Langhorne #88 of the Cleveland Browns at Municipal Stadium in Week 12. October 1986 in Cleveland, Ohio. Photo by George Gojkovic/Getty Images
Johnny Manziel isn’t the only former Cleveland player who has turned his life around like Langhorne, but it hasn’t been easy.
One day in 2013, former Browns teammate Kevin Mack showed up on Langhorne’s doorstep. After talking to Mac, he was ready to get his life back on track.
Mac took him to Lutheran Hospital in Cleveland, and for the first time in a long time, Langhorne listened to the voice of reason.
I started listening. I began to pick out directions, he said. I was honest with myself and realized I had a serious problem.
Since then, this year, Langhorne has been sober for seven years.
APPROPRIATE: Colin Cowherd compares the Cleveland Browns to Coachella, and that’s not a compliment.
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