In my opinion, these pictures are not that big a blow to Leinart’s image, despite what my fellow blogger over at The Brand has to say. It has been steadily declining since about 2005. Why do I say 2005? Because that was the end of his junior year, and he was projected to go in the top three in that NFL draft class. Instead he attempted to maintain his USC “poster boy” image and went back to school. All the announcers, fans, peers and what not were raving on and on about what a smart kid he was, and how important education is and always will be. But then the 2006 draft rolled around and Leinart dropped to the 10th overall pick, missing out on millions of dollars. All of a sudden, everyone retracted the former statement and didn’t see him as the “great decision maker” but rather a Heisman winner who was simply part of a great football program. Leinart did maintain one stereotype of USC though, he held out for the fattest paycheck that he could get. Matter of fact, out of all the players that were drafted he was the LAST to sign his contract (but he did get $51 million - so props).
After he made amends with his coach for holding out on his contract he eventually took over as starting quarterback and ended up finishing his first season with a 4-7 record. But in his second year, due to numerous poor performances, the same side-arm throwing, ex-arena, slow moving quarterback that initially took a backseat to Leinart, (Kurt Warner) ended up taking his starting position back and actually did a much better job.
Now, I didn’t say all this to trash Leinart, I mean, at SC he was the man and I couldn’t have asked more from a college quarterback. All I am saying is that he was not PR dream to begin with. He wasn’t like Reggie with 20,000 sponsorships awaiting him. I think he is in the background of a couple Nike commercials and he got Punk’d by Ashton Kutcher. He definitely was not up for any multi-million dollar sponsorship anytime soon. Let's just put this all in perspective: OJ killed his wife and is free, Clinton cheated on his wife while he was President, Pacman Jones punched a stripper in the face and one of his friends paralyzed an innocent body guard (he's back in the NFL fyi) - I am sure Leinart will survive these "oh, so horrible" pictures with some "pro-hoes" and a beer bong.