SPOKANE, Wash. — Former Super Bowl MVP Mark Rypien said he has attempted suicide, hired prostitutes and suffers from persistent depression. Now, he’s wondering if he sustained brain injuries while playing football.

The 55-year-old former quarterback is worried about his future even as he revealed some lurid elements of his past.

“There were behaviors that were just bizarre,” Rypien said in an article published Friday in The Spokesman-Review newspaper and also broadcast on KHQ-TV of Spokane.

His wife, Danielle, said she has also worried about his future.

“I remember thinking, ‘Oh my God, he’s going to end up in a home,”‘ Danielle said. “I didn’t want him running around the street with a shopping cart.”

Rypien was a record-breaking high school quarterback in Spokane and then a star at nearby Washington State. He was drafted by Washington in 1986 and played until 2002.


Since then, he appeared outwardly to live a comfortable life in Spokane.

But he said that is not the case.

“My story is impactful because people see me in a different light. I want them to see me in an accurate light,” Rypien said. “I’ve been down the darkest path. I’ve made some horrible, horrible mistakes. But I’ve given myself a chance to progress forward.”

Rypien, who led Washington to victory in the 1992 Super Bowl over Buffalo, said he played organized football for 26 years and figures he suffered several concussions.

“People think you have to be knocked out to have a concussion,” Rypien said. “There are hundreds of times you shake it off and get back in there. It’s all about the cumulative hits. That’s what cause brain damage.”

Rypien said he suffers from depression, anxiety and isolation. Outwardly social, “I can’t wait to get home and be alone,” he said.


A decade ago, his impulsive behaviors began to escalate; aggressiveness and verbal outbursts increased.

One day, Rypien left a 20-minute audio suicide message at home for Danielle to find. But he took no action.

Sometime later, it went beyond a message. Rypien swallowed 150 Advils and washed them down with a bottle of wine.

“It was the thought that people aren’t going to miss me,” Rypien said. “I was shameful and guilty of poor decisions, shameful and guilty of being depressed all the time. I didn’t want to be around anymore.”

Danielle found him and poured hydrogen peroxide and activated charcoal down his throat to get him to vomit up the pills.

Rypien has soured on football.


“I wouldn’t put any of my kids or grandkids in a football jersey,” he said.

VIKINGS: Minnesota signed wide receiver Kendall Wright, a 2012 first-round draft pick who led the Chicago Bears in receptions and yards last season.

CHARGERS: Defensive back Jaylen Watkins has left the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles for a one-year contract with Los Angeles.

JETS: New York signed running back Thomas Rawls and linebacker Neville Hewitt.

Rawls, 24, spent three seasons with the Seahawks, starting 17 games. Hewitt was with the Dolphins for three seasons.

BEARS: Chicago re-signed cornerback Marcus Cooper to a one-year contract after releasing him this month.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.