There’s bizarre and then there’s the letter the late Hunter S. Thompson wrote to Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay prior to the 1998 NFL Draft. Thompson, the Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and pioneer of the gonzo journalism movement, had a way with words, but his opinion about who Irsay should select with the number one pick in the draft missed the mark — by a lot.

The 20-year-old letter was shared by Ryan Leaf, the former NFL quarterback that Thompson adamantly believed Irsay should’ve selected over Peyton Manning. Leaf, in a post on Twitter, said he received the letter last week.

So I received this letter last week. It’s written by Hunter S Thompson to @Colts Owner Jim Irsay in 1998 a month before the NFL Draft. This is unbelievable, hysterical, & ludicrous!! Have a read. @richeisen and I will discuss today on @RichEisenShow at 11:00 AM PT. #mindblown

— Ryan D Leaf (@RyanDLeaf) July 5, 2018

“In response to yr. addled request for a quick $30M loan to secure the services of the Manning kid — I have to say No, at this time,” Thompson wrote. First of all, Thompson never had $30 million (his net worth was estimated at $5 million), and Jim Irsay, a man worth more than $2 billion, probably wouldn’t have any need for a loan. Though it sounds as if Thompson was expecting a big payday for the adaptation of Fear and Loathing starring Johnny Depp, which released in theaters right around the 1998 NFL Draft.

Thompson stumped for Leaf throughout the letter, describing Leaf as “strong” in comparison to Manning. Given the career trajectories of Manning and Leaf, Jim Irsay is probably thanking his lucky stars that he didn’t listen to Thompson.

Peyton Manning Has a Statue Outside of Lucas Oil Stadium & Ryan Leaf Threw a Career Total of 14 Touchdowns

GettyRyan Leaf playing against the Steelers in 2000.

Peyton Manning, the number one pick in the 1998 NFL Draft, led the Colts to the playoffs 11 times in 13 seasons, posting a 141-67 record. He appeared in two Super Bowls for the Colts and notched one victory in those appearances. He played his final four seasons with the Denver Broncos, leading the Broncos to a Super Bowl victory in his farewell season. He’s widely considered to be one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time.

Leaf on the other hand, …read more



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Hunter S. Thompson Really Wanted Colts Owner to Draft Ryan Leaf

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