Another Review at MyShelf.Com

My Life on the Line
How the NFL Damn Near Killed Me, and Ended Up Saving My Life
Ryan O’Callaghan and Cyd Ziegler

Akashic Books
September 3, 2019/ ISBN 9781617757587

Reviewed by Jen Oliver-Rigsby


My Life on the Line tells the personal story of strong right tackle who played for the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs. Ryan had a secret that no one knew, not even his family or closest friends. This secret had led Ryan to the plan that when he was no longer able to play professional football, he was going to commit suicide. He went so far as to spend all of his earnings so when he was forced to retire due to injury he had little money to his name. His secret? He’s a gay man.

My Life on the Line describes Ryan’s struggles with who he is and the rough masculine sport of football. Ryan felt alone. He did not think that he would be accepted in the locker room, on the field or in society. On top of his struggling with who he is, his injuries and the NFL drug policy led him to abuse prescription drugs. Luckily, there were people in the NFL community that were able to recognize his drug use and forced him into treatment where he was able to come clean off of the drugs and come clean about who he is as a person. This led him to be accepted by his family, friends and fellow NFL players.

As this reader was reading My Life on the Line, thoughts were about how naïve Ryan was in this day and age about the acceptance of people for who they are sexually. No one really cares and they will love you for you, not for who you sleep with. This reader is glad that Ryan was able to find out that he can be accepted for who he is before he took that tragic step of suicide.

For anyone that is struggling with a secret, no matter what it is, should read My Life on the Line and see how they could relate to Ryan’s story and learn that they could be accepted.

Reviewed 2019