Even the most passionate Miami Dolphins fans might not remember Alvin Powell. The offensive lineman played only two games for the Fins in 1989 before suddenly resigning. His play on the field wasn't much helped by the fact that he was addicted to crack cocaine. Now the former NFL player has turned his life around and works as a substance abuse counselor in Canada.
Powell played for the Seattle Seahawks for two seasons, but got caught up in drugs.
"In Seattle, I wasn't a starter, and I thought that wasn't fair." Powell tells The Montreal Gazette . "I thought, "Oh, poor me," and I turned to drugs. First pot, then cocaine."
Powell hoped for a second chance in Miami after he was traded to the Dolphins in 1989, but as we all know Miami in the '80s wasn't exactly the best place for a recovering drug addict and Powell relapsed. His drug problems caused him to leave the team after only two games.
Powell tried to give football one more shot, and played in the now defunct World League of American Football for the London Monarchs.
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"One day in 1991, we came to Montreal to play the Montreal Machine," Powell recounts. "I had another relapse and I got into a fight with Shayne Corson of the Montreal Canadiens in a bar on Crescent St. called Thursdays.
"I was arrested and released on $2,500 bail. I went back to North Miami, Fla., where I was living, and my using got worse. When I came back to Montreal for my court case, I got a slap on the wrist, and went out and bought some heroin in Montreal's East End. My intention was to put an end to my life here. But while in Montreal, I was in this crack house, and I was saved by a group called Africans Against Drugs. I started doing some speaking engagements."
Though he would never return to professional football, Powell did turn his life around. Today he works as a speaker and drug abuse counselor in Montreal, and speaks out about the dangers of marijuana.