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Ryan Leaf Is Brutally Honest in First Book

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Ryan Leaf said he didn't hold anything back in his writing his first book, "596 Switch". (Photo: SWX) Ryan Leaf said he didn't hold anything back in his writing his first book, "596 Switch". (Photo: SWX)

Former Washington State and NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf kicked off his tour through Eastern Washington on Thursday, stopping by SWX to talk about his new book.

Leaf's book, "596 Switch", is an honest read. The first of three planned books, Leaf talks about the Cougars' improbably run to the Rose Bowl in 1998. He also talks about the trials and tribulations he has experienced over the years.

"I didn't put a muffle on it or a muzzle on it or anything like that," Leaf said of his writing. "I was just true to what I was feeling and when we edited it with my editor that's what came out. It was true to form and I think people will be surprised by it but understand where I am coming from."

The title, "596 Switch", comes from the play the Cougars would have ran had the referees not let the clock expire at the end of the Rose Bowl against Michigan. He chose to spike the ball with :02 left but time expired before the team could get the final play off. Looking back, Leaf believes he should have simply run the play instead of spiking the ball.

In researching and journaling for the book, Leaf said he kept himself honest and wrote what he felt. One of his lines reads, "Ryan Leaf the NFL Bust; Ryan Leaf the PR train wreck; Ryan leaf the Cocky Jerk."

"That's the only way I knew how to write," he said.

Leaf said he is still undergoing treatment for a benign brain tumor that doctors found earlier this year.

"I think I was more indifferent about it than anybody, and I think preparing myself for that was because of the injuries I have had in my life were orthopedic ones - ones where you went in and got it fixed and you rehabbed it, got better and got on with your life," he explained.

The seriousness of the situation didn't become apparent to Leaf until doctors started talking to him about how many people die from brain tumors. Doctors did what they could in the first surgery but need to follow up with six weeks of radiation treatment at the end of the year.

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