Mark Rypien is a former professional football quarterback who has played for some of the best NFL teams, such as Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles. Born in Alberta, Canada, Mark moved to the United States at the age of 3 and was an athletic kid. He was a star athlete in school, playing basketball, baseball, and football. Following his high school graduation, he chose football and enrolled into the Washington State University on a football scholarship, joining their football team. However, an injury he suffered in 1983 almost had him getting retired from the game but he kept playing and was selected by Washington Redskins in the 1986 NFL Draft. He waited on the bench all through his first season with Washington Redskins and made his field debut in 1988. He played 9 games that season and had 18 touchdowns to his name. In 1994, he joined Cleveland Browns and later, he went on playing one season each for St. Louis Rams and Philadelphia Eagles. In his NFL career, he has appeared in 104 games and had 115 touchdowns with 88 interceptions and 18,473 passing yards.
Childhood & Early Life
Mark Rypien was born Mark Robert Rypien, in Alberta, Canada, on October 2, 1962. Three years after he was born, the family moved to the United States and settled in Spokane, Washington.
Mark was a natural athlete ever since he was a kid. With a good height and taut physique, he excelled in games such as basketball, football and baseball. During his high school years at the Shadle Park High School, he was one among the star athletes on the team, who was equally good in all three sports.
During his high school senior year in 1981, he was a part of one of the most controversial games in Washington State’s history. He led his school team Highlanders to the state title in basketball. However, soon after he left the school, his school management retired all three of his varsity numbers.
Washington State University offered him a football scholarship, which he gladly accepted. He also went on becoming a member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity during his college years.
During the first year of his college, he injured his knee during spring drilling, which kept him away from the ground for the entire season. In November 1983, there also came a time when he almost left football and looked for getting transferred from the Washington State University. But somehow he stayed back, and performed exceedingly well for the college football team. It perhaps, ensured a good chance for him at the NFL Draft 1986.
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He was signed by the Redskins as the 146th overall in the pick in the NFL draft. However, he stayed on injures reserve list for the first two years due to a bad knee in the first season and an injured back in the second. The team had Doug Williams as their star quarterback and he led the team to win the 1988 Super Bowl, which Mark only saw from the sidelines.
He then made his debut eventually against Phoenix Cardinals in the fourth week of the third season and in his debut game, he scored 2 touchdowns for 303 yards. His team ended up losing the game though.
However, in a rematch against the Cardinals, he scored 4 touchdowns and ended the season with a very decent record. He had played 9 games in total, and scored 18 touchdowns with 13 interceptions for 1,730 yards.
Huge opportunity came his way in the 1989 season when the star quarterback of the team Doug Williams became injured. In the 14 games that Mark played that season, he started for his team and ended up scoring 22 touchdowns, with 13 interceptions for 3,768 yards. This was an above average performance and Mark showed all the promises of being the next star quarterback of the team.
Those were the best years of his career as he was best known for being a great deep passer. Sportswriters said that his accuracy in deep passing was such that another player could catch his passes easily while sitting down. In 1992, Sport Magazine published an article, which said that he was one of the best deep passers in the NFL History.
1991 turned out to be his career’s best year, as he led his team to win the Super Bowl XXVI. In the finals against Buffalo Bills he scored 2 touchdowns while passing for 292 yards, playing a huge role in his team winning by a 37-24 final score. He was named MVP of the game and ended the season with 28 touchdowns, 11 interceptions and passing for 3,564 yards. He also was named in the Pro-Bowl for the second time in his career, after 1989.
He was signed for 3 more years. However, team’s performance was not up to the mark as plagued by the injuries, the team just barely made it to the playoffs.
After the 1994 season, the team management released him from his contract and he went on joining St. Louis Rams for the 1995 season. He scored 9 touchdowns in 11 games, passing for 1,448 yards, with 8 interceptions that season. It was very obvious that he was nowhere near his career’s best form. Before joining St. Louis Rams, he played for Cleveland Browns for one season
In 1996, he was signed by Philadelphia Eagles and he carried on with very average performance. He played 1 game all year and had 1 touchdown with 76 passing yards and 0 interceptions.
After playing one more season with St. Louis Rams in 1997, he joined Indianapolis Colts in 2001 and also played for Seattle Seahawks and Rochester Raiders later. He has since retired from the game.
Family & Personal Life
Mark Rypien married Annete Rypien and the couple divorced in 2000. He is currently married to Danielle. Mark has fathered three children.
Mark Rypien has confirmed that ever since he retired from the game, his mental health has been consistently deteriorating. He also said that he has attempted suicide many times by overdosing on prescription pills, each time stopped by his wife.
In a 2018 interview, his wife stated that Mark was suffering from Chronic Traumatic encephalopathy, which had happened due to many years of playing football.
In 2019, he was booked for physical assault on his wife, Danielle.