New York Jets backup quarterback Erik Ainge has a story to tell of addiction, recovery and personal redemption and ESPN New York’s Rich Cimini let him tell it in his own words. Ainge says after going on a pre-training camp bender that cost him the 2010 season, he’s been clean since July 17 and is doing his best to remain that way with help from his family, including his uncle Celtics’ president of basketball operations Danny Ainge.
My uncle Danny took me in from the halfway house to live with his family until I decide on what to do from here, which has been huge. He’s someone I look up to. When I was a kid, he and Dan Majerle [former Phoenix Suns teammates] used to wear rubber bands on their wrist. They used to give them to me when they couldn’t wear them anymore.
At 24, I still wear those rubber bands on my wrist. My uncle has been a pretty big influence on me, especially from a spiritual standpoint. He’s the bishop at the Mormon Church in Wellesley, Mass. I see what kind of man he is, and that’s what I want to be someday. Danny Ainge will always be a positive name, but I can make Erik Ainge a positive name again if I make the right decisions from here on out.