From snorting coke the night before the big game to being arrested on Biscayne Boulevard for soliciting sex from an undercover cop, the Super Bowl doesn’t have to be hosted in the Magic City to have a scandal with a Miami connection.
Excerpt from Cocaine Cowboys trailer via YouTube/Giphy
1. Cocaine Cowboy (and Steelers?)
Dallas linebacker Hollywood Henderson has admitted several times over the 37 years since Super Bowl XIII (the last one played in the Orange Bowl) to cocaine use during Super Bowl Week. That’s the week he declared Pittsburgh quarterback Terry Bradshaw, the game’s eventual MVP, was “so dumb, he couldn’t spell cat if you gave him the c and the a.” In Billy Corben’s documentary, Cocaine Cowboys, former smuggler Jon Roberts claimed the entire Pittsburgh “front line” snorted in his house two days before the Steelers 35-31 win. Roberts didn’t specify offensive or defensive.
Stanley Wilson in 1989 via Giphy
2. Fullback With A Full Pipe
Everybody knew Cincinnati’s Stanley Wilson had a cocaine problem. Everybody knew Miami reigned as the nation’s cocaine gateway. Still, shock reigned when Wilson got caught using cocaine the day before Super Bowl XXIII. The Bengals suspended Wilson. The NFL later suspended him for life. Opinions differ on whether Wilson would’ve made a difference in the 20-16 loss to San Francisco.
Eugene Robinson talks about sharing his story with current Panthers. via Charlotte Observer/Giphy
3. Late Night Shopping With Eugene Robinson
The night before a Super Bowl, where do you least expect to find a starting safety and married man who received a religious organization’s award for high moral character earlier that day? Out on then-gritty Biscayne Boulevard seeing how much bang he can get for his buck from an undercover cop. That’s got Atlanta’s Eugene Robinson arrested for misdemeanor solicitation of sex. He played in Super Bowl XXXIII and gave up an early 80-yard touchdown bomb in Atlanta’s 34-19 loss to Denver.
4. Murder after Super Bowl XXXIV
The actual game — the Rams outlasting Tennessee 23-16 as Mike Jones tackled Kevin Dyson on the 1-yard line – seared itself into NFL lore. What happened later that night in 2000 seared “murder” onto every Ray Lewis (a former University of Miami player) bio sheet. A confrontation involving people in the Baltimore Ravens linebacker’s entourage ended with Richard Loller and Jacinth Baker dead. Lewis, Reginald Oakley and Joseph Sweeting were charged with murder. Lewis pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice for giving misleading statements to the police and testified for the prosecution in Oakley and Sweeting’s trial. They were acquitted. What exactly happened that night remains undetermined.
Barret Robbins on Real Sports via YouTube/Giphy
5. No Middle Man
Stories about Oakland Raiders at Super Bowls make even 1970s survivors gasp. But they always end with the player showing up for work. Except for Pro Bowl center Barret Robbins in 2002. The Friday before Super Bowl XXXVI against Tampa Bay, Robbins disappeared until the following night. Robbins, an admitted substance abuser would later be diagnosed as bipolar, years later told HBO’s Real Sports he was having a manic episode. Raiders coach Bill Callahan dropped Robbins from the roster before the game, which the Raiders lost 48-21 in an offensive meltdown. Yes, this is the same Barret Robbins whom Miami Beach police shot three times in the chest in early 2005. He survived, plead guilty to five charges including attempted murder and got five years’ probation.