The Patriots have enough post-Super Bowl bad news on their plate without one of their players getting arrested. Defensive back Willie Andrews, a second year player, plead not guilty this afternoon to a possession of marijuana charge. According to the Boston Herald, Andrews was pulled over by the Lowell police, who then detected a “strong, pungent odor.” The police officers claimed that they found a half-pound of marijuana with a street value of $500. The charges are another black mark for the Patriots after the Super Bowl, but it is not the first time a Super Bowl team had a player in legal trouble before, or after the big game.
In 1999, Atlanta Falcons safety Eugene Robinson received an award from the Athletes in Action religious group the day before the Super Bowl. Although the day began with promise for Robinson, it was a different story at night. Robinson was arrested at 9 PM on Biscayne Boulevard, where an undercover cop was in a prostitution sting operation. It was reported that Robinson drove up to the cop and offered her $40 for oral sex. Robinson was released two hours after his arrest, and was allowed to play in the Super Bowl against the Broncos. However, Robinson was beaten on an 80-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter, and the Broncos easily won their second straight Super Bowl.
The next year, a high profile arrest was made against a player who wasn’t in that year’s Super Bowl. Baltimore Ravens defensive star Ray Lewis was attending a party after the St. Louis Rams beat the Tennessee Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV. At the Cobalt Lounge that night, two young men were stabbed to death. Lewis was charged with the murders along with two men that were long time associates of Lewis. The fight was suspected to have started within Lewis’s entourage, who left along with Lewis when gunshots started to fire. However, Lewis was ultimately found not guilty of the charges. Lewis returned to the Super Bowl as a player the next year and won the Super Bowl XXXV MVP award.
In 1988, Stanley Wilson was a fullback for the Cincinnati Bengals, who were about to play the 49ers in Super Bowl XXIII. Wilson had been a success despite having violated the NFL’s drug policy twice before, and he had been suspended for all of 1987. The night before the Super Bowl, Wilson was found snorting cocaine in his hotel room by Bengals coach Sam Wyche. After the Bengals staff took Wilson out of the hotel, Wilson slipped away and went out to buy more cocaine. Wilson did not show up at the Super Bowl, and he did not contact the Bengals team again until the next day. After the Bengals narrow loss in the Super Bowl, once the news got out about Wilson, he was suspended from the NFL for good.
Boston Herald- “Patriots player busted for pot” www.bostonherald.com/sports/football/patriots/view.bg
CNN/SI- “Falcons’ Robinson gives postgame apology” sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/nfl/1998/playoffs/news/1999/01/30/robinson_arrested/
CNN/SI- “Does NFL star Ray Lewis’ arrest for murder taint the game?” sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/nfl/features/bloody_monday/news/2000/02/25/part1/#thetable2
Cincinnati Enquirer- “Hard fall for man who had it all” www.enquirer.com/editions/1999/01/31/spt_hard_fall_for_man.html