Eugene Robinson, the Panthers radio analyst, basically told the Panthers not to pull a Eugene Robinson before the team left Charlotte on Sunday.
Robinson, a safety for the Atlanta Falcons at the time, was arrested for trying to pick up a prostitute who turned out to be an undercover police officer the night before Super Bowl XXXIII in Miami. Earlier that day, Robinson won the Bart Starr Award for “character and leadership.”
According to The Charlotte Observer, Robinson gave the Panthers a speech advising them to avoid such entanglements during Super Bowl week before they traveled to the Bay Area for Super Bowl 50.
Panthers color analyst Eugene Robinson told team about arrest for soliciting a prostitute at Falcons SB. Players said it was powerful.
— Joe Person (@josephperson) February 2, 2016
Robinson played 16 years in the NFL, the last one with the Panthers, and made the Pro Bowl three times. His third Pro Bowl honor came in 1998 when he and the Falcons reached the Super Bowl. However, the day after his arrest he gave up an 80-yard touchdown pass to Rod Smith that increased the Broncos’ lead to 17-3 in the second quarter and from there Denver cruised to a 34-19 victory.
John Elway, now the Broncos general manager, threw that pass to Smith. Some members of the 2015 Broncos were on the team that went to the Super Bowl two years ago in the New York-New Jersey area. The Panthers, on the other hand, haven’t been to the Super Bowl in 12 years. They might be a little more vulnerable to the temptations of Super Bowl week.
Panthers tight end Ed Dickson, even though he was 11 at the time, had never even heard the story of Robinson’s arrest on the eve of the Super Bowl.
It’s a cautionary tale that the Panthers and any NFL player in the Super Bowl needs to hear.