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Super Bowl 2013: Quiet week for player arrests

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With all eyes of the sporting world descending upon New Orleans for Super Bowl XLVII between San Francisco and Baltimore, we cast an eye back to a few arrests before and after Super Bowls of the past.

USA TODAY Sports

The smartest thing former NFL safety Eugene Robinson did was return his Athletes In Action/Bart Starr Award, given annually to the player who best exemplifies outstanding character and leadership in the home, on the field and in the community.


Robinson received the award on the eve of Super Bowl XXXIII, when his Falcons were set to take on the Denver Broncos. That night, with his wife asleep at their hotel, Robinson was arrested for solicitation of a prostitute in Miami.

Robinson then allowed an 80-yard touchdown reception to Denver's Rod Smith as the Broncos marched all over the Falcons, winning their second-straight Super Bowl.

Perhaps it's only a coincidence the Bart Starr Award has not been given to a player who participated in the Super Bowl that same year. What's clear, though, is that Robinson took what was a very positive NFL career and marred it with an arrest in the early morning before he would play in his last of three Super Bowls.

He's not the only NFL player to find himself in legal trouble in Super Bowl City.

Robinson may be the most notorious arrest, but the allegations of Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis' involvement with two murders the night after Super Bowl XXXIV (incidentally, in Atlanta) make it the most compelling Super Bowl arrest.

Lewis eventually would plead guilty to obstruction of justice, and two of his accomplices that night were acquitted of murder charges. No one has been charged in that case since then.


Even former players aren't immune. While Robinson was playing in the game and Lewis was a player in the league, former player Warren Sapp was charged with domestic battery before Super Bowl XLIV. He was an analyst with NFL Network at the time, and he was taken off coverage of the Saints victory over the Indianapolis Colts due to the charge.

Giants backup defensive end Adrian Awasom was arrested for DUI in Phoenix before New York's shocking upset of the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, widening the net to players on a roster but not asked to do anything more than stay out of trouble during Super Bowl week.

After that same Super Bowl, Patriots cornerback Willie Andrews was arrested for drug possession with intent to distribute stemming from an arrest in Lowell, Mass. It came two days after the Patriots' loss.

Fortunately for the 49ers and Ravens, no one has found themselves in legal entanglements to this point. But with the never-ending parties in New Orleans hopping, coaches will no doubt keep an open eye on headlines and a ready ear for early morning calls from New Orleans-area police stations.