Why was Falcons Safety Eugene Robinson arrested before Super Bowl XXXIII?

Eugene Robinson, during the pregame of Super Bowl XXXIII
Eugene Robinson, during the pregame of Super Bowl XXXIII

Former NFL Safety Eugene Robinson had a somewhat unforgettable career in the NFL. He's most known by football fans during his time playing for the Atlanta Falcons, but he's also played for the Seahawks, Packers, and the Panthers.

Apart from the fanbase he had in Atlanta, practically everyone in football knew of him by the kickoff time of Super Bowl XXXIII, in Miami. The night before the big game, Eugene Robinson was arrested by Miami Police, for his involvement in a prostitution sting.

Eugene Robinson was successful on the field

Eugene Robinson, with the Seahawks from 1985-1995
Eugene Robinson, with the Seahawks from 1985-1995

Generally regarded as one of the top safeties during the 1990s, Robinson played most of his career with the Seahawks from 1985 to 1995. It wasn't until he made the move to Green Bay in 1996, did he build a reputation as a defender that could easily cover every inch of the field.

After appearing in 2 Super Bowls as a Packer (winning XXXI and losing XXXII), he then headed south for Atlanta, after the 1997 season. As a team captain, Robinson made a huge impact for the Falcons during the regular season recording 46 tackles, 4 interceptions (with 1 for a touchdown), and 2 fumble recoveries. All this work earned him his third Pro Bowl selection.

Robinson was also key to the Falcons getting to their franchise's first Super Bowl that year. In the NFC Championship game against the Vikings, he broke up a Randy Moss touchdown in overtime that would lead to a game-winning field goal for Atlanta.

Eugene Robinson, holding the NFC Championship trophy
Eugene Robinson, holding the NFC Championship trophy

Eugene Robinson made headlines the night before Super Bowl XXXIII

Eugene Robinson was arrested by an undercover Miami police officer, who was posing as a prostitute Saturday night, less than 24 hours before the kickoff of Super Bowl XXXIII. He was charged with misdemeanor solicitation of sex from a prostitute and released from jail early Sunday morning.

He managed to suit up and play in the Super Bowl against the Broncos later that evening, despite having very little sleep ahead of time. His performance in the game was widely viewed by media and fans as poor, blaming his efforts on the events of the night before. He had missed a tackle on Terrell Davis, a big run that moved a Broncos drive deep into Falcons territory.

He also allowed an 80-yard touchdown catch to Rod Smith, as the Broncos began to pull away from the Falcons. Oddly enough, Robinson had just been given the Bart Starr Award, for players showing outstanding character and leadership in the home, community, and on the field. He accepted the honor the morning of his eventual mishap, then returned it shortly after the game.

After two years in Atlanta, he played one more season for the Carolina Panthers, retiring after the 2000 season. He was then a part of their radio broadcasting team from 2002 to 2018. Eugene Robinson currently does local television and coaching work in the Charlotte, North Carolina area.

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