Missing from this week leading up to the Super Bowl between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers was the off-the-field problems that sometimes show up in the news involving a player on one of the two teams. Nowhere to be seen or read was the late-night partying reports of any of the players. No "Eugene Robinson's" getting arrested the night before the game for solicitation, when his Atlanta Falcons lost to the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 33 in 1999. Robinson, coincidentally, had just won the league's "Bart Starr Award" given for "high moral character" that very day.
No "Barrett Robbins" incident, when he went off his bipolar disorder medications and was AWOL for the Oakland Raiders loss in Super Bowl 37. Robbins was the leader of the Raiders offensive line and his life spiraled downhill from that point, as his future included being arrested, tied to the BALCO steroids issue and getting shot three times in 2005.
Of course, many people will also point to the Baltimore Ravens Ray Lewis, who was arrested and charged with a double-murder before Super Bowl 34. Lewis and the Ravens were not playing in that Super Bowl, so that incident doesn't really fit into this dissertation.
Many people won't remember that in Super Bowl 1, Green Bay Packers reserve wide receiver, Max Magee, snuck out of the team hotel after curfew and thinking he wouldn't be playing, went to the local bars and got so drunk, he was so hungover the day of the game he didn't even bring his helmet out onto the field. As luck would have it, starter Boyd Dowler got hurt early in the game and Magee went on to catch three TD passes and be named the game's MVP.
It is good to see how serious both teams are taking this opportunity, as for many it will be a one-in-a-lifetime, but with the Steelers being here for the third time in six years, perhaps that last statement doesn't hold much water in this scenario.