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Eugene Robinson tells Panthers: “Don’t be like me”

31 Jan 1999:  Eugene Robinson #41 of the Atlanta Falcons stands on the sidelines looking on during the Super Bowl XXXIII Game against the Denver Broncos at the Pro Player Stadium in Miami, Florida. The Broncos defeated the Falcons 34-19. AP

Eugene Robinson stands as one of the all-time object lessons in Super Bowl history, and he wanted to make sure his Panthers co-workers heard him loud and clear.

Don’t be like me,” Robinson said of his message to the team, via Eric Prisbell of USA Today.

Players said Robinson’s message to them was an eye-opener, after he relayed the story of his arrest for solicitation of a prostitute the night before Super Bowl XXXIII. The then-Falcons safety had just won the Bart Starr Award for character and leadership, but then became the wrong kind of focal point as the Broncos targeted him early and often en route to a win.

“It’s easy to lose your way when you are selfish and thinking about yourself, and that’s the only thing you are thinking about,” Robinson said. “And that’s what I did. To hear the word solicitation is still painful for me. I’ve got to call it what it is. I don’t try to sugarcoat it. . . .

“If a team beats you, that’s different. But if you beat yourself, that’s criminal. I allowed myself to beat myself and to beat the team, and that was criminal.”

Panthers coach Ron Rivera called Robinson (who now works as a color analyst on the team’s radio network) “courageous” for sharing his story.

It’s not the first time Robinson has relayed it since that night in Miami 17 years ago, and he’s moved on to become a popular figure in Charlotte, where he also co-hosts a midday television show.

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19 Responses to “Eugene Robinson tells Panthers: “Don’t be like me””
  1. bmacwillconn says: Feb 2, 2016 7:00 PM

    Glad he’s using his mistake to teach others. Everyone should let him know that he’s long since been forgiven. Very happy to hear that he’s been strong enough to put it behind him and made a great life for himself. You rock Eugene!

  2. seahawkfanfrom1970s says: Feb 2, 2016 7:16 PM

    One of the two best free safeties in my team’s history.

  3. reprob8 says: Feb 2, 2016 7:21 PM

    The Panthers are very fortunate to have Mr. Robinson available to counsel them, but in reality it’s a message that ALL players should hear & heed.

  4. packmangamble says: Feb 2, 2016 7:21 PM

    Good job Eugene, and thank you for coming to the Packers and helping us win Super Bowl XXXI!

  5. taintedsaints2009 says: Feb 2, 2016 7:23 PM

    I will never forgive Atlanta for stealing my Vikings Superbowl bid in 1998. Vikings would have torched Denver’s secondary and stuffed Terrell Davis at the line. Still not over it. No, you shut up.

  6. southsideslasher says: Feb 2, 2016 7:25 PM

    thought he was a packer at that time of that superbowl

  7. snakeman40 says: Feb 2, 2016 7:47 PM

    Glad he got his life in order but he is without a doubt the WORST color commentator in the history of the NFL….and he has gotten better over the years. You cannot fathom how horrible he was a few years ago.

  8. nflfan62 says: Feb 2, 2016 7:55 PM

    Those ex green bay safeties are notorious for getting in trouble

  9. ohand16 says: Feb 2, 2016 7:57 PM

    Saints over Vikings greatest NFC Championship ever

  10. burrito12 says: Feb 2, 2016 8:03 PM

    Is Warren Sapp giving a similar speech to the Broncos?

  11. thelastwordyaheard says: Feb 2, 2016 8:43 PM

    The fact that the government is telling adults what they can and can’t do with their own bodies is the ridiculous part.. if a woman wants to give herself to a guy for a steak dinner or $100 cash, it’s none of their damn business.

  12. thisonesforpat says: Feb 2, 2016 8:44 PM

    I can see Eugene Robinson mouthing the Jack Nicholson “Don’t you be like me” speech to the dog in, “As Good As It Gets”.

  13. atwatercrushesokoye says: Feb 2, 2016 8:55 PM

    Eugene then went on to say that they should all make sure to ask “You’re not a cop are you? You have to tell me if you are” before talking money in the solicitation.

  14. gridassassin says: Feb 2, 2016 9:02 PM

    He didn’t take Cris Carter’s sage advice and have a fall guy

  15. txraiders says: Feb 2, 2016 9:25 PM

    LOL he was talking to the WRONG TEAM!!

  16. philliephanatic says: Feb 3, 2016 1:20 PM

    @”Atwatercrushesokoye”- Raider fan. Love the name. Miss the days of relevant AFC West games and rivalry matchups featuring marquee players on both sides of the ball.

  17. jimhart1964 says: Feb 3, 2016 5:35 PM

    Apparently the Broncos needed this advice more than the Panthers.

  18. mmmpierogi says: Feb 4, 2016 10:31 AM

    taintedsaints2009 says:
    Feb 2, 2016 7:23 PM
    I will never forgive Atlanta for stealing my Vikings Superbowl bid in 1998.


    I cringe loathingly every time someone refers to a football team as “my” [insert team].

    In other news, Robinson should have met with the Broncos a few days ago. Sounds like one of their guys could’ve used these sage words of wisdom.

  19. nyctraffic says: Feb 4, 2016 7:33 PM

    The guy still can’t show his face in Atlanta–and for good reason. The Falcons are currently moving at a once-in-50 years Super Bowl clip, at best, and when that one time gets ruined by some fake preacher chump getting horny for a hooker at 3am, well, turn the other cheek and all that, but do it in your own damn cities. But who’s the chump? I am the chump. My friends are the chumps. We sank so much time, money, and energy into that damn franchise only to have this selfish man-boy piss it all down the drain. He got off too easy. Stop making him out to be some sort of hero. He got “man of the year” because he was snake oil salesman. He still is.

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