During a recent episode of Pro Football Talk on NBCSN, we asked Ravens defensive lineman Chris Canty about the potential distractions presented by the Patriots traveling to the land of recreational marijuana two days before the AFC title game. After the segment aired, a certain Hall of Fame player reached out to me via text.
“Did your network just ask that man if idle time in a weed legal state is a distraction? On the eve of the greatest show on earth?”
As it turns out, it wasn’t much of a stretch. Brendon Ayanbadejo of FOX Sports claims that some of his teammates were smoking plenty of pot in the days preceding the Super Bowl.
“I just remember getting off the elevator one night . . . and all of the sudden I just got hit over the head with fumes of marijuana on the entire floor of the hotel that the team was staying on,” Ayanbadejo said. “I could just imagine there were a few young guys just toking it up in more than one room.
“I was like, ‘Man this is the week of the Super Bowl and you’re just going in?’ So then I was looking around, and I’m like ‘OK, where is the security?’ I looked and for some reason we didn’t have regular police. Coach was smart enough to have rent-a-cops on our floor instead of regular police like we usually do.”
Ayanbadejo, who played in two Super Bowls, didn’t say whether the teammates played for the 2006 Bears (who lost to the Colts) or the 2012 Ravens (who beat the 49ers).
Regardless, it’s hardly uncommon. Whether to unwind or to manage pain or to just kill time, plenty of players smoke marijuana in jurisdictions where it’s not legal. When those players have time on their hands in states where it is, they’re surely going to buy a bud and blaze it up.