While the Super Bowl is known for having incredible moments of athletic glory on the field, but there are some incredible tales of drama taking place off the field. Some of these stories are absolutely wild. Take a look below as we get closer to the much anticipated matchup between the Chiefs and Buccaneers next weekend!
1. Max McGee was a hungover hero in Super Bowl I
Green Bay Packers wideout Max McGee had a legendary performance in Super Bowl I against the Chiefs. The receiver led with 138 receiving yards and two touchdowns in the game. Even more impressive is the fact that he did all that while hungover. McGee was largely a bench player during the regular season with Green Bay, so he probably partied a little too hard the night before thinking he wouldn’t see much playing time. Turns out he was wrong. Not only was he hungover, but he mistakenly left his helmet in the locker room. He had to borrow a teammates’ helmet while catching the first touchdown pass in Super Bowl history.
2. Cowboys Linebacker Thomas Henderson did cocaine during the big game
This is a story that’s 100% from a different era of the NFL, that’s for sure. Legend has it that former Cowboys linebacker Thomas Henderson did cocaine during his team’s matchup agains the Steelers in Super Bowl XIII. Henderson, who struggled with drug addiction for years but is now sober, apparently snuck the coke into the game through a bottle used for nasal spray. The drug seemed to do the trick for Henderson, but unfortunately his Cowboys lost the game 31 to 35.
3. Steelers fan showered with Super Bowl champs in 1979
Super Bowl XIII between the Steelers and Cowboys was apparently insane. Not only did Cowboys’ linebacker Thomas Henderson do cocaine during the game, but apparently things got wild after the game too. Rumor has it that a male fan somehow got into the Steelers’ locker room after the team’s victory. Not only did he field questions from reporters, but he also somehow managed to take a shower too. It almost sounds like he won a contest or something, but it turns out that’s just the way the NFL was back then. Truly legendary.
4. Eugene Robinson arrested for soliciting a prostitute the night before big game
Falcon’s safety Eugene Robinson was arrested the night before his team’s matchup against the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXXIII for allegedly an undercover officer posing as a prostitute. To make matters even worse, Robinson had just been awarded the Bart Starr Award, which is given to the player that “best exemplifies outstanding character and leadership in the home, on the field, and in the community.” Not only did Robinson have to return the award, but his arrest apparently had a huge impact on the game. Falcons’ players were later quoted as saying Robinson’s arrest was a huge distraction for the team as they got whipped by John Elway’s Broncos.
5. Bills’ running back Thurman Thomas didn’t start in the Super Bowl because he couldn’t find his helmet
Thurman Thomas was an absolute beast for the Buffalo Bills during their 1991 season. The former Pro-Bowler was one of the main pieces of Buffalo’s offensive puzzle that sent the team to the big game a few different times. Fans were shocked when Thomas didn’t make the starting roster for the Bills during their Super Bowl XXVI matchup against the Washington Redskins. The reason for getting benched? He couldn’t find his helmet. Legend has it that Thomas’ left his helmet on the field during a pre-game ritual and that it was moved so so Harry Connick Jr. could sing the National Anthem. While no one knows for sure what actually happened, it resulted in Thomas being off his game completely. The Bills lost the championship once again and Thomas had a horrible game.
6. Patriots cut a player the day before the championship
Bill Belichick has a reputation for being ruthless as a coach, but this story might take the cake. Just a day before the Patriots’ matchup against the Giants in Super Bowl XLVI, Belichick and co. cut sparingly used wide receiver Tiquan Underwood. It’s likely the move occurred so close to the big game so the Giants couldn’t sign him and get a competitive advantage against the Patriots. While the cut certainly stung for Underwood, ultimately the Patriots would once again lose to the Giants in the championship.
7. Raiders’ Pro-Bowl center goes missing before big game, doesn’t play
The story of Raiders’ Pro-Bowl center Barret Robbins missing Super Bowl XXXVII is truly tragic. Robbins had suffered from mental health issues for years prior to his team’s successful 2002 season. Despite his struggles off the field, Robbins was a key anchor to a powerful offense that would face-off in the big game against one of the best defenses of all time in Warren Sapp and the Tampa Bay Bucs. Unfortunately, Robbins had an episode and left the hotel where the team was staying to travel to Tijuana without telling anyone. Only days later did he show up for the game completely incoherent. Raiders coach Bill Callahan took him off the gameday roster and had him stay with his wife and two daughters. The Raiders were blown out in the game vs. the Buccaneers,48-21. Robbins went on to talk about his struggles in a later interview with Bryant Gumbel.