Next up in our coverage of Super Bowl XLVII, we go outside the ALDLAND Archives for another memory of championship plans gone awry, the last of our unadvised foray into the nexus of football and politics. – Ed.
It was the waning days of the Clinton administration. Deep in the swingingest of swing states– the very and only one that determined the outcome of the election to name the President’s successor– a team of Southern footballers prepared to play for a championship. If they won, it would be their first. The squad’s “moral and spiritual leader” was a man named E. K. Robinson, a defender against offensive social values and offensive passing attacks. The day before the Super Bowl, Robinson received the Bart Starr Award “for high moral character.”
He celebrated receipt of that award and sought to prepare himself for the next day’s game according to his own, privately determined preparatory plan. A leader of the team all season long, he neither sought nor required governmental oversight in the execution of his preparation. He received it anyway, though, and as often is the case with government intrusion into individuals’ private lives, the results were disastrous.
Specifically, the government infringed upon Robinson’s attempt to contract privately with another individual in order to further his physical preparation. Before he knew it, it was 3:00 am (the very day of the championship tilt), and Robinson was under arrest.
Although he was released from custody later that morning and allowed to play in the game, the damage from the government’s regulation was done. Robinson was tired and distracted, and his teammates were rattled. From the People’s History:
[W]ithout much sleep the night before due to the [aforementioned invasion of privacy], Robinson gave up an 80-yard touchdown reception to Broncos receiver Rod Smith, giving the Broncos a 17-3 lead over the Falcons. Later, in the fourth quarter, he missed a tackle on Denver running back Terrell Davis that enabled Davis to break a long run to the Atlanta 10-yard line. The Atlanta Falcons ended up losing the game 34-19.
As the San Francisco Chronicle remembers, “The lopsided loss might have happened anyway . . . but the pregame distraction clearly rattled them.”
We’ll never know for sure, though, a fact that illustrates that the externalities of Big Government’s invasion of the private life of even one citizen truly constitutes an invasion of the private lives of every citizen.