Alcohol free, Packers' Koren Robinson Gets Another Chance
After numerous alcohol related suspensions and a lengthy DUI prison sentence, Packers' Koren Robinson leaves his troubled past behind as he prepares for this week's NFC championship game.
In 2006, Koren Robinson thought he'd seen the end of his chances while sitting in a jail cell, in prison on probation violating charges stemming from a high speed DUI, and just the last in a string of alcohol induced incidents that have plagued his troubled career since his start as a 20 year old first round draft pick with the Seahawks.
Robinson, released by the Seahawks after numerous suspensions for team infractions and alcohol issues, had already served a day in jail, and had completed a stint in alcohol rehab before starting anew with Minnesota in 2005.
He had married and said that his wild days were behind him, a statement undone in 2006 when arrested yet again for a DUI, and sentenced to two 90 day prison terms, and suspended from the league for an entire season.
Robinson states that it was while in prison, reading newspaper commentary on his behavior that he decided he needed a real change, deciding that alcohol was not worth the costs to his career and family, and making a commitment to give it up.
After his release from prison, yet while under suspension, Robinson received an invite to meet with Packers GM Ted Thompson. Neither men have reported what was said during the meeting, but both have described it as an honest and emotional session, and Thompson has reported that it gave him a real measure of Robinson, as a man.
Bret Farvre, who has had his own trials with pain killer addiction, befriended Robinson during his year-long league suspension, calling him frequently, supporting his recovery and progress and enlisting his personal trainer in Arizona to help Robinson stay game ready with daily work outs during his downtime.
Early this season, Robinson met League commissioner Roger Goodell at an Arizona Cardinals game, and asked to be reinstated; after embracing, Goodell agreed, and shortly thereafter Robinson lined up with the Packers, playing the last half of the season at kick returner and receiver – now ready to achieve the redemption he's been looking for as he fights with his new teammates in this Sunday's NFC championship game.
Robinson says he stays sober through a combination of counseling, medication and faith, and that he's grateful for yet another "second chance" a chance he's determined to make good on.