10 Jarring NFL Scandals We've Already Forgotten
Professional sports may just be the most entertaining form of reality television.
Trades, injuries, personal stories, robberies. The list goes on and on. And when nothing is happening, there is still the matter of games, coaches being fired, players being suspended for various reasons and the all important, "Where is the this team going to play in?"
There are many "scandals" that have taken place over the course of the existence of the NFL. Many happened long before most of us were alive or were old enough to truly comprehend what had just taken place. Others have had a ringside seat to some of the best scandals this side of the OJ Simpson Trial.
And no, I left OJ off of this list. That would be too easy.
But here is a list of some scandals that have taken place over the course of the NFL that we may have forgotten. While some may not be typical "scandals" hot enough for E! or People Magazine, they still had some affect on the NFL at the time of the incident.
Eugene Robinson Arrested Before Super Bowl Against Broncos
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See what happens when grown men are left to their own devices?
Eugene Robinson and members of the Atlanta Falcons were out on the town in Miami before Super Bowl XXXIII. Robinson wanted to see what the town was all about and according to the New York Times, he found trouble instead of a good time.
The report stated Robinson had heard from teammates about the area and, the players added, ''he wanted to see it for himself.'' The Miami police said Robinson offered an undercover officer $40 for sex on Saturday night.
The player has said he is innocent of the charge, but apologized to his teammates and his family, saying he did not ''maintain the high standards for myself.''
Falcons' players, especially defensive starters, said they did not play a "sharp" game in the 34-19 loss because they were more focused on their teammate than their opponent.
Rae Carruth Sentenced to Prison for Killing Pregnant Girlfriend
In one of the most public legal cases concerning an athlete, Rae Carruth, a star wide receiver at the time with the Carolina Panthers, was sentenced to prison in the plot to commit and commission the act of murder of his then girlfriend, who was carrying his child.
On January 22—which happened to be the on the 28th anniversary of Roe v. Wade—North Carolina Superior Court Judge Charles Lamm sentenced 27-year-old Rae Carruth to a minimum of 18 years and 11 months in prison for his role in the execution-style murder of his pregnant girlfriend. Miraculously, doctors were able to save Cherica Adams' baby.
The Charlotte Observer reported that Carruth, an ex-football player for the Carolina Panthers, showed no emotion.
It was also reported that Carruth escaped the death penalty because the jury of seven men and five women failed to convict him of first-degree murder in the November 16, 1999, slaying of Cherica Adams, who was eight months pregnant.
While Adams died, the baby, a boy, survived due to emergency surgery.
John Elway Refuses to Play for the Balitmore Colts
It's almost ironic that Peyton Manning leaves the Colts to play for the Broncos. Almost 30 years ago, the Broncos and Colts were involved in a scandal or "incident" that found the former Stanford quarterback refusing to play in Baltimore.
The 1983 NFL draft may go down in history as the best ever, but it also may have been the most controversial. John Elway said if he was chosen by the Colts, he would not play for them because of his feelings toward Frank Kush, the then-coach of the team.
In doing so and making his feelings known, the Colts traded Elway to the Broncos for T Chris Hinton, QB Mark Hermann and a No. 1 draft pick.
According to reports, the Colts finished their final season in Baltimore with a 7-9 record as attendance continued to plummet and the gap between owner Robert Irsay, local politicians and the fan base widened.
Ray Lewis Sentenced to Jail Time for His Part in Murder Trial
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An Atlanta-based judge allowed Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis to avoid a more serious sentence of murder when he agreed to testify against two co-defendants in the case back in 2000.
According to the CNNSI.com, Lewis plead guilty to obstruction of justice and Superior Court Judge Alice D. Bonner sentenced Lewis to 12 months' probation, the maximum sentence for a first-time offender.
Lewis, who is still one of the more dominant defensive stars in the NFL, testified against his co-defendants as part of the deal, which also called for aggravated assault charges against the linebacker to be dropped.
Lewis was the MVP of the 2001 Super Bowl in which the Ravens beat the Giants.
Leonard Little Still Played Football Despite DUI Manslaughter Conviction
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Leonard Little partied a little too much on his birthday, decided to drive while intoxicated, and killed a woman while behind the wheel of his vehicle.
He was charged with DUI, but was not given more than 90 days in jail for the offense and was allowed to come back to the NFL and play football.
Yahoo! Sports stated that Little was still shook up over the events that took the life of a mother who was driving that night, as Little plowed his Navigator into her vehicle.
Lyle Alzado Dies from Effects of Steriod Abuse
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Lyle Alzado, one of the true characters of the NFL in the late 1970s and early 1980s, died from a rare form of brain cancer, which doctors believed was caused by the effects of steroid abuse.
He was a member of the 1980 Super Bowl winning Oakland Raiders.
A New York Times article at the time of his death said Alzado had been a champion against the use of steroids after it was determined he in fact had cancer.
The once fierce lineman had become a shell of himself and was a speaker against athletes using any form of hormone or steroid supplement to gain an edge in performance.
Karras, Hornung Suspended for Betting on the NFL
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They were Pete Rose long before Pete Rose played for the Cincinnati Reds and bet on baseball.
He referred to both of them as "known hoodlums."
Hornung set an NFL record with 176 points in 1960 and was the league's MVP in 1961. Karras has been an all-league defensive tackle the past three years.
The ESPN story went on to say that while Hornung says his bets were made with friends, for $100 or $200, Rozelle says the player bet as much as $500 on NFL games from 1959-61. Hornung was contrite after learning of the suspension. "I made a terrible mistake," he said. "I am truly sorry."
Rozelle said at the time that Karras made at least six bets of $50 or $100. Karras was bitter about the suspension.
The Baltimore Colts Move to Indianapolis in the Middle of the Night
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In one of the oddest moves in sports history, the Baltimore Colts literally packed up their headquarters and moved their things in moving vans to Indianapolis in the middle of the night back in 1984.
After the 1983 season ended, owner Robert Irsay began talking to other cities about moving the Colts to a new town. After several meetings and negotiations, Irsay used Mayflower trucks to move the team to Indianapolis, a move that at the time left the NFL stunned and confused. The NFL also believed it could not win in court, so the move was allowed to remain and Baltimore lost a huge historical part of its city.
At the time of the move, Irsay agreed that if Baltimore ever won the rights to another NFL franchise, he would relinquish the Colts name back to the city. In 1996, the NFL did award Baltimore a franchise, but the Irsay's did not follow through with their agreement.
The Cleveland Browns Move Their Football Operations to Baltimore
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With ownership firmly behind the move, the Browns relocated to Baltimore in 1996 to become the Ravens, the unprecedented and remarkable response from Browns fans prompted the NFL to promise the city of Cleveland a new team for the 1999 season.
The story is explained that owner Art Modell made the decision to move the team from Cleveland to Baltimore. After a large outcry from Cleveland fans, an agreement was made between the city of Cleveland and the NFL to keep the team's history, name and colors in Cleveland, while Modell's team in Baltimore would be regarded as an expansion team.
The Baltimore Ravens would begin play in 1996, and the Browns would return to the league in 1999. For record-keeping purposes, the Browns are considered to have suspended operations from 1996 to 1998.
The Browns were started in 1946 as a charter member of the new AAFC (All American Football Conference).
Al Davis Moves His Raiders to Los Angeles Despite Objections of Pete Rozelle
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In a story online at raidermystique.com, after multiple failed attempts to get improvements made to the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, Davis signed a memorandum of agreement to move the team from Oakland to Los Angeles.
The signing was met with great opposition in the NFL, including then commissioner, Pete Rozelle.
To move the team, David needed 75-percent approval of the league, which was met with 22-0 vote against the owner. Davis, in his cocky way, went ahead and moved the franchise anyway. He was stopped by a court injunction, but after much debate, the team did move to Los Angeles.
Their first season in LA was curtailed by the strike that year, which left them with a record of 8-1, sitting atop the AFC. Unfortunately, they were knocked from the playoffs in the second round after a loss to the Jets by a score of 17-14.