GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -With a victory on Sunday, Koren Robinson will earn a trip back to the place where his latest, and perhaps last, shot at redemption began three months ago.
It was in Robinson's impromptu meeting with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell during an Oct. 14 Arizona Cardinals game at University of Phoenix Stadium that he made his case for getting another shot at football.
Goodell lifted Robinson's suspension, and he was allowed to return to the Green Bay Packers. Now he is one game away from going back to Glendale, Ariz., for the Super Bowl - a happy coincidence that would make the trip even more special.
``I've definitely been thinking about it for a while,'' Robinson said Friday, as the Packers prepared to play the New York Giants in Sunday's NFC Championship game at Lambeau Field.
Robinson was suspended for a year and sent to jail for his involvement in a pair of off-the-field incidents involving alcohol - most notably a high-speed chase with police in Minnesota in 2006 that resulted in him being cut by the Minnesota Vikings.
Today, Robinson's personal life appears to be in order, and he is making an impact on the field as a kick returner and wide receiver.
Robinson said he is eager to redeem himself for his troubled past.
``This is my stage, my opportunity to redeem myself from all the crazy stuff,'' Robinson said. ``You say 'Koren Robinson,' everybody thinks about that - not that I'm a good player, not that I'm a great father, loving husband, good person, great friend. They think about the trouble off the field, and I don't want that to be my legacy.''
While Robinson has attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and started taking a drug that will make him sick if he drinks, Robinson said his string of alcohol-related incidents has left the public with the wrong perception - namely that he was drinking all the time, something Robinson said isn't the case.
``I don't even feel like talking about this because it's in the past, but people get it twisted with the whole drinking thing,'' Robinson said. ``I would only drink when I'd go out, and I wouldn't go out all the time. So I never wanted alcohol when I woke up in the morning, never drunk alcohol through the day or nothing like that. It's just, really, a couple situations, actually, that I made bad decisions. That's all.
``But at the same time, I had to look at it and say, 'OK, Koren, why are you making these bad decisions?' Because alcohol was in play. It's not like I can't stay away from alcohol, that wasn't the case. It's like, when alcohol gets into the equation, I was doing stuff that wasn't Koren Robinson.''
Robinson said that realization left him with a choice to make.
``Was drinking and making these crazy decisions more important than my career, or being alive, being here with my family, taking care of my family?,'' Robinson said. ``It wasn't, so it was an easy decision to make once I set down and did what I needed to do. And that's why I'm here to this day.''
Robinson looks forward to the day when he's asked questions about football instead of his troubled past.
But for now, he's patiently answering wave after wave of questions about his personal struggles, hoping his story will serve as an example to others.
``I mean, at the end of the day, that's what I want to be,'' Robinson said. ``I hope people look at my situation and everything that's going on and just be inspired. I hope it touches somebody, that it makes them make a decision that benefits them in life.''
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