Robinson was no surprise to many

MANKATO, Minn. -- You can react to Koren Robinson's latest arrest with disgust or, if you are of a charitable bent, with sadness, but only a fool could react with surprise.

Robinson driving drunk is about as shocking as Mewelde Moore sitting out practice because of an injury.

As the news of Robinson's arrest for driving 104 miles per hour and trying to evade cops while drunk sends ripples through the new, "disciplined" Vikings, let us accurately target the blame for the team's latest scandal.

Robinson deserves most of it for behaving like a criminal. The Vikings' decision-makers deserve some for proving more gullible than the Minnesotans who thought Jesse Ventura would make a good governor.

Robinson did not just succumb to his addiction. He endangered lives.


Vikings apologists have expressed sympathy for Robinson because he is suffering from "a disease" and battling "demons." Those are lame excuses for a serious lapse in judgment.

There is a level of alcoholism that engenders sympathy, and there is a level of alcoholism that engenders disdain, and Robinson crossed over that line long ago.

Sit in your room late at night "battling your demons" and guiltily sneak a drink, and you may earn a modicum of sympathy.

Hop into a car late at night and drive drunk in populated areas at 100 mph, letting down the team that employs you and the entourage that supports you, and you deserve disdain.

My parents were alcoholics. Their addictions lessened and shortened their lives, but they weren't in the habit of trying to outrun police cars.

In Seattle, Robinson threw away a prominent role in a dynamic offense by abusing alcohol and displaying erratic behavior. This led to the heartwarming tale of Robinson being refused entrance to jail because he was too drunk.

When you are too drunk to go to jail, alcohol is not your only problem.

If the Vikings want their 77-page Code of Conduct and their new Commitment to Discipline to be taken seriously, they need to cut all ties to Robinson.


When they acquired Robinson last year, I questioned why the people who traded Randy Moss because they were tired of headaches could acquire a less reputable and less accomplished player.

I received the usual 1,000 angry e-mails for failing to open my heart to a man in need.

Problem was, Robinson not only was a drunk, he was a drunk with a rap sheet.

The Vikings made a mistake when they acquired Robinson, and compounded that mistake when they signed him to a three-year deal, and those mistakes again reveal the gullibility of the Vikings' brain trust.

These people interviewed Fran "Faux" Foley, then actually hired him for a vital role in their organization, failing to do the fundamental homework that would have revealed him as a poseur.

These people interviewed Brad Childress and instantly decided he was their man. He might become a good coach, but an inexperienced brain trust might have benefited from a more inclusive search. (They liked Childress so much they wouldn't let him leave the Twin Cities for an interview in Green Bay.) These people listened to Robinson's charming story about kicking his habit, then signed him to a three-year contract and installed him as their top receiver.

Robinson was not forced upon them by a previous regime. This is a player fully embraced by The Brain Trust.

In the past two days, I've heard three or four stories about Robinson falling off the wagon or breaking team rules. How did the Vikings, an organization deciding to spend millions on a key player, fail to discern that he was, at best, a high-risk proposition?


It's as if they had Foley do Robinson's background check..

Jim Souhan writes for the Star Tribune (Minneapolis). His collumn is distributed by McClatchy Newspapers.

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