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AP file photo / Kansas City Chiefs assistant coach Britt Reid

Eugene Robinson.

Those were the first two words that popped into my head when I heard Kansas City Chiefs outside linebackers coach Britt Reid, the son of head coach Andy Reid, had been involved in a multi-vehicle crash Thursday night in Kansas City that had the younger Reid admitting to having had "two or three drinks" as well as the drug Adderall, according to police.

What made the story far, far worse was that a 5-year-old child was sent to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Not exactly a situation the reigning NFL champions wanted to be tied to heading into Super Bowl LV against the host Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday night, huh?

This is in no way meant to compare Robinson, an Atlanta Falcons defensive back at the time, being picked up on charges of soliciting a prostitute the night before Super Bowl XXXIII in Miami to what Reid has allegedly done.

Other than the fact the actions of each man may have caused enough disruptions and distractions to cost their respective franchises their sport's ultimate prize — the Falcons, you may recall, lost 34-19 to the Denver Broncos with Robinson playing less than 24 hours after his arrest — Robinson merely committed a selfish mistake, nothing more. The matter involving Reid is a shocking tragedy bordering on an atrocity, depending on what the toxicology report ultimately reveals about his blood alcohol level at the time of the accident.

But both incidents show how everything in life can turn on a dime, even a Super Bowl. While one might expect grown men to behave better and more responsibly, if only not to let down teammates they've been sacrificing with for months, if not years, for a chance to win the Lombardi Trophy, humans sometimes make mistakes beyond reason or repair.

At the very least, both Robinson and Reid are examples of failed personal responsibility, which seems to be an epidemic in this country today.

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AP photo by Elise Amendola / Atlanta Falcons saftey Eugene Robinson, right, gives up an 80-yard touchdown against Denver Broncos wide receiver Rod Smith during the second quarter of Super Bowl XXXIII on Jan. 31, 1999, in Miami. Robinson played in the game after being arrested for trying to solicit a prostitute the night before.

Yet in the case of Britt Reid, who has a regrettable history of alcohol abuse and drug issues, one can't help but wonder how much has been overlooked or forgiven in his past that should have been far more closely monitored.

"As long as people go through the right process, they deserve a second chance," Andy Reid has often said of the breaks he's given numerous players, including former Falcons quarterback Michael Vick after he served time in prison for dogfighting.

And it is hard to argue with that philosophy. Especially when it's your own child.

But Britt Reid has already had multiple chances to clean up his act. There have been DUI charges. Road rage charges that included waving a gun at a motorist. Drug possession charges. Certainly enough past wrongs to expect him not to have at least two or three drinks before getting behind the wheel of his truck less than 48 hours before he was to fly to Tampa. Especially when Britt's brother Garrett died of a drug overdose nearly 15 years ago.

What's the line about "fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me"? Whether it was his dad or someone else, Britt Reid's actions, though his alone, would seem to share some blame with those who failed to watch his behavior as closely as they might have.

It also doesn't help that the Chiefs have been one of the more liberal NFL franchises when it comes to taking chances on questionable characters. Heading into last season's Super Bowl against the San Francisco 49ers, only the Broncos had more arrests and charges than the Chiefs' nine over the previous 20 years.

To be fair, they've gotten rid of many of those players, though perhaps the most talented of those who remained — wide receiver Tyreek Hill — once pleaded guilty to domestic assault and battery by strangulation of his longtime girlfriend Crystal Espinal.

Beyond that, two years ago, when Hill was also investigated for alleged battery of his and Espinal's son after the boy broke his arm, an audio tape was released of Hill telling Espinal: "You should be afraid of me, too."

Not exactly role model material, is he?

If all of this sounds like the Chiefs have come to embrace their bitter rival Las Vegas Raiders' motto "Just win, baby!", so be it.

Even team co-owner Clark Hunt, whose father Lamar Jr. founded the team, told reporters prior to last year's Super Bowl: "I think every player that you bring into the organization, there is some element of risk. It could be his playing ability. It could be things that distract them off the field, as well as trouble they get into — that's a risk you could take. It's something that, as a franchise, we have to be willing to own when it doesn't go the right way."

Owning up to personal demons is always difficult, be it alcohol, drugs, abusive behavior, infidelity, whatever. And most addicts, whatever their addiction, rarely kick their habits on the first try.

But Britt Reid has had more than one try. Perhaps many more. And now, it appears because he's fallen short once again, a 5-year-old child who deserves none of this is fighting to remain alive in a Kansas City hospital.

It should put the Super Bowl's importance in everybody's rearview mirror. Aside from praying like crazy for that child's full recovery, it should have everyone praying for the long arm of the law to bring down its full wrath on Britt Reid, who was to remain behind in Kansas City as his team traveled to Tampa.

Or as someone who claimed to be a Chiefs fan wrote in the comments section of an NBC Sports online report Saturday morning regarding Reid: "I believe in due process but it sounds like he should be watching Sunday's game from a jail cell."

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Mark Wiedmer

Contact Mark Wiedmer at mwiedmer@timesfreepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @TFPWeeds.

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