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Robinson Apologizes to Family, Team

February 1, 1999

MIAMI (AP) _ After a Super Bowl that went terribly wrong, Eugene Robinson lingered in the Atlanta Falcons training room, getting treatment for a broken finger.

His once-sterling reputation will take a lot longer to heal.

A night after being arrested on a downtown street and charged with soliciting an undercover police officer for oral sex, Robinson faced a horde of media following Atlanta’s 34-19 loss to the Denver Broncos on Sunday night.

Declaring his innocence and saying he couldn’t comment on the details of the case on advice of his lawyer, Robinson also apologized to his family and to the entire Falcons organization ``for this very, very low point.″

``I’m just trying to be extremely real,″ he said, diverting from a statement he prepared for the news conference. ``This is something I thought about; I had a lot of times to think about it. Quite frankly, I got no sleep. I had a lot of time to think about it.″

Despite the arrest, Falcons coach Dan Reeves allowed Robinson to start Sunday night against the Denver Broncos, the first NFL championship game in Atlanta’s 33-year history.

The Falcons lost 34-19, with Robinson burned on the game’s biggest play _ an 80-yard TD pass to Rod Smith.

Despite the lack of sleep, Robinson said, ``I was extremely focused on the game today. It didn’t affect my play because it was pretty much therapeutic.″

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