As was pointed out by FSUViking over in the fanposts, Koren Robinson (aka K-Drunk, aka Tipsy McStagger, aka Drunky McDrunkerton) was cut by the Green Bay Packers yesterday. In Packer terminology, this means that he will now transition from a "troubled young man fighting his demons" to being a drunk, which is how he was referenced by those same fans when he was a Viking.
Now, you might be telling yourself that it's wrong for me to openly laugh at Koren Robinson while embracing the Vikings acquisition of Jared Allen. And to that I say, "No, it's not." Because comparing the case of Jared Allen to that of Koren Robinson is like comparing apples to. . .something that's not very apple-like at all.
Now, we've documented Jared Allen's changes here on this site. . .how he's stopped drinking all together, how he's been sober for a significant amount of time, how he's surrounded by family members that will hold him accountable for his actions, and so forth. We won't rehash all of that here. But let's look back at Koren Robinson's case, shall we?
Back in 2005, Koren Robinson was pretty much the Hester Prynne of the National Football League. He, like Prynne, had a big letter "A" affixed to his chest. However, whereas Prynne's "A" stood for "adultress," Robinson's had a different meaning. . ."alcoholic." The man was a discipline problem when he played for Seattle, the team that drafted him 9th overall in 2001. He was constantly late for practice, and admitted to having a problem with alcohol. . .so much so that he showed up at a one-day jail term he was to serve for pleading guilty to driving under the influence with alcohol on his breath. It was obvious that pretty much every team in the National Football League wanted anything to do with Koren Robinson.
"Pretty much every team," however, did not include the Minnesota Vikings. No, Mike Tice. . .bless his big, goofy heart. . .thought he saw something in Koren Robinson. At a time where everyone was pushing Robinson away, Tice reached a hand out to Robinson instead, and brought him into the Viking family. He responded by having what might have been his best season in the NFL, making the Pro Bowl as a kick returner, and scoring touchdowns via the air, via the ground, and via kickoff return.
Tice was fired after the last game of the 2005 season, and one of the first moves that the new Viking regime made was to tear up Robinson's old contract and give him a brand new deal with a decent signing bonus and the promise to install him as the new #1 receiver in Brad Childress' offense. The Vikings were convinced that Robinson had really kicked his demons, and were willing to make a commitment to him.
And in return for that commitment, Koren Robinson thought that the best way for him to say "thank you" would be to screw the Minnesota Vikings over.
A day after Minnesota's first pre-season game of 2006, Koren Robinson was arrested for leading police down the highways of Minnesota at 100+ miles per hour. . .while legally drunk. Robinson had blown yet another chance, and was cut by the Vikings in short order. Shortly after that, Robinson filed a grievance with the league that said. . .get this. . .that the Vikings had no reason to cut him. Well, maybe they didn't. . .in Bizarro World. He wound up getting suspended for a year, and then signed by the Packers. . .where he underwent the aforementioned transition from "drunk" to "troubled young man," according to the national media.
So, basically, the difference between Jared Allen and Koren Robinson is that Robinson screwed this franchise over. And while Allen has expressed contrition for what he did, Robinson. . .according to this tidbit from Access Vikings. . .really doesn't seem to care about what he did to the Minnesota Vikings:
Mark Craig of our paper did a story on Robinson last November in which the receiver thanked the Vikings for the role they played in his life.
“Thank you, Minnesota Vikings,” he said in the Packers locker room. “Thank you, Coach Brad Childress.”
Craig wrote that reporters laughed. Robinson did not. “Y’all are laughing, but I’m very serious,” Robinson said. “The way I look at it, if I was with the Minnesota Vikings, I don’t know if I would have really gotten over the hump as far as getting to the place or being the person God wants me to be. So I’m very serious when I say I’m thankful to them. I’m blessed that it happened.”
Color me cynical, but that doesn't sound like much of an apology to me. Yeah, Koren, you're blessed for the fact that the Minnesota Vikings cut you because you're a damn screw-up. It's not the Minnesota Vikings' fault that Koren Robinson is a screw-up. . .it's Koren Robinson's fault that Koren Robinson is a screw-up.
Believe me. . .if Jared Allen pulls anything like Koren Robinson pulled as a member of the Vikings, I'll have exactly this same opinion about him. But as of now, he hasn't. . .and he doesn't strike me as having the propensity to do so. There's the difference.