Former NFL linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, who went to the Super Bowl with the Chicago Bears in 2007 and won it last season with the Baltimore Ravens, said in a Fox Sports interview this week that he believes players smoked pot before the big game, though he wouldn't say whether the Bears or Ravens were the culprits.
The three-time Pro Bowler told the story of when he arrived at the team hotel early during Super Bowl week:
"I'm not going to say which Super Bowl it was but I just remember getting off the elevator one night — it was early on in the week, just to start the week off — and all of the sudden I just got hit over the head with fumes of marijuana on the entire floor of the hotel that the team was staying on . . . I could just imagine there were a few young guys just toking it up in more than one room.
"I was like, 'Man this is the week of the Super Bowl and you're just going in?' So then I was looking around, and I'm like 'OK, where is the security?' I looked and for some reason we didn't have regular police — coach was smart enough to have rent-a-cops on our floor instead of regular police like we usually do.
"I scratched my head but I was like, 'OK, uh, that's a good thing 'cause . . .' that's it. That's all I've got to say about that."
The topic of marijuana in the NFL surfaced again this year leading up to the Super Bowl. Commissioner Roger Goodell said during a panel last week for the league’s “Head Health Challenge" that he would consider allowing players to use marijuana for medicinal purposes if it helps them deal with concussions. The sentiment was shared by Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, according to an ESPN report:
"I would say that we have to explore and find ways to make our game a better game and take care of our players in whatever way possible. Regardless of what other stigmas might be involved, we have to do this because the world of medicine is doing this."