Strong safety net from NFL security
Murder raps, hookers, hooch, bar fights, strippers and blow: Must be Super Bowl season. And while Motown proper offers plenty in the way of all-of-the-above, the smart money says that much of this year's front-page mischief will occur across the Detroit River in Windsor, Ontario, a laissez-faire Canadian fulcrum for greater Detroit's red-light industries.Sounds like the Steelers and Seahawks could use an NFL-issue Big Brother next week to deliver the fun-loving player from those temptations. Sure enough, they'll be watching. Players' jeopardizing their team's chances in the days or even hours leading up to the big game is as old as the tilt itself. Thinking he'd play nary a down behind starting wide receiver Boyd Dowler in the very first Super Bowl in 1967, Green Bay's Max McGee sneaked out after curfew and drank all night, barely making the Packers' morning-of team breakfast. Inevitably, Dowler got hurt on the second play after kickoff, thus forcing McGee to play the balance of the game. McGee rode his lingering buzz to seven catches for 138 yards on the way to Green Bay's 35-10 pummeling of the Kansas City Chiefs. Nowadays, each NFL team is required to contract with a security specialist -- often an ex-FBI agent -- in an attempt to stymie McGee-like behavior before it begins. These hired guns look out for the players' physical well-being, perform background checks on personal associates, and head off potential off-the-field indiscretions by maintaining close ties with law-enforcement officials and other key sources. Among other clandestine duties, they also conduct numerous "diligence operations" to make sure their guys aren't fleeced by scam artists or identity thieves, and they regularly brief the team on people and places to avoid on road trips.
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