Former Oakland Raiders center Barret Robbins is in a halfway house following court-mandated drug rehabilitation and said in an interview with Fox 26 in Houston he's finally "sick and tired of being sick and tired."
Robbins disappeared from the Raiders two days before Super Bowl XXXVII in 2003, and said he now blames himself for the team's 48-21 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Robbins said he was responsible for the pass-protection calls and also was key for the Raiders' running attack.
"It's a hard thing to look back on because it was such a hard thing to overcome," Robbins said in the interview.
"It was such a hard thing to forgive myself for. As much as you want to do it, forgive yourself that is, it's the hardest thing in the world to do.
"I felt that if I had played that game, we had a lot better chance to win. I felt we would have been able to win that game. It was an extremely exhausting event and put me down as far as I probably ever had to go at that point in my life."
Robbins was diagnosed as bipolar after that incident, but regained his spot in the starting lineup the next season after undergoing treatment at an alcohol rehabilitation center. However, the Raiders released Robbins in 2004 after he tested positive for steroids.
In addition to stays in alcohol and drug rehabilitation programs, Robbins has had several run-ins with law enforcement. He was ordered into the last rehab center following a probation violation in the spring of 2008.
Now, he says, he's straightened himself out and doesn't want to re-enter the haze of those days.
"When you get to a point where you are sick of jails, institutions, near-death experiences, things of that nature, God allows you to see things in a different light and he has for me," Robbins said to Fox 26.
Robbins faces many changes beyond just his sobriety. He was shot three times and seriously wounded during the 2005 brawl with police, who were answering a burglary call at a Miami Beach building.
Three police officers were injured in the melee, including one whose head was rammed into a wall. There's pending litigation for that run-in, and two bullets remain inside his body. Robbins has filed a federal civil-rights lawsuit alleging the police used excessive force.
The millions he earned as an All-Pro center are gone.
"When you are not responsible for your money as an adult, it shows how much you care about your life," Robbins said to Fox 26. "Obviously back then I didn't care that much about my life."
Robbins said he feels "real good" about the fact he's still alive to tell his story. One thing he says that would make him feel better about what he's been through is serving as both a warning tale and an inspiration to others.
"That would mean a great deal," Robbins said to Fox 26. "I would love for people to be able to look at my life and be able to get something out of it where they didn't have to make the mistakes I made or do some of the things I've done.
"If someone can look at me and say, 'Man, if he can do it, I can do it,' then I would be real happy about that."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.