Ex-Giants WR Bobby Johnson (1984-86) gets a second chance. After having a promising career Johnson had some down falls, falling harder and harder into his addiction of crack-cocaine. Shortly after the Giants XXI Superbowl win over John Elway and The Denver Broncos, Johnson pawned his Superbowl ring for $250 and used that money for crack.
Johnson was an undrafted free-agent out of the University of Kansas. In his first two season with the Giants he quickly made a name for himself recording 81 catches and 15 touchdowns, under head coach Bill Parcells. During those shorts years, teammates noticed something odd about Johnson but offend dismissed it due to his exceptional play on the field. Now Johnson opens up about his past and addiction.
He goes on to describe the first time he used crack-cocaine saying. “It was just a social gathering one night, we were at my place. Somebody said, ‘Try this.’ I had never tried it before. I thought my will was strong enough just to try it that one time and continue on with my life. But no. That one hit changed my life forever.” The more he began to use the more he began to fail at his football responsibilities. He would show of for practices late, miss team meetings and film, he even almsot missed kickoff to the Giants vs Redskins NFC Championship game.
Bobby went on to say “Being as young as I was at that time, playing three years, and actually getting a Super Bowl ring, I didn’t believe it, I didn’t believe it that day. I just kept looking at it, thinking, ‘This cannot be happening.'” Shortly after their Super Bowl Championship, Johnson was traded to the San Diego Chargers where he was then cut from the team 2 weeks later.
After being cut, Johnson’s career was in shambles and he dicided to head home to Tennesee but instead of staying with family or loved ones, he found himself homeless, sleeping on benches and in parks.”I started doing cocaine 24/7. I didn’t have to be at practice. I didn’t have to get drug-tested,” he said. “I stayed high practically all day and night.” “It was embarrassing,” Johnson said. “One day you’re in the Super Bowl, the next day, you’re walking around, homeless, smoking crack. How in the heck did I end up in this situation?”
After pawning his ring for $250.00 and hitting his absolute rock bottom, Johnson got snapped out og his addiction by his mother.
“I walked in the house one day, and she looked me dead in the eye,” Johnson said. “She said, ‘You look terrible. You look dehydrated, gray, you lost all kinds of weight.’ It went to my core. It went to my soul.
“She asked me, ‘Are you my son? I didn’t raise you like this. This is not you.'” After that Johnson stayed clean and sober for 14 years and told his story to ESPN. After meeting with the ESPN reporter a campign was started to get Johnson’s Superbowl ring back. It took a lot of help from people who heard johnson’s story and some from people that at one time were close to him such as; Bill Parcells and in the end Johnson was invited to Metlife Stadium for an alumni ceremoney and was presented with his once lost Super Bowl ring.
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