Here’s one of the most bizarre, and also, saddest, Super Bowl stories ever, courtesy of Sports Illustrated.
On January 24, 2003, two nights before the Oakland Raiders were set to play in Super Bowl XXXVIII, a player named Barret Robbins arrived at the team hotel, went to his hotel room … and wasn’t there the next morning. Nobody could find him, until he returned that night, barely coherent and completely confused. His coach deactivated him for the Super Bowl, and when his wife later asked him where he was supposed to be that night, he reportedly answered, “Church?”
Robbins wasn’t being a clown, nor did he storm out due to something his coach said. Sadly, Robbins suffers from bipolar disorder and had apparently been going through a manic episode for almost two weeks prior to his disappearance. On that day, his manic side had completely clouded his brain, to the point where he had wandered literally out of the country. According to Robbins himself, he wandered his way to Tijuana, where he was apparently celebrating his team’s big Super Bowl win, unaware the game had not happened yet. Also, when the game did happen, the Raiders got blown out of the water by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He might’ve been happier had he stayed in Tijuana.
Since then, Robbins has made it a point to sleep through the Super Bowl, saying the annual reminder of what his mental illness cost him is too much to deal with.