A Super Bowl victory can serve as a sort of career redemption for a lot of players.
If the Baltimore Ravens prevail on Sunday, it certainly will be that for left tackle Bryant McKinnie, the longtime Minnesota Viking who was released in August 2011 when he was terribly out of shape.
McKinnie is now the starting left tackle for the Ravens and back to being the kind of player he was for a number of seasons with the Vikings, where he wasn’t a stranger to off-field trouble on occasion. McKinnie was a main figure in the Love Boat scandal and he was booted off the NFC Pro Bowl team in 2010 when he didn’t go to practice but used social media to brag about all the time he was spending in a strip club.
McKinnie says he is in a “new chapter” in his life now, according to Mark Craig of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and he certainly is in his career too. Once the party animal, McKinnie says he’s trying to set an example now.
"We'll have our meetings this week and we'll bring up the importance of guys (staying out of trouble)," McKinnie said. "Everybody has to realize what's at stake here. You don't know if you'll ever get back to this point ever again.
"Is it tempting being in New Orleans? I've been here before, but I've never been to the Super Bowl. So it's not tempting. What's more tempting is getting that Super Bowl ring."
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune