In honor of Dave Robinson’s election to the 2013 Hall of Fame, we are re-posting this from our August 27, 2012 entry.
It’s easy to track former Green Bay Packer linebacker Dave Robinson through a crowded room. Just follow the sound of his deep belly laugh.
A kind, intelligent man and a versatile, talented football player, “Robby” recently was chosen by the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s seniors committee as a finalist for election into the class of 2013. Though thrilled by the honor, he expressed a twinge of sadness when my mom called to congratulate him last week.
“It’s the greatest honor any professional athlete could receive,” he said. “I just wish Elaine were here to share it with me.”
High school sweethearts, Dave and Elaine enjoyed 50 years together before she died following a stroke in 2007. A few months later, the Robinson’s son Richard died of a heart attack. Youngest son Robert died of kidney failure at 34 in 2001. Robby and his son and namesake David, Richard’s twin, both currently live in Akron, Ohio.
Molly and I had a chance to chat with Mr. Robinson when we popped into an autograph session for the book he co-wrote with Royce Boyles called, “The Lombardi Legacy.”
Thanks, I’m sure, to his relationship with Elaine and the profound effect it had on his life, “Robby” included chapters from some of the Packer wives in his book, including my mom.
Molly experienced a total eclipse of the “Robby” when she met the burly linebacker and he learned that she was Ron Kostelnik’s granddaughter. Wrapped in a complete bear-hug, she eventually worked her head up for air, grinning widely.
Certainly his statistics speak well of Dave Robinson’s qualifications for the Hall of Fame. A three-time All-Pro player and Pro Bowl selection at linebacker, Robinson actually was drafted first round in 1963 as a defensive end. He played a little tight end too, before being moved to linebacker and re-defining that position. Players like Clay Matthews can look to Dave Robinson as a ground breaking linebacker who played with both speed and brawn.
Molly and I are keeping our fingers crossed that “Robby’s” other qualities, grace, kindness, loyalty and intellect, combined with his athletic prowess will be enough for Hall of Fame voters to elect him on February 2.