Green Bay Packers fans have a soft spot in their hearts for the guys who won the first two Vince Lombardi Super Bowl trophies. So many of Lombardi’s players have gone on to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH. So it is with Dave Robinson, one of the best linebackers Green Bay has ever seen.
Robinson was a standout football player at Penn State in the early 60s. He started 55 straight games for the Nittany Lions. His senior year (1962), he was named a First Team All-American, College Lineman of the Year, and was even named College Player of the Year by the Newark Athletic Club. In 1997, Robinson was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
In 1963, Robinson was drafted by the San Diego Chargers (the AFL draft), the Green Bay Packers (the NFL draft), and the Montreal Alouettes (the CFL draft). When his fiance Elaine heard the Chargers might trade him to Buffalo, she nixed the deal saying Buffalo was too cold. (She had never been to Green Bay).
Robinson became the starting left side linebacker in his second season with Green Bay and dominated the position. Jack Christiansen of the Detroit Lions once famously said, “Trying to pass over Robinson….is like trying to pass over the Empire State Building.” The list of accolades is lengthy for Robinson: 2 time Super Bowl champion, 3 time Pro Bowler and 1967 Pro Bowl MVP, 1982 inductee into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame, member of the NFL’s 1960s All-Decade Team and Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee in 2013.
Robinson is especially proud that his alma mater, Moorestown High School in New Jersey, where he was a member of a state football championship team and two basketball champion teams, retired his jersey in 2013. He is the only athlete at the school to receive the honor.
Robinson survived a colon cancer scare in 2011 and told the press, “I am here for a purpose.” He remains active in the community as well as with the Pro Football Hall of Fame and has co-authored a book, The Lombardi Legacy: 30 People Who Were Touched By Greatness.
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