Dave Robinson is a former Mt. Laurel resident, first-round draft pick for the 1963 Green Bay Packers, and now a pro football Hall of Famer. Robinson said he was waiting for his day to be a part of a team you could never be cut from.
At 6-feet 3-inches tall and 245-pounds, the linebacker spent 10 years playing for the Packers. He retired from the game with the Washington Redskins in 1974.
Now he is the 22nd Hall of Famer who played for a number of years on the Packers.
Robinson is in the Hall with Green Bay Packers’ Vince Lombardi, Willie Davis, Earl “Curly” Lambeau, Reggie White and more.
During the Hall of Fame class of 2013 selection, Robinson said he wanted to stay under the radar
Originally, Robinson said he wasn’t planning on making the trip down to New Orleans.
He said he was going to visit his wife at the cemetery in Cinnaminson to “celebrate or cry with her.”
“She is the one that I really want to get in the Hall of Fame for,” he said.
Despite his original plan, Robinson and his son sat in a hotel room anxiously waiting the announcement. After the fifth name was read, he thought he wasn’t in.
Robinson’s superstitious nature that held him back from talking about the possibility of being inducted was gone when the next name was called. Robinson said he was the sixth name on the list.
“When he was reading the names off I didn’t even pay attention,” said Robinson. “He was reading the names off and I was counting.”
When the fifth name was read, Robinson said he was a little depressed.
“I was very depressed and the next name called was Dave Robinson,” he said, adding he went from depression to the “heights of ecstasy.”
He said over the loud cheering, his son snuck into the other area of their hotel room and grabbed a bottle of champagne.
“I am not a big fan of champagne, but that was the best glass of champagne I had in my life,” he said.
During his high school years, Robinson was a four-sport athlete. When he graduated from high school, he moved on to play at Penn State.
According to Penn State Athletics’ website, Robinson led Penn State to a regular season of 9-1 in 1962 with 17 receptions for 178 yard. He was also inducted into the National Football Foundation College Football Hall of Fame in 1997.
But his skills on the football field were not what drove Robinson to go to college.
He said his athletic abilities were not the main reason for receiving a full scholarship to Penn State.
“[I received] a full scholarship based on economic need,” he said.
Robinson was a “good football player with good grades.” However 12 years in the NFL was longer than planned, he said.
The uncommon practice of drafting a black player in the first round, took Robinson to the next level of his football career, even if he wasn’t planning on playing professionally.
“I wanted to go to college for a decent job. That’s the only reason,” Robinson said, adding his love for the game kept him going.
Before his induction in the Pro Hall of Fame, Robinson said he discussed everything with his wife who passed in 2007.
Originally, he planned to play only five years in the NFL, but in 1967 the Packers won the Super Bowl over the Kansas City Chiefs, 35-10, and again in 1968 against the Oakland Raiders, 33-14. Green Bay also won three NFL titles from 1965 to 1967.
Robinson hoped to get into the Hall of Fame for his wife, and he did.
Robinson stood in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans at Super Bowl XLVII. His name was called with other inductees on Saturday, Feb. 2, and his bust will be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame for more than a lifetime.
“I am looking forward to it. The Hall of Fame is everlasting,” he said.
Robinson said he is looking forward to his bust being at the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
He said he hopes his grandchildren, great-grandchildren and future generations will see his bust and learn about his accomplishments.
“In the year 2100 someone can walk into the Hall of Fame,” he said, adding his face will be on that wall for all to see.
“You live forever in the hall of fame. You are immortalized,” Robinson said.