Memories: Pro Football Hall Of Fame Class of 2013, Dave Robinson


Dynasty. And we are not talking about the television show.

All kidding aside, it is sometimes a word thrown around sports these days almost too easily.

In the history of the National Football League, there is seemingly always a “team of the decade.” And with good reason because at least one team won at least three league championships in each of the first nine decades of the NFL.

But there has only ever been one franchise to win five titles in one of those decades. That would be the Green Bay Packers of the 1960s, coached by Hall of Famer Vince Lombardi from 1959-67.

And linebacker Dave Robinson was a big part of Lombardi’s last three titles, the last two as champions of Super Bowl I and II. The Packers remain the only franchise in NFL annals to win three straight titles and they did it twice, from 1929-31 and from 1965-67.

Dave Robinson
Linebacker Dave Robinson was a three-time Pro Bowler and a three-time NFL champion for the Green Bay Packers.

A former first-round NFL draft choice in 1963, as well as a third-round pick by the AFL’s San Diego Chargers that same year, Robinson came from Penn State, often referred to “Linebacker U.” The school provided Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Jack Ham some years later.

But before Ham was Robinson, who would play 10 seasons for the Packers from 1963-72 and eventually finished his career with the Washington Redskins (1973-74). Over the dozen seasons, he totaled 27 interceptions (21 of those in 10 years with the Packers) and all three of his Pro Bowl appearances came while he was with Green Bay.

How consistent was Robinson defenses that he played during his career? The 6-3, 245-pound defender was a big part of units that ranked in the Top 10 in fewest yards allowed in 10 of his 12 NFL seasons.

A member of the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1960s, the former Nittany Lion usually came up big in the biggest stages. In Super Bowl I vs. the Kansas City Chiefs, he totaled three tackles in the team’s 35-10 victory. A year later in what would be Lombardi’s final game with the Packers, Robinson amassed seven stops, knocked down a pass and recovered a fumble in the 33-14 win over the Oakland Raiders.

Those Green Bay defenses were some of the best in NFL history with the likes of defensive end Willie Davis, defensive tackle Henry Jordan, linebacker Ray Nitschke, cornerback Herb Adderley and safety Willie Wood; all members of the Hall of Fame.

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Dave Robinson totaled 27 interceptions during his NFL career with the Packers and Washington Redskins.

So here’s to you, Mr. Robinson. It is indeed your turn to bask in the spotlight. And the long wait to join the greats is finally over.


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