Sunday, February 16, 2014

Michael Robinson and The Impact Joe Paterno Had On Him!

                                                                         AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

     If you did not know already, I am a huge Penn State football fan. I am also not afraid to admit that I am a huge Joe Paterno fan! (Say what you want, but Paterno was railroaded and received no due process, but that is a different story for another day). Ever since becoming a fan of Penn State at the age of six one player who has always stood out for me from many others was Michael Robinson!  Michael Robinson who is currently the starting Fullback for the reigning Super Bowl champions Seattle Seahawks, came to Penn State in 2002.  Robinson was used at many different positions (Quarterback, Running Back, Wide Receiver) before finally getting the starting spot at Quarterback his senior year during the 2005 season.

     When Robinson first came to Penn State he has mentioned his eagerness to be the starting Quarterback and the frustration at having to wait to become so. Robinson would be looking at the picture from about one to two feet away, while Head Coach Joe Paterno was seeing things in the big picture from 20 feet away. As a matter of fact, Paterno predicted that Robinson would one day make it to the NFL Pro Bowl and that it would be either as a Running Back or Fullback. Paterno died on January 22, 2012. The same week Michael Robinson was practicing for his upcoming game in his first Pro Bowl, and just like Paterno predicted it was as a Fullback!

     When asked what it was like playing for Joe Paterno, Robinson stated on his "RealRobReport" show  
     "It's the best thing in the world!" You don't always know it as a Freshman, but by the time you're a senior, you understand it, you have respect of all life and you know exactly what your purpose here was.

     Robinson has stated that his favorite moment at Penn State was after their 2006 Orange Bowl victory over the Florida State Seminoles and he was standing on the stage next to Joe. He noticed how proud Joe was of Robinson and this particular group of young men for what they had accomplished. (considering the fact that at the time, Penn State recently came off four losing seasons in the past five years). Robinson really started to appreciate what he went through at Penn State.

     Despite Robinson's stubbornness at wanting to become the starting Quarterback at Penn State, his playing of different positions allowed him to become a student of the game and learn all aspects of it!  Paterno's coaching duties on the sidelines would transition over to Robinson went he went on the field. The leadership that Paterno handed over to Robinson allowed him (Robinson) to take responsability for the team's performance and take notes at what things worked and what things needed to be changed.

     Robinson never blamed Paterno for any of his mistakes. Instead he held himself accountable for the team's performance on the field and would look to Joe not to blame him for the mistakes, but on how to correct them. Paterno's love for Penn State would transition over to thousands upon thousands of alumni and players and Robinson was no exception! And despite all of the actions of one man (Jerry Sandusky) Robinson stated on his show

     "I want future high school men and women who are deciding where to play football, or where deciding to play volleyball, basketball, whatever it maybe, an engineer. Whatever it maybe, really take a look at Penn State because we make some of the best men and women this world has to offer! Don't let the actions of one man deter you away from a great university. Thank you."


     Robinson would give an eulogy at Joe Paterno's memorial service. Holding back the tears Robinson said

     He didn't lie to me, he didn't lie to me at all once. Joe promised me my education would be second to none. He promised I would have an opportunity to compete for a starting Quarterback Position. He promised me I would play in front of the best fans in college football. Again Joe Paterno did not lie to me.  It's been well noted the different positions I had to play during my career here. It was a gift and a curse. The gift was the amount of knowledge I gained that would help me in the National Football League today. The curse was the attitude Joe had to put up with because I wasn't the starting Quarterback. I was and thought like a boy. Coach Paterno actually told me one day that he thought I would probably be a Pro Bowl Running Back or Fullback.

     At this point you could see Robinson shed some tears as he continued

       And as God as my God as my witness, three hours ago I got off a plane from Hawaii because I've been voted to my first Pro Bowl. Again, Coach Paterno did not lie to me!

                                                                Jim Mahoney/AP

       The love an admiration for his school was the same love and admiration Paterno had for the university as he put over 60 years of his time into making Penn State what it is today, "Success with honor".  Robinson always shared those same beliefs. He believes in doing things the right way, "success with honor", Joe Paterno, the grand experiment! I personally would like to add onto that as one other popular slogan regarding Paterno and Penn State was  the black shoes, white helmets, no names on the back of jersey's. To me that was all about honoring the past, while continuing for a brighter future!

     "Success with honor" has allowed Robinson to flourish not just as a football player, but as a responsible, productive, and caring citizen! Robinson has succeeded in the NFL, having been voted to a Pro Bowl and having won a Super Bowl, while simultaneously beginning his own sports reporting gig, "RealRobReport". The experience and knowledge Robinson gained from Penn State and Joe Paterno has allowed him to have success in many fields, as opposed to just one of that being football. Robinson has continued to live his life by "Success with honor" because he was able to be apart of Joe Paterno's grand experiment!

     For more on Michael Robinson visit his website
                            or check him out on youtube
                            You can also follow him on Twitter!

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