Dave Robinson #89- Linebacker 1963 - ‘72

Dave Robinson – Pro Football Hall of Fame 2013

Sports Illustrated Photo

On Dec. 12, 1965, with less than a minute to play in the first half, the Colts had the ball at the Packers’ 2-yard line with a chance to take a 20-14 halftime lead. But Robinson leaped high in the air to intercept a second-down pass and returned it 87 yards to the Colts’ 10. The Packers scored a touchdown on the next play, turning the tide back in their favor and rolled to a 42-27 victory.

“It was a 14-point play and the turning point,” Lombardi said at the time.

Seven-time Wisconsin Sportswriter of the year and present-day official Packers Historian Cliff Christl, wrote on February 2, 2013:   

“Vince Lombardi often repeated that football games were decided by two or three key plays.

If that’s true — and who are we to disagree with him? — each team’s season figures to boil down to a handful of plays in two or three big games.

Carry that premise a step further and if not for Dave Robinson, the Green Bay Packers might not have made history by winning three straight NFL championships under Lombardi from 1965 to ’67.”

Dave played outside linebacker for the Green Bay Packers from 1963-’72 and was a member of Vince Lombardi’s three consecutive World Championship teams in ’65, ’66 and ’67. The Packers won Super Bowls I and II as a crowning touch to the great dynasty.

In February 2013, Dave was selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame becoming the eleventh player from the Lombardi Dynasty to enter the ultimate football shrine in Canton, Ohio.

He was Green Bay’s first round draft choice for the ’63 season after being a consensus All-American tight end at Penn State.

Robinson was the first Black starting linebacker in the history of the National Football League, on Coach Lombardi’s racially pioneering championship teams.

In their “greatest series,” NFL Films selected Dave, Ray Nitschke and Lee Roy Caffey as the sixth greatest group of linebackers to ever play the game.

In addition to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Robby is a member of the Packers Hall of Fame, the NFL All-Decade team of the 1960’s, the College Football Hall of Fame and numerous other Halls of Fame, including the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame.

He played in the Pro-Bowl in ’67, ’68 and ’70, earning Most Valuable Player honors for the game in 1968.

In 2020, Robinson was listed as the fifth greatest defensive player in Packers history by the team’s official historian.

Dave Robinson is semi-retired and resides in Akron, Ohio.

Dave and Royce Boyles authored three books: The Lombardi Legacy, The Lombardi Impact and Lombardi’s Left Side.

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