Of all the unbearable things that there are in life, I cannot imagine the pain of a parent having to bury a child but that’s what Adrian Robinson Sr. will have to do for Adrian Robinson Jr. in the next few days.
The Temple football family has lost another icon, a good man and friend in ARob, and it is hard to come to grips with that today for all of us who have had the pleasure of knowing him.
One of the benefits of doing something like this is that people who I otherwise would never meet come up to me out of the blue and say hello.
The blue happened after Adrian Robinson’s spectacular freshman year at Temple and while I was walking back to the parking lot at halftime of that year’s Cherry and White Game. Back then, Robinson was my favorite Owl on the defensive side of the ball because of the relentless way he played the game. The Franchise (Bernard Pierce) was my favorite offensive Owl. Wearing my game-worn Temple football jersey—this one with Papreps on the back—I heard a booming voice.
I looked for where the sound was coming from and it was from a very large man, who I later would learn was amicable, jovial and gentle.
“PAPREPS, I’m Adrian Robinson’s dad and I want to thank you for all of the good things you’ve written about Adrian.”
That led to a short walk, a long talk and a game day friendship that has lasted almost eight years now. They were there at every home game and most road games and I was right there with them almost every time.
That day Adrian Robinson welcomed me into his family at tailgates and games and we talked about everything from Adrian to Averee to life in general and football in particular. I told Adrian I thought his son was playing out of position at Temple—I thought he should have been an OLB, not a DE—but I understood why Al Golden had to play him there. Adrian and Averee would stop by the tailgates afterward and it was just a great time.
One story in particular that Adrian told hit home. He said that during his first day as a Denver Bronco the first player to come over to his locker stuck out his hand.
“Hello, I’m Peyton,” Peyton Manning said, “welcome to the team.”
Wow. Adrian was shaking his head in disbelief when he told the story. How many of us will ever have a chance to tell a story like that?
I will never forget the photo of Adrian crying on the field after the UCLA loss, the cry of a man who put everything he had into making a win happen that night. I will never forget him ripping the ball out of Jordan Todman’s hands and scoring a touchdown that was more Temple Made than any touchdown I have ever seen. That determination and sheer will in that play won that game for Temple.
Adrian was taking classes at Temple and recently signed to play in the CFL, hopefully following in the footsteps of another former Owl, Henry Burris, who became a star there.
Now this, another loss in the Temple family to join too many departures in the last year. Whatever happened isn’t as important as that he will never, ever be forgotten.
Robinson Stole the Ball:
Owl Outlook’s Great Interview with Adrian Robinson:
Adrian’s Memorial Fund:
Alex Joseph”s tribute to his teammate (extremely well-done and heartfelt, IMHO):