Johnny Robinson: PFHOF Class of 2019

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor Reporter AFC North and NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8

The Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame will be very well represented in Canton during the Pro Football Hall of Fame Festival this year. Ed Reed was born in St. Rose, Louisiana, while Kevin Mawae and Johnny Robinson played for LSU.

Since I have a personal affinity for the Senior Committee selection each year, it is my pleasure to tell you a little bit about Johnny Nolan Robinson.

Let’s start with a quick history lesson…  The Dallas Texans were founded in 1960 by Lamar Hunt as a charter member of the American Football League. In 1963, they moved to Kansas City and were renamed the Chiefs! This fun fact will come into play a bit later.

Born in Delhi, Louisiana, Robinson committed to stay close to home and play football at LSU where he was a member of the national championship-winning 1958 LSU Tigers football team. Also while at LSU, he won the SEC tennis championship in singles and SEC doubles championship with his brother Tommy.

In 1960, the AFL and NFL had separate drafts. Robinson was a first-round selection in both: by the AFL Dallas Texans and by the NFL Detroit Lions. He chose Dallas and played running back, or offensive flanker as it was called back then, for this first two seasons. He moved to safety his third year and where he grabbed four interceptions that first year on defense.

And the rest, as they say, is history. At the time of his retirement, he held five different defensive records for the Chiefs: Most seasons with 12, Most interceptions with 57, Most interception return yardage at 741, Most seasons leading the league in interceptions at two and Most interceptions in a single season with 10.

Robinson was part of the Super Bowl IV winning Chiefs who defeated the Minnesota Vikings 23-7. He started the game, recorded two tackles, a fumble recovery and an interception! During his career, he was a three-time AFL champion, was a six-time All-Star and made First-team All-AFL five times!


Just a few comments from the men who knew him best:

“Johnny was a part of the foundation of the Super Bowl IV championship team and one of the best
defensive backs of his generation. Our family and the entire Chiefs organization are delighted for
Johnny and his family that, at long last, he will take his rightful place among the greatest to ever play
the game, in Canton.” – Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt


“I believe him to be one of the 100 best football players ever, regardless of position.” – Hall of Famer


And for my fellow numbers geeks, here are some useless but fun facts about Robinson and the Pro Football Hall of Fame: 15th Safety, 13th Kansas City Chief, 5th from LSU and 5th to wear the number 42.

He’s also the 9th Hall of Famer to be enshrined at the age of 80 or older. While it saddens me that some of these legends who built the game I love have to wait so long for recognition, I’m also thankful for the great job the senior committee does. Better late than never!


Talk football with Kate on Twitter // @ClvlndK8

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