Johnny Robinson (safety)

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Johnny Robinson
Robinson 1961 Topps.jpg
1961 Topps trading card
No. 42
Position: Safety / Flanker
Personal information
Born: (1938-09-09) September 9, 1938 (age 83)
Delhi, Louisiana, U.S.
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:205 lb (93 kg)
Career information
High school: University
(Baton Rouge, Louisiana)
College: LSU
NFL Draft: 1960  / Round: 1 / Pick: 3
AFL Draft: 1960  / Round: 1
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Interception yards:741
Defensive touchdowns:2
Offensive touchdowns:15
Player stats at  ·  PFR

Johnny Nolan Robinson (born September 9, 1938) is a former American football player. He was primarily a safety, but also played on offense as a halfback and flanker early in his career. He played college football at Louisiana State University (LSU) for the Tigers.


Robinson played his entire twelve-year professional career with the Dallas Texans/Kansas City Chiefs of the American Football League (AFL) and later the National Football League (NFL). He led the AFL in interceptions with ten in 1966, and led the NFL in 1970 with ten. He had 57 interceptions during his career. Robinson is a 2019 inductee to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, becoming the ninth member of the Chiefs' Super Bowl IV championship team to be inducted.

Early life

Born in Delhi, Louisiana, Robinson was an all-state football, tennis, and baseball player in high school. He became starting fullback in his freshman year at University High School at LSU in Baton Rouge. Robinson and his older brother, Tommy, won the national boys' junior tennis championship when they were at U-High, where their father, Dub Robinson, was the LSU tennis coach for forty years.

College career

Robinson committed to play college football at LSU under head coach Paul Dietzel; in his junior season in 1958, the Tigers won all ten games in the regular season, the Sugar Bowl, and the national championship.

Also while at LSU, he won the SEC tennis championship in singles and SEC doubles championship with his brother Tommy.

Professional career

Robinson's game-worn Super Bowl IV jersey alongside the Chiefs' Super Bowl trophies (IV, LIV) on display at Arrowhead Stadium. Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl IV and LIV Trophies.jpg
Robinson's game-worn Super Bowl IV jersey alongside the Chiefs' Super Bowl trophies (IV, LIV) on display at Arrowhead Stadium.

Robinson was selected by the Dallas Texans (became the Kansas City Chiefs in 1963) in the first round of the 1960 AFL Draft, and selected third overall by the Detroit Lions in the 1960 NFL Draft. [1] In his third season, the Texans won the 1962 AFL title with a 20–17 double-overtime victory over the two-time defending AFL champion Houston Oilers in the longest professional football league championship game ever played.

Robinson played in the first Super Bowl in early 1967. Three years later in Super Bowl IV, the underdog Chiefs decisively defeated the Minnesota Vikings, 23–7. Robinson played that game with three broken ribs he received in the previous game. [2] Late in the first half, he picked up a Minnesota fumble and made an interception in the second half to help seal the win. [3]

During his first two years in the AFL, Robinson played flanker on offense, rushing for 658 yards on 150 carries and had 1,228 receiving yards on 77 receptions, and fifteen touchdowns. [1] He was moved to safety after his second year and continued as a standout for ten of his twelve years. His last game came on Christmas Day 1971, when the Chiefs lost to the Miami Dolphins 24–27 after 22 minutes and forty seconds of overtime. Robinson suffered a career-ending injury that game, which remains the longest game in NFL history, and the last NFL game in Municipal Stadium. Robinson thus played in the sport's longest championship game in 1962 and in its absolute longest game, each game closing out professional football in its respective stadium.

After twelve seasons with the same franchise, Robinson retired at age 33 in July 1972, prior to training camp. [4]


Robinson was a seven-time first-team All-Pro and three-time second-team All-Pro selection. He is a member of the All-time All-AFL Team and one of only 20 players who were in the AFL for its entire ten-year existence. [5]

The Chiefs had a 35–1–1 record in games that Robinson made an interception. [6] He is an inductee of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame, and was elected into the Pro Football Hall Of Fame in February 2019, the ninth member inducted from the 1969 Chiefs; [3] his bust at Canton was sculpted by Scott Myers. Later that year, he was recognized as an SEC Football Legend for LSU. [7]

Career statistics

Won the AFL championship
AFL & Super Bowl champion
Led the league
BoldCareer high
1960 DAT AFL 14
1961 DAT AFL 14
1962 DAT AFL 14425020
1963 KC AFL 14341019
1964 KC AFL 10217017
1965 KC AFL 14599050
1966 KC AFL 1410136129
1967 KC AFL 14517010
1968 KC AFL 14640016
1969 KC AFL 148158033
1970 KC NFL 1410155057
1971 KC NFL 14453029
Career [1] 16457741157

Personal and later life

After he retired as a player, Robinson was a scout for the Chiefs until Hank Stram was fired in 1974. He then coached defensive backs for the Jacksonville Express of the World Football League in 1975. The league folded that year, and he became a scout for the New Orleans Saints, again under Stram. [8]

Robinson founded and operates a youth home called Johnny Robinson's Boys Home for troubled boys in Monroe, Louisiana, and has been a long-time supporter of children's causes. [9]

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  1. 1 2 3 "Johnny Robinson AFL & NFL Football Statistics". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved March 31, 2016.
  2. Teicher, Adam (August 2, 2019). "No 'garbage interceptions' for Hall of Famer Johnny Robinson". ESPN. Retrieved January 20, 2020.
  3. 1 2 Skretta, Dave (July 30, 2019). "Now there are nine: Robinson to join Super Bowl IV teammates in Hall of Fame". Fox Sports. Associated Press. Retrieved January 20, 2020.
  4. "Chiefs begin trying to fill Robinson void". Lawrence Daily Journal-World. (Kansas). Associated Press. July 13, 1972. p. 21.
  5. Fitzpatrick, Mark (August 3, 2019). "Former Chiefs S Johnny Robinson finally getting his deserved recognition". USA Today. Retrieved January 20, 2020.
  6. "Johnny Robinson". Pro Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved January 20, 2020.
  7. Kubena, Brooks (September 26, 2019). "Hall of Fame safety Johnny Robinson will serve as LSU's SEC Football Legend". The Advocate. Retrieved January 20, 2020.
  8. Kubena, Brooks (August 2, 2019). "'God's timing': Former LSU great Johnny Robinson finally enters Hall of Fame after full life". The Advocate. Retrieved January 20, 2020.
  9. Hilburn, Chet (2012). The Mystique of Tiger Stadium: 25 Greatest Games: The Ascension of LSU Football. Bloomington, Indiana: WestBow Press. p. 32. ISBN   978-1-4497-5269-9.