After being in the National Football League for just two years, Indianapolis Colt and former Western Griffon Gijon Robinson appeared in the most watched game on television: Super Bowl XLIV.
Robinson – who started as tight end as well as the defensive back throughout ten of 13 games for the Colts this season – was on the field for the first offensive snap for Indianapolis, sporting the blue and white rather than the black and gold.
Robinson had a solid 2009 season statistically as he contributed nine receptions for a total of 62 yards and started in two out of the three post season games. Those two games included the AFC championship and Super Bowl XLIV.
Playing alongside football greats such as Peyton Manning and Bob Sanders didn’t keep Robinson from realizing how playing in an NFL Super Bowl had on him.
“Being able to participate in the Super Bowl and have my name as one of those great athletes who play really meant a lot to me,” Robinson said.
Usually, the starting lineups and the college each starter attended are shown on the screen for people all over the world to see, but much to Western coach Jerry Partridge’s dismay, this advertisement never showed.
“It would have been unbelievable for Missouri Western’s name to go across the world on the TV screen,” Partridge said.
Although the world didn’t get to see Western’s name, they did get to see Robinson’s on the back of a Colt’s jersey as he used his 255 pound 6-foot-one-inch build to defend his quarterback Peyton Manning.
The appearance of Robinson in the biggest game of the NFL football season means a lot for Western’s football program. Seeing former players such as Robinson with the Colts and Roger Allen with the St. Louis Rams sends a message to Western recruits and NFL scouts that Western shouldn’t be overlooked.
“We’re starting to get a little credit down here,” Partridge said. “Western is getting the reputation where if we have a talent, he could get his chance.”
Robinson’s success shows the Western athletes that it is possible to make it if they put their minds to it.
“Hard work pays off and if you stay focused, whether you’re D II or D III, you can make it,” Robinson said.
Jeremy Weston, current defensive back for the Griffons, has been influenced by Robinson’s career in the NFL.
“It makes me feel that it doesn’t matter where you come from as long as you can play the game,” Weston said.