Hope for Johnny Robinson?

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We have all long-lamented the fact that Johnny Robinson is still not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  I have written an article about the situation that was posted tot he Kansas City Chiefs website (Why is Johnny Robinson not in the Hall of Fame?), and put together a Hall of Fame Comparison for good measure.  Sadly, my meager efforts have joined the throngs of others that appear to have fallen on deaf ears over the decades.

Still, I have heard recently that Rick Gosselin, a Dallas Morning News columnist and member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Veteran’s Committee, is a fan of Robinson’s.  Though I do not count myself among the legions of Twitterati, I have played around with the social media site.  I started following Gosselin, and sent him a link to my story.  The following is our short Twitter conversation:

rick gosselin on johnny robinson

I would be happy to help mount some sort of campaign for Robinson through the Tales site, but as I have been told by a few people, those campaigns can sometimes do more bad than good.  At least it appears that Johnny Robinson has a fan in his corner.  We can only hope that Gosselin, who has worked previously in Kansas City, is able to help Johnny Robinson receive the credit that he so richly deserves, and is so long overdue him.  Still, it baffles me that a guy like Robinson cannot get enough votes to further his cause when Claude Humphrey can be a hall of fame final 15 member in 2003, 2005 and 2006, and then be named a veteran’s committee member finalist twice in four years.


Todd Tobias (789 Posts)

Todd Tobias's interest in the American Football League began in 1998, when he wrote my master's thesis about Sid Gillman. He created this site to educate and entertain football fans with the stories of the American Football League, 1960-1969. You can follow Todd and get more AFL history on Twitter @TalesfromtheAFL.

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8 Responses to Hope for Johnny Robinson?

  1. The “pro football” Hall of Fame selectors, in my opinion, are too proud to have mere fans point out the obvious to them. So there’s a catch-22. Fans can keep their frustrations to themselves, and the selectors will continue to ignore Robinson and other AFL worthies; or fans can mount “campaigns”, and the selectors will irrationally hold that AGAINST the players in question.

    In a fair world (and in a fair selection process) a fan campaign might not help a player, but it certainly shouldn’t HURT him.

    I believe the primary (imagined) knock against Robinson is the old canard that “he made his early bones in a weak league”. Disseminated originally by the likes of Tex Maule, such BS infected the NFL-centric selectors in power when Robinson was first eligible, and now it is perpetuated in the minds of selectors who never saw an AFL game with their own eyes. Regardless of whether some of Robinson’s success came in the early AFL years, he was the same player then as he was in the Fourth AFL-NFL World Championship game, and in the following years, when he won “NFL” honors. http://bit.ly/JohnnyRobinson http://bit.ly/AFLinHOF

  2. Joe Allwood says:

    I think it’s a poor joke and always will be. There are enough writers around who remain fossilized in the idea that the AFL was a weaker league, which the Jets and Chiefs both proved to be false, well before the merger Johnny Robinson was an all-time great and deserves to be acknowledged. Claude Humphrey was a good player, but not enough so to be nominated the number of times he’s been nominated.

  3. Joe Allwood says:

    Also, the fan campaign for Floyd Little seemed to work pretty well a few years ago, whether Gosselin isn’t a “big fan” or not.

    • Tom says:

      Floyd Littles’ numbers made it impossible to continue to deny him enshrinement in Canton, 1400 apyd average in 9 seasons is as good as it gets. Of the three safeties to come into the league around the same time Willie Wood, Larry Wilson and Robinson, Robinsons career numbers are superior, Robinson scored from both sides of the ball and on special teams, he ran, caught, intercepted, returned a punt and a fumble for touchdowns, which by itself is a feat very few from that era up to today’s can claim.
      Claude Humphrey was named to All Pro teams 8 times in 12 seasons, which in my estimation makes you not only as you say a good player, it makes you an all time great one as well.

  4. 1967 says:

    The outright omission of Johnny Robinson is puzzling. Whether due unqualified and/or nascent voters, bias toward AFL players seems obvious. Mystifying long waits for other players too have been noted; term ‘conspiracy’ comes to mind.

    I note that former NFL player Paul Krause (also a free safety, like Robinson) had 81 interceptions in 16 years, averaging 5.1 per season. He was & remains the all-time leader pro football history, yet it took him almost 20 years to be enshrined… cue head-shaking Aflac Duck – “ah hah?!?” as in ‘WTF’?

    Comparison sake, Johnny Robinson had 57 interceptions 10 years, averaging 5.7 per season (he played halfback on offense 1960-61 & safety 1962-71.)

    Robinson won 2 Championships 1962 & 1969, whereas Krause won exactly zero in four tries.

    Krause appeared in 8 pro bowls with 3 1st team designations… Robinson made 7 pro bowls with 6 1st team designations.

    Of note, another Hall of Fame safety named Larry Wilson (52 ints in 13 years or 4 per season) won 0 Championships and 8 pro bowls with 5 1st team designations. Wilson was enshrined Hall of Fame his second year of eligibility…Robinson has now been waiting 37 years.

    The exclusion of the Chiefs Johnny Robinson (and Jim Tyrer too, that matter) is without merit.

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  6. Johnny Robinson is more than worthy, as is Jerry Mays. Robinson had great range, a solid tackler, and a smart, smart player. The AFL guys have been getting short shrift from Canton for years, and that’s a fact! I’d have to look to see how many times he was all-league but I’ll bet dollars to donuts he went in 8 times.

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