Somewhere between the war in Iraq, Anna Nicole-Smith, and Democrats versus Bush, hopefully you have heard of the passing of the former Grambling State head football coach, Eddie Robinson. He was an amazing human-being who touched many in his life and I thought this short editorial from the Chicago Tribune needed to be shared. Though sad that he has passed, his passion for life and how he’ll be remembered is uplifting.
“A partial list of those who addressed the Notre Dame football team during Bob Davie’s tenure as head coach (1997-2001) includes newsman Ted Koppel, basketball coach Rick Pitino, hockey legend Wayne Gretzky and former President Gerald Ford. But not even the former commander-in-chief commanded the attention of the young men in quite the same way as Eddie Robinson, the former Grambling State University coach who died Tuesday at 88.
When Robinson addressed the Notre Dame team in 1999, the day before they started their season by playing in the Eddie Robinson Classic, he acted as though the honor was all his.
“He was humble beyond humble. It was an honor for him to get up and talk to those players,” Davie recalled. “It really was all about the players. There was a unique bond.”
The soft-spoken Robinson held them spellbound. And when he finished they clamored to shake his hand.
Robinson won 408 games in a 57-year college career that began in 1941 at the Louisiana Negro Normal and Industrial Institute, the school that became Grambling. He squired young black men into college at a time when they were unwelcome elsewhere. He sent the first player from an all-black college to the NFL. He tutored future Hall of Famers and a future Super Bowl MVP.
And yet, for all that, when he met someone for the first time, he believed the honor was all his.
It’s a fine way to go through life.”
It’s a fine way to go through life. Did you find yourself smiling as you read that last line?