Seahawks' Robinson says farewell to Paterno
Despite making his first trip to Hawaii, it's been a bittersweet and exhausting week for Seattle Seahawks fullback Michael Robinson.
Robinson arrived in the islands Tuesday only to fly out after the next day's Pro Bowl practice to speak at the memorial services of his college coach, Joe Paterno. He then returned to Honolulu on Friday night on Nike founder and CEO Phil Knight's jet.
''Besides my religion and my mom, coach Paterno is the reason I'm here,'' Robinson said after practice Saturday.
The Penn State coach died last Sunday of lung cancer at 85. His service Thursday drew some 12,000 people to the Penn State arena.
''I just really wanted to convey that just because coach Paterno isn't with us any more - he impacted so many people's morals, his vision with the Grand Experiment and everything he believed in - his values need to continue to live on through us and the people's he's touched,'' said Robinson, who played for Paterno from 2002-05.
Paterno won 409 games, more than any other major college football coach, led the Nittany Lions to two national championships, making him an icon at State College.
However, he was fired Nov. 9 after he was criticized for not going to police in 2002 when he was told that former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky had been seen sexually assaulting a boy in the showers. Sandusky was arrested in November and is awaiting trial on charges that he molested 10 boys over a 15-year span.
Robinson said he's a bit emotionally and physically drained from the week, but he wouldn't miss out on the Pro Bowl, or the service.
''To me, it's not making an effort, it was something that I had to do,'' he said, about saying farewell to his coach.
Robinson said his Pro Bowl teammates, coaches and the league have been very supportive, wishing him and the Paterno family well.
Robinson and Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Tamba Hali have also consoled each other this week. They both attended Penn State at the same time and are making their first Pro Bowl appearances together this week.
''We talked about it. We shared some soft moments about it. It was definitely a sad day for college football,'' said Robinson, who replaced injured Green Bay fullback John Kuhn for Sunday's game.
Robinson helped running back Marshawn Lynch become Seattle's first 1,000-yard rusher since 2005.
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