Created: May 15, 2019 09:00 PM
Brian Robison's formal retirement press conference was a passionate, emotional reflection on a life spent in football - especially the eleven-year period he played as a Minnesota Viking.
The Vikings signed Robison to a ceremonial one-day contract earlier this month, allowing him to retire as a Viking.
Robison's address at the Vikings' TCO Center in Eagan began with a biographical walk down memory lane. He told stories from his first football practices as a four-year-old in tiny Splendora, Texas, thought his high school, college and pro football achievements, to the conversation with Vikings GM Rick Spielman that ended his 11-year career.
He went on to thank a variety of people from teammates - many of whom were in the room - coaches, trainers, even the next-door neighbors he called his "second mother and father" for helping Robison and his wife acclimate when they first arrived in Minnesota.
His praise for the Vikings coaching staff - notably defensive line coach Andre Patterson and head coach Mike Zimmer - brought out some of the most emotional moments of Robison's speech that was dotted with pauses allowing him to compose himself.
"This staff now, in my opinion, is the best staff that could be assembled by a football team," he said. "Theyâ€™re smart, they understand the game, how to push players. They know how to push you to the brink where you feel youâ€™ll break down - then lift you up. Also care about you as people - in real life situations. Canâ€™t tell you how many times Coach Zimmer pushed me to my breaking point. But it made me a better player physically and mentally. Brought things out of me I didnâ€™t think I had inside of me.
Robison concluded his remarks citing a passage listing the "Nine Noble Virtues of a Viking" - courage, discipline, honor, hospitality, industriousness, self-reliance, truth and loyalty. He explained how he'd tried to live, work and behave according to the virtues during his career.
Arriving at the final entry - loyalty - Robison said, "I donâ€™t think youâ€™ll find a man more loyal to an organization than what Iâ€™ve been. I took tow pay cuts and could have gone into free agency twice. I never did. I knew this was where I wanted to be, with the guys in this room. Itâ€™s where I was happy. To me, loyalty is huge in this life. Thereâ€™s not a lot of people who are loyal these days."
He concluded saying, "Based on these nine virtues, Iâ€™m a Viking at heart... and always will be."
Robison fielded questions after his statement. Asked if there was one moment or game he holds above the rest from his career, Robison didn't hesitate before responding.
"The Minneapolis Miracle," he beamed. "It was the ultimate team game. Every piece of the puzzle had to fall into place. I always felt I was a team guy and that game - the rollercoaster of emotions it was - is what an NFL career is. You win some, you lose some, get beat down, you get tired and you find a way to rise back up. Itâ€™s the epitome of what an NFL career is."
The next stage of Robison's career begins soon as he's set to open production on a fishing show that will appear on YouTube.
Created: May 15, 2019 09:00 PM
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