Honor the Heroes of the Game, Preserve Its History, Promote Its Values & Celebrate Excellence Everywhere
“Football is a brotherhood that you will always carry with you…the locker room creates a bond for life.”
(Louisiana State)...6'1'', 205...Selected in the first round of 1960 AFL Draft by Dallas Texans ... All-AFL, All-Pro First Team Selection for '65, '66. '67, '68, '69 and '70 ... Named to AFL All-Time Team ... Intercepted 10 passes in '66 to lead AFL and 10 passes in '70 to lead the NFL ... Born September 9, 1938 in Delhi, LA.
Johnny Robinson was drafted by the Dallas Texans (who became the Kansas City Chiefs) in the 1960 AFL Draft. The All-Conference running back at LSU was also drafted in the NFL with the third overall pick by the Detroit Lions but chose to sign with upstart league. He excelled as a halfback (1960-61) and safety (1962-1971) during his 12-year career.
Robinson, as a halfback during the franchise’s first two seasons, rushed for 658 yards and six TDs on 150 carries and caught 77 passes for 1,228 yards and nine scores. He was switched to the defensive secondary by Coach Hank Stram as it was felt Robinson’s size, speed, aggressiveness and leadership were better suited at safety. In his second game at the new position, he snagged two interceptions against the Oakland Raiders on Sept. 23, 1962. He recorded a pair of interceptions again in the 1962 AFL Championship Game to help the Texans to 20-7 victory over the Houston Oilers.
Robinson was the third-leading interceptor in AFL history with 43 picks and was named to the AFL’s All-Time Team. He was also recognized as a member of the All-Decade Team of the 1960s. By the time his career came to an end in 1971, his 57 career interceptions ranked first in team history. He led the AFL in picks with 10 in 1966 and topped the NFL in 1970 with 10. Opponents soon learned that an interception by Robinson equated to a certain loss. The Texans/Chiefs recorded a remarkable 35-3-1 record in games when he had an interception.
Robinson was named All-AFL five consecutive seasons (1965-69), All-Pro in 1969 and All-NFL in 1970. He was voted to the AFL All-Star Game six times and to the AFC-NFC Pro Bowl following the 1970 season.
1962 AFL – Dallas Texans 20, Houston Oilers 17 (2 OT)
Robinson did not start but played. He intercepted two passes for 50 yards.
1966 AFL – Kansas City Chiefs 31, Buffalo Bills 7
Robinson started at free safety. He intercepted one pass for 72 yards.
1969 AFL – Kansas City Chiefs 17, Oakland Raiders 7
Robinson started at free safety. He had one tackle, one assist and one pass defensed.
Super Bowl I – Green Bay Packers 35, Kansas City Chiefs 10
Robinson started at free safety. He had six tackles and three assists.
Super Bowl IV – Kansas City Chiefs 23, Minnesota Vikings 7
Robinson started at right safety. He had two tackles, one fumble recovery and one interception returned for nine yards.
(7) – 1964A, 1965* A, 1966 A, 1967 A, 1968 A, 1969 A, 1971
AAFL All-Star Game * Did not play
In the NFL Record Book (at time of his retirement following the 1971 season)
AFL/AFC Conference Championship Records
Chiefs records held by Robinson
(Records through the 1971 season, Robinson’s final season with Kansas City)
League/Team Statistical Titles
NFL Statistical Championships
Interceptions Titles: 1970
AFL Statistical Championships
Interceptions Titles: 1966
AFC Statistical Championships
Team Statistical Championships
Interceptions Titles: 1966, 1968, 1969, 1970
Awards and Honors
Year-by-Year Team Records
1960 Dallas Texans..................... 8-6-0 (2nd)
1961 Dallas Texans..................... 6-8-0 (2nd)
1962 Dallas Texans.................. 11-3-0 (1st)
1963 Kansas City Chiefs............... 5-7-2 (3rd)
1964 Kansas City Chiefs............... 7-7-0 (2nd)
1965 Kansas City Chiefs............... 7-5-2 (3rd)
1966 Kansas City Chiefs........... 11-2-1 (1st)
1967 Kansas City Chiefs............... 9-5-0 (2nd)
1968 Kansas City Chiefs........... 12-2-0 (1st)
1969 Kansas City Chiefs........... 11-3-0 (2nd)
1970 Kansas City Chiefs............... 7-5-2 (2nd)
1971 Kansas City Chiefs........... 10-3-1 (1st)
(Division Finish in Parentheses)
Qualified for Postseason in Bold
Full Name: Johnny Nolan Robinson
Birthdate: September 9, 1938
Birthplace: Delhi, Louisiana
High School: University (Baton Rouge, LA)
Pro Career: 12 seasons, 164 games
Drafted: 1st round in 1960 AFL Draft by Dallas Texans; also selected by Detroit in 1st (3rd overall) in 1960 NFL Draft.
Good evening. It has been 47 years since I last played professional football. After all this time, I thought I had been forgotten. I can't tell you how pleased I was to be notified that I had been selected as a Senior Finalist after all these years, but then to receive that knock on the door from David Baker seemed surreal to me.
I think back to when I was a young boy, and all I ever wanted to do was to play ball. I went to University High School located on the LSU campus. Because of that, I grew up watching the LSU Tigers play football.
University High was a very small school, so I was surprised when the LSU coach, Paul Dietzel, offered me a chance to play football at LSU. It was a dream‑come‑true story. I was fortunate enough to play on the 1958 championship team that went undefeated and earned First‑Team All‑SEC honors. I had many great teammates who became lifelong friends.
I never dreamed that I would become a professional football player. I thought that after college I would join the Air Force and become a fighter pilot. But to my surprise, I was selected the No. 3 overall player in the 1960 Draft.
When I left for my first training camp, I remembered some of my dad's words of wisdom that he taught me: "Be a gentleman when you win; be a man when you lose. If you lose, hurt so bad that you work harder so it won't happen again. Prepare, sacrifice and give your best. Bring out the best in others, have faith in the Lord and always respect your mother."
I was blessed to play with a great franchise and with great players during my career. Kansas City owner Lamar Hunt and head coach Hank Stram were wonderful, very supportive, and they both showed great faith in me. I wouldn't have wanted to play with any other team but the Kansas City Chiefs. That was where I wanted to be.
Fifty‑nine years ago was my first pro football game. That's a long time. I remember playing like it was yesterday. I played in Super Bowl I and again in Super Bowl IV.
In my last game, I suffered an injury, and I ended up spending five days in the hospital. At the time, I had no idea it would be the last game of my career. That was the 1971 AFC playoff game against the Miami Dolphins on Christmas Day, which is the longest game in professional football history today.
I've been very fortunate to play in some of the most significant games in professional football history. The journey to the Pro Football Hall of Fame may have been long and the road may have been hard at times, but I found that sometimes you must go through the valley in order to stand upon the mountain.
I used to wonder why I had not been inducted into the Hall of Fame all these years since I was first eligible, but I came to realize that God was in control of my life, and I believed that God wanted me to start my boys home.
In 1980, I answered a call on my life and founded the Johnny Robinson Boys Home in Monroe, Louisiana. It is a place where boys can make positive life changes and get a fresh start on life. You will still find me there most every day.
I want to thank my family, friends, coaches and teammates and the Hall of Fame staff, along with the city of Canton, for all your support in making this a very special day in my life.
Also, I want to thank the Lamar Hunt family, the Hank Stram family, Todd Tobias, and a special thank you to my stepson, Bob Thompson, for being my presenter here this evening.
I also want to thank the Pro Football Hall of Fame voters who selected me for this great honor, for each Gold Jacket represented on this stage and those who aren't with us, and to each fan who supports the game called football. Being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame stands for something that will endure well beyond a player's lifetime.
God gave me the ability to play, and I played it with all my heart. Thank you.
(Cheers and applause.)