EAGAN, Minn. — When Brian Robison was in Minnesota last week for his retirement press conference, he delivered emotional comments about what his former teammates still mean to him.
He effectively conveyed his love for his fellow Vikings by describing what was most special about the 2017 team that went 13-3, won the NFC North and advanced to the NFC Championship Game via the Minneapolis Miracle.
“Our 2017 football team was the probably the best football team that I’ve ever been a part of, from top to bottom, not only with athleticism, but our locker room dynamic,” Robison said. “We truly were a brotherhood. There’s been guys that have come and gone that were at the top of their game, but that locker room that was assembled that year was a championship-caliber football team.
“It was a brotherhood of guys that truly cared about each other,” he continued. “As I look at my teammates, I love you guys. You guys are my brothers that I never had. You guys can always pick up that phone and call me. You guys will be a part of my life for the rest of my life, and I mean that. I love you guys.”
Robison, whose 173 games at defensive end rank third in franchise history, also thanked teammates and coaches for “making it easy to come to work every single day.”
“Thank you for accepting me for who I am,” Robison said. “I’m a little nutty. I’m a lot nutty, but you accepted me and you laughed with me and not at me — most of the time.”
Coaches and teammates can send the appreciation right back to Robison, who fostered the chemistry in the locker room in multiple ways and peeled the curtain back on the interesting personalities with his 96 Questions with Brian Robison series for Vikings.com (check out past episodes on YouTube).
Robison reprised his role when he was at Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center last week, grabbing a microphone and challenging teammates to answer what they would do if their belly button was a button they could push to make something happen.
When speaking with a couple of Robison’s friends for a feature story, the success of 96 Questions came up.
“I watched quite a few of those over the years,” Jason Holmer said. “They were always fun. It was pretty indicative of who he was. That’s not just him and his teammates. That’s how he is. It was a pretty authentic look at his personality, so they were fun to watch.”
Josh Goolsbee said he liked the way that Robison led in the locker room, showing peers “how to be a professional, a family man, a friend, a teammate, a father.”
“He’s just one of the best Vikings there’s ever been,” Goolsbee said. “He hooked you with the 96 Questions with B-Rob bit. That was so cool. You got an inside look into the Vikings, in the locker room. He was doing funny things, and everybody is laughing and giggling. He was a special dude and is definitely missed.”
Fans of B-Rob’s on-screen persona can look forward to a new YouTube series that he is launching. Some material was recorded for the series last week in Minnesota.
“We’re calling it The Transition Season. It’s a transition from football to fishing,” Robison said. “I’m pretty excited about that, but the one thing for me is I’ll always come back to Minnesota at some point or another. This has been a huge part of mine and my family’s life, and it will never be goodbye.”