One of a kind (cont.)
Posted: Wednesday April 4, 2007 5:55PM; Updated: Wednesday April 4, 2007 6:14PM
"His impact was across the world of sports, No. 1," Williams said. "It wasn't just college football. He had an impact on the high school level, the college level and in pro football. He had an impact on so many lives. That town of Grambling, it really could be known as Eddie Robinson City. When he got there in 1941, nobody knew where Grambling even was.
"I like to go back to what Howard Cosell used to say on Monday Night Football, every time a player from Grambling would make a play. He'd say he's from 'Grambling, the little town where the train don't stop.'"
The NFL and its first-year commissioner, Roger Goodell, are spending a lot of time and energy these days trying to figure out what to do to stem the rising tide of player misconduct off the field. Williams can't help but juxtapose that with the squeaky clean program that Robinson led for so many years, with its historically low quotient for off-field behavior problems.
"Every player from Grambling, look them up and tell me how many of them over the years has really gotten in trouble with the law," Williams said. "You'll waste your time trying to find it, because there haven't been many. That's the man he was. That all came straight from the coach, and what the coach taught. He made us good citizens. He made us good men."
It is that accomplishment, Williams said, that meant the most to Robinson. More than the 408 victories, and the 17 SWAC conference titles, and the nine national black college championships and the host of Hall of Fame inductions.
"Coach, being such a humble individual, he'd never tell you what his legacy would be," Williams said. "He'd leave it up to man to make the decision. But I think at the end of the day, the work that coach has done will speak for itself. I know this: There will never be another Eddie Robinson. Ever. That ain't going to happen. I can go on record saying the likes of Eddie Robinson will never come this way again. We're done. There won't be any more like him."