Most football players wait until retirement before making their move to the media circus, but Seattle Seahawks fullback Michael Robinson decided to use his current status as a respected NFL veteran to bring a series of different takes on the NFL with his "Real Rob Reports," which have become YouTube sensations over the last few years.
Robinson, the former Penn State quarterback, started doing what he called "The Rookie Report" after the San Francisco 49ers selected him in the fourth round of the 2006 NFL draft, and things really took off after he signed with the Seahawks in September 2010. Not only did he find a more defined football role in Seattle, but his interviewing skills flourished in Pete Carroll's media-friendly world.
"The fans, they don't get to see our personalities," Robinson recently told 750 The Game in Portland. "And we wear helmets -- it's not like the NBA or baseball. I just want to give the fans a behind-the-scenes of what guys are doing. I think the mainstream media seems to always look for the negative -- it seems like only the negative things are made into stories. I'm more interested in how they work in the community, what they're doing during the week, and how they get ready for games. I've noticed that most fans really aren't concerned with the X's-and-O's part of the game -- they want to see their favorite athletes, just talking in their natural settings. The Real Rob Report is giving you that, and it's definitely been successful."
During the 2011 lockout, Robinson really had the time to devote to what became the "Real Rob Report," and he got quite the exclusive when he spoke with Donovan McNabb about his benching in Washington -- McNabb hadn't addressed the media in months, and felt comfortable enough to speak to Robinson about what had happened with the Redskins.
McNabb seemed to have an affinity for what Robinson was doing. That report gained national attention, and typified what Robinson has told me before -- he's far more interested in showing the life behind the perceptions of football players, and the players -- especially Robinson's teammates in Seattle -- really seem to respond to that.
Robinson earned a Bachelor of Arts in advertising/public relations from Penn State, and earned a second B.A. in journalism in December 2005. He has said that he may look for a more traditional media role when his playing days are done, but he's enjoying doing things his own very different way. Robinson has a small video crew and makes all the media decisions himself.