Eugene Robinson’s professional football career spanned 16 years, including stints with the Seattle Seahawks, Carolina Panthers and a Super Bowl win in 1996 with the Green Bay Packers. Robinson provides color analysis for the Carolina Panthers Radio Network and coaches football and wrestling for Charlotte Christian School.
He began a new endeavor in January 2015 as co-host of morning television show, Charlotte Today on WCNC.
Robinson lives with his wife and family in Charlotte. We sat down and discussed the Super Bowl experience, the Panthers and his commitment to faith and family.
Q: How hard is it as a player to make it to the Super Bowl?
At left, Eugene Robinson talks faith, family and sports with Roman Gabriel III (right) during last year's Super Bowl coverage.
A: It is very difficult – every play counts, every moment counts. You can’t have a lapse. For example, if you’re playing the Seattle Seahawks and Russell Wilson, you must keep him in the pocket. You can’t do your own thing and just say, “Whoops! I messed up,” because I didn’t do my assignment. Everything counts; you have to make sure you win on every play. One play going for or against you can mean the difference between winning the Super Bowl or missing the Super Bowl.
Q: Can Panthers quarterback Cam Newton be the NFL MVP?
A: It wouldn’t surprise me at all, regarding all the talk this year, about him being the MVP. Newton has really mobilized the Panthers offense; they have absolutely flourished under his leadership. He’s played so wonderfully, with four fourth-quarter comebacks and all of the heroics. His top receiver went down at the beginning of the preseason; there were a lot of things happening. He’s turned a good season into a great season.
Q: You have spent some time around Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. What are your impressions?
A: Wilson is a perfect example of someone having a strong father and mother. I had the privilege of doing their chapel service. I’m telling you right now that young man is rock-solid in the Lord. Not saying that any of us have it all together, but he wants to know God, wants to know what God wants him to do. That’s the first thing you notice. Having positive role models (father and mother) around you helps you navigate the waters just a little bit better. It’s so important to have mentors in your life, no matter who you are.
Q: You have always been about faith, family and football. How rewarding has it been as a father seeing your family grow?
A: My wife and I have been fortunate. We have always been a close family. We’ve always been a big part of our kids lives. We’re all about wanting to leave a legacy of Jesus Christ; that’s what we’re all about in our family. As a parent there’s nothing more exciting than when your kids go through the transition when they realize that God isn’t just your God, He’s their God.
Q: What is the result of that transition for you as a parent?
A: You know they’re in good shape when that happens. When you see they’re on a collision course with Jesus Christ that will never end, and that’s what you want! You want to firmly put them in the hands of the Lord, and we’ve been able to do that, walking with them a little bit farther as they grow up.
Q: There are so many negative pressures that families come under today. Are there more now than ever before?
A: There are so many things working against family, especially in professional sports, where you see a lot of people leaving after three to five years in the league bankrupt and divorced. That becomes the norm and the standard. Here’s the thing we need to remind ourselves – this is not our world. This is not our home. Heaven is our home, and we need to constantly remind ourselves of that. It’s really important as we navigate through life that we don’t forget where our roots lie. We know the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy. I’m reminded that we have a different calling.
Q: How has technology impacted you and your family?
A: Technology is really changing the landscape of parenting. The Internet, cell phones and computers have taken the place of family social time with our kids. When my kids were small, there is one thing we never did: have a television or computer in their rooms. I never wanted them to get in a situation where they locked themselves in their rooms or became a recluse. That was the standard in our home; everything was about being able to socialize and interact with other people. We ate dinner together as a family without phones. The last thing I want for my kids is not to be able to give them my full attention.
Q: How big a problem do you see with teenagers and the danger of too much time with cell phones and computers?
A: This is a big problem this younger generation is having; they don’t relate. They are learning to relate to one other anonymously. They get an alter ego; no one gets the chance to see the real them. And when the real you has problems, that’s when you have to be able to reach out to someone. If you’re unable to reach out to someone because you don’t have the social skills, you’ve done yourself a disservice. You’ll find yourself alone, depressed, by yourself. Man was not made to be alone. I know I sound like I’m preaching … but with my family that’s what we do.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Roman Gabriel III is an evangelist and motivational speaker. Hear his Sold Out Sports Talk Radio program on American Family Radio in 200 cities nationally or streaming live at afr.net. Visit his website: soldouttv.com; Facebook: Roman Gabriel III; connect on Twitter: @romangabriel3rd. Contact at (910) 431-6483 or email: [email protected].)
Super Bowl coverage
Roman Gabriel III and his team will be in California to cover Super Bowl 50 between the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos. Look for coverage at BRnow.org and in future print and digital issues of the Biblical Recorder. Gabriel will also be launching a new website focusing on faith, family and sports. Visit his personal and Super Bowl pages on the BR website.