On the evening of March 8, while listening to his sister read one of the many heartfelt messages sent to give him comfort, 50-year-old Stacy Robinson was called home to be with the Lord. His loving family surrounded him. In the midst of their loss, they encourage others with these words: “Please take comfort in knowing that Stacy lived a very full life and was extremely blessed until the end. He begins a new journey now, a journey for which he is well prepared.”
Robinson was a receiver for the New York Giants during their first two Super Bowl Championships. A second-round draft pick in 1985, he spent 6 years in the league before going on to work with the NFL Players Association. There, he was involved with organizing the Rookie Symposium and more recently as the director of player development, where he helped athletes prepare for their post-football careers.
Among those closest to Robinson during his days with the New York Giants was Dave Bratton, chaplain for the Giants from 1980 to 1995. Without hesitation, the first word he uses to describe Robinson is, “Faithful.” He adds, “He was always there for you. And he always had a smile on his face.”
Speaking with Bratton was like speaking to a proud father. He did not hold back when it came to sharing stories of the wonderful character and faith of Robinson, who was once the spiritual leader of the Giants players. In a tender moment Bratton recalls the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Giants first Super Bowl win. In September of 2011, Bratton was invited to do the opposing team’s chapel and received tickets to attend the Giants game, where the former Super Bowl Champs would be honored at half time. But instead of watching the game, he spent the whole night reminiscing with Robinson and his teammates about the time they spent together. The admiration and respect Robinson garnered was obvious, but his personal fight for his life was not as evident.
Bratton states, “He had been battling cancer since 2009. Stacy down played what he was dealing with.”
This meant that many of his former teammates had no idea of the severity of his illness. Still, they took that special opportunity to make known the high regard they had for him. One of them even demonstrated his veneration by giving Robinson one of his most prized possessions.
When a man, whose existence so deeply affects the lives of others, is no longer with us, there is a great sense of loss. But when you know that he’s in a better place and his legacy will continue to impact our world, there is a warming sense of comfort.
In remembering Stacy Robinson, fitting are these words from 2 Timothy 4:7-8:
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day —and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”
Kim Anthony can be contacted through www.KimAnthony.net or on Twitter @RealKimAnthony.
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