JERSEY CITY, N.J. — After four neck surgeries two years ago that left him temporarily unable to throw a football, Denver quarterback Peyton Manning’s appreciation for possibly winning his second Super Bowl will be close to unchallenged. But depth of feeling will be no greater than that of Seahawks fullback Michael Robinson, should he win his first.

In late August, the dude was close to dying. Now he’s starting Sunday in the NFL championship. If he gets hold of the Lombardi Trophy, no one will be able to unhinge his hug.

The passion was apparent in the first minutes after the Seahawks won the NFC Championship. As the crowd roared and the confetti flew at the Clink, Robinson wept, openly and unashamedly.

“I had a long year,” he said Monday, recounting his bizarre health collapse that forced the Seahawks to cut him Aug. 31, and the recovery that allowed the team to re-sign him Oct. 22. “Being cut, being sick, not really realizing the extent of the sickness. I didn’t know that my kidneys were failing and my liver was failing.”

Two weeks into the exhibition season in mid-August, Robinson, 31, was taking twice daily doses of Indocin, a relatively routine anti-inflammatory prescribed for muscle soreness, and started feeling poorly. It couldn’t have happened at a worse time.

Read the rest of Art Thiel’s “Robinson’s Thrill Runs Deeper Than Most” at


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