At first blush, it might be difficult to imagine that Brian Robison was ever a little boy growing up in the idyllic-sounding town of Splendora, deep in the proverbial heart of Texas, where he pond hopped his way through fishing spots in between playing football and running track. But his interests haven’t changed much, and they continue to shape his career and his life as a professional football player and an avid fisherman.
As a young boy, he had another interest, too. While watching his mother and sister compete at a rodeo, there was one competitor who caught his eye: Jayme Miller. “She’s a country girl,” the 6-foot, 3-inch, 259-pound Minnesota Viking says. “She’s not afraid to get dirty.”
The couple are both professional competitors—he: football, she: rodeo barrel racing. They dated through their growing-up years and eventually married. The defensive end and part-time rodeo gal/horse breeder divide their time between Tomball, Texas, and Eden Prairie, where they live with their children, Madelyn, 3, and Parker, 1. “We love it here,” Brian says.
“There’s so much to do in Eden Prairie,” adds Jayme, who enjoys dinners at Old Chicago, Redstone American Grill and Wildfire in addition to trying new dining venues.
“A lot of times, me and the wife just stay in,” Brian says, with his Texan twang. “For us, that’s our family time.”
The couple also spends time exploring the local landscape with their children. Brian says they’re regular visitors to Eden Prairie playgrounds, especially Homewood Hills Park. “My daughter is a little mover,” he says. “She hates sitting in one spot.”
Brian, however, is willing to hover over a fishing hole for as long as it takes. While he enjoyed dropping a line into ponds as a kid, fishing wasn’t a passion. “When I really fell in love with fishing was when I went on a boat,” he says. “It was a whole different type of fishing... it was a game changer.”
Visit his Facebook and Twitter pages, and posts and pictures about fishing put up a hearty challenge to reports about football.
During the off season, Brian participates in about four to five fishing tournaments, which can be challenging since his competitors “practice” all day long—time he doesn’t have between training and family.
When his schedule allows, Brian hops into his 21-foot Ranger fishing boat and heads to a lake. “I’ve always had fun on Prior Lake,” he says, adding he also likes the fishing on Mille Lacs Lake.
He’s proud to note his bass personal best weighed in at 10.16 pounds out of Texas’ Lake Fork, one of the country’s premiere trophy bass lakes.
For some fishermen, the beauty of the sport rests in contemplative hours spent in nature. Brian gravitates toward bass fishing because of its gamesmanship. “It’s the challenge of finding where they are and what they’re biting on,” he says. “For me, it’s a competition between me and the bass.”
Fishing mirrors his professional world because Brian Robison is always trying to catch his offensive opponents. Of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Brian says, “He is one of those guys you respect because of the things he does on the field, but you hate him because of those things he does on the field, Wherever he is, he has the escapability.”
Another elusive catch—“I’m sick and tired of losing in Chicago [to the Bears],” he says. “That’s one thing I want to get done.”
Robison says of the 2015 season, “All I know is that I have very high expectations for our team. Making the playoffs is a great goal, but I’m not satisfied just making the playoffs.”
Brian Robison is planning a fishing tournament in July 2016 in Minnesota to support the Brian Robison Reel ‘Em In Foundation, which supports families and non-profit organizations in Minnesota and Texas.
Reeling in Good Deeds
Brian Robison has found a way to combine his competitive spirit and commitment to his communities through the Brian Robison Reel ‘Em In Foundation, which provides financial, emotional and physical support individuals and families in need and charitable organizations in Minnesota and Texas. “Our Foundation will continue to research and evaluate organizations and groups on an annual basis that are identified as struggling and are in desperate need of our help,” Brian says. “We hope to positively impact them and make their life a little bit easier during their most challenging times.”
Since Brian and his wife, Jayme, split their time between their homes in Eden Prairie and Tomball, Texas, he feels it’s important to support programs in both communities. “For me, it’s about being able to give back and being in the position to help other people,” he says.
Bass tournaments in Minnesota in July 2016 and Lake Fork, Texas, in April 2016 are in the works to help raise funds for the foundation’s endeavors. Brian says professional football players and fishing pros will double up on sponsor boats to reel in the big bass and, hopefully, big donations.
Additional information about the Brian Robison Reel ‘Em In Foundation is available at the website here.
Minnesota Vikings Trivia
Q: Why is September 30, 2007 significant?
A: It was the last time a Viking (Brian Robison) sacked quarterback Brett Favre during a game against boarder rivals the Green Bay Packers. (Favre got dropped many other times after he rolled out of retirement to play for the New York Jets and Vikings.)