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Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.

July 13, 2011 at 12:50 PM

Can't wait for Nate to state his case

Posted by Danny O'Neil

I do not believe Nate Robinson will play NFL football.

I believe he could, however.

I feel kind of silly saying that like some naive reporter slack-jawed and mind-numbed over a local hero so I think it's important to indicate I have not always felt that way. As impressive as Robinson was as a high-school athlete, I got all huffy with an editor about a quote from Robinson that was included in our paper's profile of him during his senior year at Rainier Beach High School.

"I want to be the first to play in the NFL and NBA, but Randy Moss might beat me to it."
   -- Nate Robinson, November 2001

I made a remark about how we shouldn't put crazy talk from teenagers in our newspaper. I got kind of indignant about it.

In the 10 years since I have realized that I was wrong twice on that day:

1) That quote was essential to revealing the swagger and confidence Robinson possessed as an undersized athlete.

2) It was NOT crazy talk.

Robinson is that remarkable of an athlete.

So while Robinson's statements to SLAM Online hinting at a potential training-camp tryout with the NFL if the NBA lockout persists caused waves, it's not outside the realm of possibility.

Nate Robinson: 'I might go play' in the NFL
By Tzvi Twersky, SLAM Online

He was a promising cornerback as a true freshman at Washington in 2002. He picked off a couple of passes, including one in the Apple Cup. He's now 27 years old, and while he would be an undersized cornerback in the NFL, he would be much less undersized than he currently is playing in the NBA.

The biggest fact preventing him from pulling off that double feat? The fact he's carved out such a successful basketball career that his contract is due to pay him more than $4 million next year.

There are plenty of NFL teams that would offer Robinson a shot at making a team. Heck, Brock Lesnar got a tryout with the Minnesota Vikings back when he was a professional wrestler and before he became a professional punching bag. But no one is going to guarantee Robinson a million dollars to attempt that switch.

NBA lockout could lead Nate Robinson to try the NFL
By Michael David Smith,

Attempts to reach Robinson haven't been successful. Goodwin Sports Management represents Robinson, and has declined subsequent interview requests after the SLAM story, which had set up the interview for questions for its issue on sneakers. The discussion about football was a curveball that thrown into the plans.

So for the moment, there isn't any concrete plans or intentions, but rather mostly just entertaining speculation about what would be a most unusual double play. After all, there have been men who have played both Major League Baseball and the professional football. There was even a man from this state, who was in the NBA and MLB: Gene Conley, who attended Richland High School. He's the only man to win championships in two of the four major professional sports in the United States.

But NBA and the NFL? That would be unprecedented, and while I don't think it will happen, I think it could if that's what Robinson decided he wanted to do.

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