The name likely means nothing to most of the readers on this site. For that matter his name probably wouldn’t resonate even an “oh yeah, I remember him” on other sites. His name is, was, Rob Lytle and to me, his name conjures up images of a youth long ago passed by time.
Rob Lytle was a Denver Bronco during the “Orange Crush” days and was the only one to score a TD for the team in Super Bowl XII. For 7 seasons, Lytle was a Bronco. From his 2nd round drafting to 1983/84. Which is where I come in.
Rob Lytle went to a small school in Fremont, Oh. called Fremont Ross. The same school my mother graduated from 4 years before Lytle would. I spent one or two weeks every summer casing the streets of Fremont growing up and still have most of my family living there today. I vividly remember the clothing store named “Lytles” that his parents owned. I was saddened when so many years ago it had burned to the ground.
For a kid growing up, Rob Lytle was a football hero. That guy who came from the small town that made it big. He was everyones’ hero. There were two guys that I could somehow connect with that played in the NFL. Lytle and former Miami Dolphins defensive linebacker, Bob Brudzinski who also lived and grew up in Fremont. I was always in awe passing that clothing store. Finding it hard to imagine that a professional football player often visited his parents and walked the same streets that I did every summer. It was a connection to someone real that you could watch on TV. Collect a football card of that guy that went to the same school as your mom.
I suppose in some way, his death on Saturday has hit the town of Fremont pretty hard. He was after all a native son. Rob Lytle had a heart attack at the young age of 56 and though I never met the man face to face, that I recall anyways, I have a picture of his signed that was given to me when I was a kid. I haven’t heard the name or really thought much about him in all these years, but in some way, today, I remember that kid that walked those streets and in another way I feel as though a small part of me has left this world as well. Youth holds strange memories and more often than not, the bitterest of circumstances that trigger that memory can still bring a smile.
May Rob Lytle rest in peace and may his family take comfort in knowing that he touched more than just those he physically came into contact with.