Former Bronco Running Back Rob Lytle Dead At 56


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.