Lyrics by Daniella Ponticelli
Pete Robertson is proud to say it’s made in Texas.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders defensive end was born, raised and trained in the town of Longview, which is home to approximately 82,000 people.
“In my area in Texas, we produce machinery,” he said. “This is how we take the game of football and take it to another level. Really live and breathe football.
The 29-year-old credits God and that Texas mentality for his resilience to get back on the Saskatchewan defensive line on Friday against British Columbia.
“Some guys, they get hurt, and it takes them down. I have the impression that with an injury, for me, it goes up. It lit a fire under me, especially how it happened,” he said.
Robertson was hit by Ottawa Redblacks offensive tackle Dino Boyd, who was penalized 15 yards and later fined for unnecessary brutality after the play, at Mosaic Stadium on July 8. Saskatchewan defeated the Ottawa Redblacks 28-13.
Despite missing four games recovering from a severe foot sprain, Robertson, who is six-foot-2, remains a CFL leader with seven quarterback sacks in five games.
Teammate Anthony Lanier II also had seven sacks in nine games, and Ottawa’s Lorenzo Mauldin has seven sacks in eight games.
Robertson signed with the Riders in 2020 and dressed for 11 games the following year. He has recorded 10 defensive tackles, two special teams tackles and five sacks in 2021.
The Texas machine previously spent four seasons in the NFL as a member of the Seattle Seahawks, Washington Football Team and Arizona Cardinals.
It was during his time in Washington that Robertson first connected with Anthony Lanier II. 2022 marks his fourth season of professional football as teammates and although their bond is close, Robertson cannot pinpoint who he is closest to at the Riders.
“I talk to everyone. Either I find a way to make you laugh or, a lot of guys I’ve met, I’ve given them nicknames,” he said. “Like Jeremy Clark, our cornerback, last year, I started calling him Scooter.”
The inspiration, according to Robertson, comes from his observations on the pitch and the way guys move once they get tired in practice. During this time, some of his teammates started calling him “Texas Pete”, in reference to the popular brand of hot sauce.
“Every guy that’s in that locker room, I try to build some kind of bond with. Because at the end of the day when we fight there, I don’t just want to know your name. I want to know you” , did he declare.
Robertson made a special point to address teammate Garrett Marino, who returns to the lineup Friday after serving a four-game suspension resulting from actions in the same game that Robertson was injured.
Robertson said he and Marino had one-on-one conversations and shared a desire to keep their personal lives off social media.
“During the break when I was at home (in Texas), we FaceTimed, he saw my kids. We talked, we have common goals,” Robertson said. “I think this offseason, my family and I’m going to (California) to see it.”
Family is everything to Robertson, who has a one-year-old son, six-year-old daughter and eight-year-old daughter-in-law. He also devotes time to his nieces and nephews, as well as young children in his hometown.
“I actually coach too, a lot of people don’t know that. I help out with the D lineman,” Robertson said, adding that he was mentoring during his bye week at Longview. love being with the kids, I love them all.”
Tragically, just days after returning to Saskatchewan, Robertson learned of the death of a freshman at Longview whom he had coached.
According to local reports, 14-year-old Rahsaan Jefferson was killed in a shooting at an apartment complex on August 8, 2022. Jefferson was known to teammates and friends as “Bobo”.
“He was an amazing player. Everyone in the team loved him,” Robertson said. “It’s just sad because the last moments I saw him we were talking and laughing.”
Robertson said he has a shirt, depicting Bobo, that he will wear under his gamepads. In preparation for his regular season return, his message to Rider Nation is one of gratitude and motivation.
“Thank you for all your amazing support. As soon as I arrived here last year, I fell in love with you guys,” he said. “It’s been a long season and we’re going to pull ourselves together.”
Riders AC defensive lineman Leonard also returns to the roster this week after a four-game absence with a shoulder injury.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders (5-4) host the BC Lions (7-1) at Mosaic Stadium on Friday night. Kickoff is at 8 p.m. Sask. time.