Friday, October 20, 2006

San Francisco Chronicle: Cal's Robertson copes with personal tragedy

Rusty Simmons, Chronicle Staff Writer

For as long as Cal left guard Erik Robertson has had tattoos, people have tried to define him based on the ink.  While characterizing his eclectic personality using a single sample is an impossible goal, a piece of art on his right biceps reveals the secret to this year.  "You said I am strong.

You are stronger than I ever could be.  I watched you while you suffered.  You suffer no longer.  Now you watch over me.  I feel your eyes watching me.  They never changed.  Do not think I have forgotten you.  I know you are there.  I love you, brother."

Robertson, who has 22 knockdown blocks and 13.5 pancakes, penned the words while watching his 25-year-old brother, Shane, die of stomach cancer, and he dedicated his senior season to that memory.  "He fought hard, and even though he didn't win, it was so motivating," Robertson said. "I definitely think about him when I'm feeling sorry for myself or when I need a little motivation."  Most of that inspiration was provided during spring break in 2004. Robertson went to his home town, Apple Valley (San Bernardino County), to visit his ailing brother, who had dropped from 340 pounds to 270 with about 30 pounds of fluid in his stomach.

Read the entire article here.

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