First Game Memories

Robert Royal


On When He First Realized He Was In The NFL:

The one time I really realized I was in the NFL, and it kind of freaked me out, was when we were playing against the Green Bay Packers, and I was with the Buffalo Bills. When you walk in and out of the locker rooms, you come out with the opposing team. When I was walking out after halftime, Brett Favre was coming out. So that was the first and only time as a player that I ever felt I was shell-shocked of another player. I was standing next to this guy, I didn’t realize it was Brett, or that he was the same height as me. So I’m looking through the facemask, and I see that shadow beard, and you see this guy just looking out all focused, and when I saw him, I looked over and thought, “Man, I’m playing in the NFL! This is Brett Favre! How cool is that?”  I had to really snap myself back into game mode and remember that I was playing against him, you have to go out there and compete. That’s when I truly understood that I was in the NFL.

On A Humbling Moment: 

Another time, my rookie year we played against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Now I’m a talkative guy, so we just had scored and it was changing quarters. We were going back and I saw Warren Sapp and said, “What up Sapp!” Warren turned around and looked at me and was like, “Uh, who are you?” and he was looking at my number front and back and said, “Oh, you won’t even be on the team next week.” I wasn’t even trying to talk trash to the guy, I was just saying what’s up, and he was like, “I don’t even know you rookie, you don’t even have a number that you’re going to be on the team, why are you talking to me?” So that was a humbling moment, running up against him.

On The Locker Room: 

Walking into the locker room and seeing Bruce Smith and Daryl Green as a rookie... Seeing two Hall of Famers, two guys still playing in their 20th season that I admire, and to be able to get advice. It was pretty cool to have those two in my rookie year. When I saw those two guys and I realized that the grim reaper wasn’t coming to get me as part of that cut team, that’s when I realized that I had finally made it.