Saturday, December 8, 2018

Phil Olsen's Comments on Isiah Robertson

By John Turney
Phil Olsen
This comment came after we had posted our story on the untimely death of Isiah Robertson and we are doing a separate post rather than editing the first one due to its length but also it's thoughtfulness.

The comment is from Phil Olsen, a defensive tackle for the Rams at the time that Robertson entered the league.

"Isiah “Butch” Robertson was a good friend of mine.

We came to the LA Rams the same year, 1971. Butch and Jack Youngblood were the Rams first- round draft choices that year and I had arrived via free-agency from the Boston Patriots. Butch lived in the Harbor Lights apartments in Huntington Beach with Jack & Diane Youngblood, Connie and me and another LA Ram, Rich Saul and his wife Eileen. Almost daily, we would carpool to practice at Blair Field in Long Beach.

Butch had a standing invitation to join us for dinner. Many nights, our wives would have collaborated to shop for ingredients and they would then cook the food and serve it family-style. Other nights, each couple would cook their own dinner. Butch would routinely make the rounds to see what we were all having for dinner before deciding where he wanted to eat. Eileen, Diane, and Connie took good care of Butch and they always made sure he had plenty to eat. He could be as rough as a cobb when he was with and around the guys, but he was always cordial, charming and well-mannered when he was around our wives.
Isiah Robertson

Butch drove a purple Cadillac Eldorado, which was his trademark “ride” for years. People recognized the car and knew who was driving it. One morning, I was standing outside the LA Rams’ practice facility at Blair Field just before practice. I saw Butch come around the corner in his Caddy with a motorcycle policeman riding right behind his car. I thought it was a little bit strange because the officer didn’t seem in a hurry and there were no lights flashing on his motorcycle.

Butch simply pulled in and parked quickly. He then jumped out of his car and raced into the player’s dressing room briefly shouting to the officer who was then climbing off his motorcycle that “he was late for practice and had to run.”

The police officer approached me and asked, “Who was that?” That, I said, was Isiah Robertson #58.  “I thought so,” he said. “Tell him to slow down.”  I’ve been trying to pull him over for the last five miles with no luck.  So, I finally decided just to follow him all the way to his destination. The officer shook his head, slowly climbed back on his motorcycle and rode off.

Butch found personal faith in God shortly after his NFL career ended. For many years, he’s been operating a facility for troubled youths in Texas called “Isiah’s House.”

Butch will be missed!"
Isiah Robertson, Chuck Knox, and Phil Olsen


  1. Sweet memories, tribute and legacy.

  2. Awesome person and player,,rams wasn't my team,but him and the Youngbloods,,and that defense were always fun to watch