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At Long Last, I Present, Robin Rexroat

From left to right, Jennifer, Robin and Bobby "Lightning" Boswell, the competitors in a 1994 episode of "GUTS." (Family Photo)

I briefly left my stakeout of D.C. United keeper Nick Rimando's house around 12:45 last Thursday afternoon to get something to eat. My cell phone rang. It was a 407 area code. I thought, "407?" I answered the phone, and the voice said "Hi, this is Robin Rexroat."

Yup, that's right, on the other end of the phone was Robin Rexroat, the mysterious young lady who once crushed D.C. United defender Bobby Boswell in an episode of Nickelodeon's "GUTS," landing Bobby on the "GUTS" Wikipedia page and leading D.C. United fans to join my mission to locate Robin 12 years later.

"So, um, Bobby's a pro soccer player now?" Robin said. "I didn't know that."

(You can read more about Robin's "GUTS" performance here, although the writer refers to her as Rachel Rexroat.)

I started by asking her how much she remembered Young Bobby Boswell. (If, for some reason, you never read the previous installments, Bobby was a few years younger than Robin, and he had trouble with some of the bungee events, and he looked pretty futile at times, but still managed to win a few events, in fairness to him, although Robin was the big winner.) So anyhow, I started by asking her how much she remembered young Bobby Boswell.

"I remember Bobby Boswell," she said. "That was an exciting day. I remember it pretty well. I remember he was pretty cocky, actually. Is he still cocky?"

Ha! I asked for examples.

"I don't know, every time we would go back to the trailer he'd be like, 'Oh, you might have beat me on that one, but I'm gonna get you on the next one,'" she said. "He was always saying stuff like that."

Hmm, nope, can't think of any current examples. I told Robin that Bobby has matured since those days (at least a little), and that he now worries that everyone on that show hated him.

"No," she said. "I just thought it was funny. I always just laughed."

I asked about his performance in the competition. She was pretty soft on him, actually. She didn't think he had fared that poorly, considering his size and age. She was competitive, too, and she didn't want to lose to a little kid.

"I know we all had a hard time with the bungees," she said. "We had a big warm-up practice, and even then, it was pretty hard to jump right in the area we wanted to jump. I know we had a hard time with that, but he was little, so I think he had a harder time than me and the other girl did."

And she provided a bit more back-story on Bobby's victory in the soccer-kick bungee game, which ruined her streak of victories.

"It was kind of upsetting, actually, when he won the soccer one," she said. "They don't show it on the tape, but his last ball actually went in at the buzzer, and they took like 10 minutes reviewing the tape to see if it counted or not. And they decided to count it, and that's why he got two points. That's why he got two points and ruined my perfect score."

Who knew? That must have been one of the earliest instant-replay controversies in the modern sports era. Then I got Robin to tell me her athletic history. Sure enough, she was a competitive swimmer starting in the fourth grade, and she was on the varsity swimming and water polo teams in high school. At one point, she actually placed top 10 in the state of Florida for the 100-butterfly and the 200-freestyle relay. After high school she caught on with a water polo team that played in national-level tournaments. She still keeps fit, by walking her dogs and swimming at a city pool and surfing. So again, no shame losing to an athlete like that.

But she is not, as Alecko Eskandarian speculated, a professional athlete. She works in a coffee shop/cafe, selling drinks while bands play, and she's thinking of going back to school for graphic design and fashion. She's very pleasant and has a fine sense of humor about this "GUTS" thing. Oh, and she doesn't really follow pro sports too much. I tried to explain that winning MLS defender of the year actually means that Bobby's pretty good at this whole soccer thing. "Oh wow," she said. "That's cool." But she does like soccer, and (I swear) she threw in this line, presumably to curry favor with the Big Soccer folks.

"I watch soccer when it's on and everything," she said. "I hate watching football and basketball, I don't like those sports at all. I'd much rather watch soccer or water polo or something like that. Just the sound of a football game on TV means nap time to me; it puts me to sleep."

I guess I didn't really know what else to ask. When her mom found out that Bobby was a professional athlete, she told Robin she ought to brag to all her friends. And Robin did actually brag to her boyfriend, but she doesn't seem like the gloating type. She said her "GUTS" win isn't necessarily more special because of who Young Bobby became.

"I don't really think of it that way," she said. "We were young, and he was younger than me, too. That could have had a lot to do with it. I know I was real athletic when I was little, and I was definitely a competitive person."

And Bobby? Does she have bad memories of the cocky little kid who couldn't really reach the top of the basketball column, even with his bungee cord?

"I hung out with all boys growing up, so I was kind of used to stuff like that," she said. "That's why I think I kind of just laughed it off. I'd like to see how his personality is now, see if he mellowed out or if he's still the same person."

I guess we'll all have to wait 'til the "GUTS" reunion special to find out. Bobby is doing a Web chat with tomorrow about his 15-day tour to U.S. military bases in the Pacific. I'll be crushed if he doesn't answer at least one "GUTS" question.

By Dan Steinberg  |  December 5, 2006; 10:31 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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