I want to talk about Robert Griffin III.
What a star right out of the gate. As a Giants fan, I loved to hate him. It made me angry that he seemed like a decent guy too. He brought Washington up from the ashes last year and got them into their first playoff game in five years. That must have made fans happy.
Here’s something that must have had fans scratching their heads:
Griffin was not in shape to play in that January 6th playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks last year. You knew it, I knew it, and the Seahawks definitely knew it right after kickoff. Did the coaches and team doctors know it? I mean, he was a shell of himself that game, and inevitably worsened his injury with a nasty twist on the turf. That knee buckle said a lot about wanting to win in the NFL, I guess. For what, one playoff victory? Washington didn’t have the goods to stack up against the Packers and 49ers unless RGIII was 100%. Even with Griffin at 100% they were at least a year or two away from the Super Bowl, but in the NFL you never know. I would never expect a team to think it couldn’t win the whole thing, but I would expect a team to take care of its players more than wanting to win. Why start THE number one reason you will win-it-all in the future?
On January 5th of last year, the day before the Washington-Seattle matchup, the Minnesota Vikings made a bold call. Their second year QB, their future, Christian Ponder, who had a solid enough season in Minnesota, (I’m especially looking at those four straight wins to get into the playoffs), injured his tricep. If memory serves me correctly, it was something he might have been able to fight through. Anyway, the Vikings sat the man, and went with their backup, Joe Webb. The outcome: a 24-10 Packers victory. Granted, Ponder is slow out of the gate so far this year, but one game does not make a season. One thing I know, he’s healthy. He’s ready to go. He gives Minnesota a much better chance BEING healthy. The Vikings ate that playoff loss last year to win in the future.
Robert Griffin III is not healthy. He’s just not. He does not look like the phenomenon that stormed through the league last year. He’s probably better hurt than some healthy QBs, but that’s just not good enough. Perhaps if Washington stopped for a minute, and really looked at that injury, and thought about the future…
It’s speculative. I hope that Griffin fully heals, I hope that he isn’t ruined. Because I feel that he could be. Forever. I want to love to hate him again, not feel bad for him. In this league one play can destroy your career. In Griffin’s case it was weeks of plays banging down on that knee, and a mediocre run for Super Bowl glory that delivered the final blow. I hope RGIII rises up from the ashes that he once saved his team from. I will never forgive the Washington organization if he doesn’t.