Hope is a powerful thing, and for many of us that’s what Robert was and is for us. He embodies the Hope for a brighter future here in D.C., but that Hope can be a dangerous thing.
This morning when I woke up I felt sick. Sick knowing that after all his hard work and dedication to this franchise Robert Griffin III will have to spend his first NFL off-season not enjoying some well deserved rest but instead focusing on rehabbing a partially torn ACL and LCL, which according to most well respected sports doctors in the country familiar with that injury say it can be anywhere up to 8 months recovery time.
Like every other fan in Redskins Nation and media outlet in the country I placed the blame FIRMLY on head coach Mike Shanahan, but after taking a moment to look at the last year in review I think that I too am to blame in some respects for the decision coach Shanahan made last Sunday and for most of the season putting Robert in danger to win. Here in the DMV (D.C., Maryland, Virginia) we put tremendous pressure on our sports teams to perform and win. When players and coaches arrive here in D.C. they are all greeted with high expectations and immediately put under a microscope that only the president would be familiar with.
Rarely if ever in sports are athletes who are hyped up to epic proportions able to live up to what we as fans and the media build them up to be. Robert lived up to that hype, not only was he everything that he was supposed to be, he then did something that I don’t think many people have ever seen before — he pushed the bar higher and in his first year started the foundations of a legacy. Sports Illustrated predicted the Redskins to go 2-14 this season and most media outlets in the country followed their lead. So when Robert began to wow us with his dynamic ability to escape pressure and throw the deep ball with deadly accuracy, I believe the vast majority of us couldn’t resist temptations and drank the delicious kool-aid. Some fans after closing out the season on a 7 game winning streak were having dreams of a Redskins SuperBowl.
After winning the last 7 games of the season, the first NFC East title since 1999, and then having the privilege of hosting the first home playoff game in over a decade, Mike Shanahan did what a lot of people would have done in that situation, he had Hope. Hope that his dynamic young QB was not that hurt, Hope that Robert would do what he has done all season — find a way to win the game. He had Hope that after the last 3 years of rebuilding this team he would be rewarded with more winning, he had Hope that this team could win a SuperBowl and cement his legacy.
We as fans can place the blame of Robert’s injury in a lot of different places, but remember to take some of the blame yourselves because we are, and have always been in this together.
Let’s just Hope that Robert has a speedy recovery, and that the bright future we have all been thinking about is still a possibility.