There’s so much that’s wacky about this Post headline: “Robert Griffin III’s NFL career may depend on how he plays against the Redskins.” But the Griffin saga has twisted so many…
Robert Griffin III, in action. (Jeff Haynes/AP Images for Panini)
There’s so much that’s wacky about this Post headline: “Robert Griffin III’s NFL career may depend on how he plays against the Redskins.” But the Griffin saga has twisted so many times in the last few years that even the wackiness has worn off.
In fact, six years later, that 2012 season no longer makes me feel sad, or wistful, or nostalgic, or confused. It just seems like a dream. It seems impossible.
Back then, the Redskins had arguably the most likable and exciting player in the NFL; now, their most interesting player is a 33-year-old running back who has been on the roster for, like, 12 minutes. (ESPN this week predicted the top 100 players in the NFL this season, and exactly zero of the top 70 play for Washington. Zero!) Back then, the Redskins felt fully part of a D.C. sports renaissance that had every national outlet focusing on Washington; now, the Caps have a Stanley Cup (!!!!), the Nationals and Wizards have graduated into disappointments, and the Redskins still haven’t won a playoff game in more than a decade, their longest drought in almost 50 years.
Here’s the most important change. Back then, the Redskins were every bit what they’ve always been: the most important and popular team in town by a million, trillion miles. Griffin made them as vital and indispensable as they’d been in years. And now? I’ve been doing this newsletter for five days, and this is the first Redskins subject line, because I’ve been worried that people won’t open an email with “Redskins” in the subject line.
(Tessa, the newsletter boss, told me I would get obsessed with my open rates. I didn’t believe her. She was right.)
(Don’t ask what they are.)
(A lot of people reached out specifically to tell me not to turn this into a Redskins-obsessed venture. Are they representative of you? I have no idea! Clearly, the Redskins remain the most important local franchise, but how about for you?)
(Every August, I speculate that the Redskins seem to have generated less offseason interest than they did the year before, and so it’s also possible that my interest senses are off.)
Anyhow, “Thursday night’s preseason game against the Redskins will likely belong to Griffin,” Les Carpenter wrote, “giving him every chance to dazzle Ravens Coach John Harbaugh and team executives and make it hard to cut him in favor of retaining just two quarterbacks.” And Thursday night might also determine Washington’s backfield, and its linebacker and secondary depth, and its last wide receiver. But it will also remind me, yet again, of a summer when I wouldn’t have been scared to email you about the Redskins.
Do you want more Redskins in this newsletter? Less Redskins? More about chain restaurants? (Yesterday’s poll results: 65 percent would choose PF Chang’s over Olive Garden.) Or Russian literature? Or the inherent futility embedded in textual descriptions of men throwing balls? Or lumberjacks? As always, feel free to email or find me