Kornheiser and Wilbon see an RGIII-Shanahan rift


(Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

 

Earlier this week, Robert Griffin III sent a 126-word text message to ESPN’s Trey Wingo.

“i know where my responsibility is within the dilemma that led to me having surgery to repair my knee and all parties involved know their responsibilities as well,” he wrote, in part.

That led to not one, not two, but three Washington Post blog items, which seemed like a lot. (Here, here and here) (And yes, I wrote one of ‘em.)

And that also led to a lengthy discussion of the text message on PTI.

“WOW!” Michael Wilbon said, after reading the text. “Tone. I KNOW you’re reading into these comments, aren’t you?”

More:

Kornheiser: Of course I am, I’m reading into them the same way that you’re reading into them.

Wilbon: I am.

Kornheiser: This is a thinly-veiled, direct shot at his coach, Mike Shanahan, for saying that if anything happens to Griffin in the future, it’s not Shanahan’s fault, which is nonsense. It’s a direct shot. Right? Direct.

Wilbon: Tony, it is direct, it’s bold, it is a heavy shot, and it’s deserved….Mike Shanahan — with no prompting that you and I are aware of — went out there and said something that didn’t need to be said. Because the quarterback RGIII had said after that playoff game, this is on me. My coach and I talked about that. So instead of Shanahan staying away from this, he sought out a fight. He went looking for a fight. And RGIII responded, and good for him.

Kornheiser: What is interesting to me is that there are battle lines being drawn, as the Buffalo Springfield once said. RGIII is firing back, Shanahan has said anything that happens here is not my fault, Griffin is saying hold on a second we’re in this together. And they’ve got a doctor in a pom-pom hat, James Andrews running around the country saying what a great surgeon he is and that Griffin is superhuman. At some point, the owner has to step up and put everybody, as they like to say, on the same page. Because there is a possibility of great dysfunction there now. Would you agree?

Wilbon: Agreed. Completely agreed.

This is why I could not be a television pundit: I did not immediately sense that possibility of great dysfunction. Meanwhile, part that PTI dialog landed on Pro Football Talk, leading to a more-than 1,200-word blog post from ESPN 980′s Chris Russell, which concluded that “a drama that was already going to be intense under the scorching late summer skies in Richmond and Ashburn, is going to be more about the characters and less about the finished product.”

That was not a direction I saw that text message going. But golly gee, the NFL offseason is long, isn’t it?

Dan Steinberg writes about all things DC sports at the DC Sports Bog.
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