More than a month ago, as soon as the Washington Redskins pulled off the trade to acquire the St. Louis Rams’ No. 2 overall draft pick, Redskins fans began expressing their excitement about the impending arrival of Robert Griffin III.
Burgundy and gold T-shirts bearing his likeness have been being sold for weeks, fans have custom-ordered his jersey, and late last month, hundreds of fans turned out to a sports memorabilia show to have Griffin sign their Redskins gear.
Although he is being heralded as the savior to the franchise, Griffin knows that eventually, the love-fest could die down, and that he could find himself the subject of scrutiny and criticism.
He said that doesn’t bother him, however. Although he is a much-loved figure now, he says it wasn’t always that way, and because of that, he feels prepared to endure any rocky times that could lie ahead.
“I’ve always been criticized,” Griffin said. “You can’t compare it to the type of criticism that you’ll get in … a city like D.C., but I’ve always been criticized. The praise didn’t start coming until this year. So, I know what it’s like to be criticized and how to deal with it. The biggest thing is not to listen to it.
“I try not to do things to prove people wrong,” Griffin added. “It’s an old cliché, ‘You don’t listen to the critics, you just go out and do what you have to do.’”