“I remember New Orleans after Katrina, and just the devastation that occurred and how many of my family members . . . lost their houses and had to start over,” the younger Griffin said Wednesday. “I do have great memories of it from my childhood, but as of lately, I haven’t been back as much. The last image in my head is from Katrina.”
‘This is one of ours’
The young man moves so effortlessly between worlds now, between roles, between seemingly opposite traits. He deftly straddles the line between confidence and humility that defines a successful rookie. He veers seamlessly from irreverent goofball to playbook scholar, from the darling of media members and marketers to the trusted leader of his teammates.
There is never a false note, never a hint of artifice. If you don’t know anything else about Robert Griffin III, you know he was raised right.
How much of that adaptability stems from those 14 months in New Orleans while his parents were overseas, when he and his sisters lived in four different houses, with four different sets of relatives, changing schools with each move?
“I think the experience in New Orleans helped prepare them for life,” Jacqueline Griffin said of her children. “They can thrive in any environment they’re in.”
Sunday, Griffins and Rosses all over New Orleans will be doing their own type of shifting between worlds.
Shane Griffin paints his face black and gold for Saints games. Rodney Griffin has season tickets in Section 344. John Ross dresses in Saints paraphernalia every fall Sunday and watches games at Smokin’ Jo’s tavern on Frenchman Street.
But at least for today, they are all Redskins fans.
“Yes, we are Saints fans — of course we are. We are from New Orleans, born and raised and went to school here,” Rodney Griffin said. “But that’s a Griffin [on the Redskins]. This is one of ours. It’s a win-win situation. We’ve got the Saints, and Robert Griffin. In New Orleans.”
Imagine that. Opening day in New Orleans, and there will be one Robert Griffin on the field, another in the stands, and yet another watching from above, clear-eyed and smiling. If it’s true that Robert L. Griffin Sr. never dreamed of a day like this during his days on earth, that’s only because he never had a chance to meet the young man.