Some events are so significant, so paradigm-altering, so historically powerful that you can virtually never discuss them too frequently. I’m thinking of things like the Gettysburg Address, D-Day, the atomic bomb test near Alamagordo, the 1968 Democratic Convention, and Robert Griffin III’s rookie year knee problems.
Now, usually we only discuss the final chapter of that story; specifically, the second half of the Seahawks playoff game. But in Redskins Nation’s “10 Days of 10” series, a 10-part interview with RGIII, we get to hear him discuss his initial knee injury, suffered against the Ravens.
“It was tough for me, because I had been protecting myself much better over the course of those games: getting down, sliding, getting out of bounds, throwing the ball away,” Griffin told Larry Michael. “And in that moment, when we’re trying to come back near the end of the game, I WAS trying to get down, I WAS sliding.
“And there’s no one else out there that can put themselves in my shoes in that moment, because no one else has a 350-pound Haloti Ngata running at them in that moment. So I see Haloti, I try to get down, Haloti keeps going, and my leg happens to go up in the air and it gets hit….
“I felt like man, I WAS protecting myself, and I STILL got hurt. Many other people might not look at it that way, but that’s the way I felt in that moment. And moving forward, I hope to never have Haloti Ngata running at me like that again.”
Then Michael asked the more important question. There’s a strong perception out there that RGIII was considerably upset with the decision to hold him out of the next week’s game in Cleveland. So Michael asked what his mood was like when he learned he was out.
“You know, I was upset,” Griffin said. “But I think as a player, you’re never gonna be happy that you’re not playing. I had worked really hard that whole week to make sure that I was suitable to play. And was I suitable to play? Yes I was. But coach felt it was better, and the doctors felt like it was a better idea that I sit out a game.
“And so you accept that,” he continued. “It’s not something that you go throw a hissy fit on the sideline about. You just say look, the coach and the doc said they don’t want me to play, I can’t play. But I think as a player, you’re SUPPOSED to want to play.
“So if I’m looking at you and you’re saying ‘Hey Rob you’re not gonna play,’ and I’m just like, oh, cool, that’s awesome, I’ll just sit on the sideline, that’s a problem. Of course I’m gonna be like no I want to play, I want to play. And then at the end of the day when they take your helmet and they take everything from you, you’re not playing. That’s why I had a beanie on.”
It’s four months later. He’s talking to the team’s official television show. And he’s still salty.
“The thing we’ll make sure of is that Robert never plays if he’s not 100 percent,” Mike Shanahan said this week. And Griffin’s little speech above indicates why that might be easier said than done.