ESPN the Magazine’s 5,000-word cover story about RGIII is written as a 5,000-word letter to Barack Obama, “on behalf of a young man who recently moved to your district,” and arguing that “in many ways Mr. Griffin is you, and you are him.”
Author J.R. Moehringer writes that “the comparison between [Obama] and Griffin stems from things other than politics, things such as your origins, and the galvanizing effect you have on others, and the manner in which you both burst on the scene.”
“He’s not a normal person,” RGIII says of the President. “I’m not a normal person. It’s fun when two abnormal people can be normal.”
But while the entire Mag story revolves around this comparison, the part that could create NFL headlines comes far into the piece, during the inevitable discussion about QB knees. This comes during a passage about the playoff game against Seattle.
“Your survivor instinct kicks in,” Griffin says. “You’re like, ‘I’m a warrior. I’m a beast. I do all these things, I can push through adversity.’ ”
He acknowledges that he needs to work on moderating that instinct. “If I had another incident like the Ngata hit, I’m out of the game. You pull yourself out at that point. You learn from your mistakes.”
What about the Seahawks game? “I don’t feel like playing against the Seahawks was a mistake. But I see the mistake IN IT.”
“With what happened and how everything was running — you take me out. If that happened again next year, I’d come out of the game and sit until I was 100% healthy.”
It feels, and sounds, like a big admission.
Moehringer writes that Griffin measures “his words with a T square and a protractor” when talking about his knee, and that “it’s striking to see how diplomatic Griffin tries to be.” But the quarterback still manages to say moderately interesting knee-related things.
Also, new to me: Griffin voluntarily took accelerated Latin at Baylor, “and methodically laid waste to Horace, Ovid, Virgil,” Moehringer writes. “His translations were perfect,” according to his professor, and he tutored fellow students. In Latin.