I’m not sure if you remember all this, but among Robert Griffin III’s absurd offseason controversies last summer was one that involved him receiving wedding gifts from adoring fans. Like, he was getting married, and for fun many Redskins fans sent him gifts from his registry, and then it was somehow controversial, in the sense that people who get paid to offer ridiculous opinions about things offered ridiculous opinions on this thing.
“I don’t think the fans are the problem here,” one prominent member of Club Ridiculous said. “You know who I think the problem is? His fiancee is the problem. It’s her fault.”
Attempting to decipher this whole thing, I actually talked to a bunch of fans back then who had sent gifts to RGIII. Their motives were mostly sweet and innocent: to have a connection to an athlete who brought them joy; to say thank you to one of their athletics heroes in an unusual manner; to do something quirky and amusing because eventually we’ll all be dead and if you can get a few hours of laughter out of giving a famous athlete a serving set from which he can dispense chips and dips to his famous friends, along the way increasing your own connection to a billion-dollar franchise that has somehow earned your loyalty via grown men in tight pants hugging each other for three hours, why the heck not? I mean, it’s fun, is why you do it.
Nevertheless, the pundits wanted to make this about RGIII. And I’m here to tell you it’s not about RGIII, because here we are in 2014, and Kirk Cousins is engaged, and fans are sending him gifts from his registry, and he’s responding with thank-you notes. Get cranking, First Take. Get cranking, all of us.
“I bought a small gift off their registry, including a note about how professional he’s been with everything going on with the Skins,” Chris Bale wrote to me over the weekend. “To be honest, I think I spent more on [shipping and handling] than on the gift itself, which was the Tervis Tumbler Travel Lid. And I think I did it because I remember what happened when RGIII’s registry was posted, and how cool it would be to get some kind of acknowledgment from a player of your favorite sports team. And looking back, I love it even more. Because there wasn’t a lot of good that came out of this season, but I can always look back on this and smile. I pretty much texted and sent a picture of the note to everyone I know. It’s just.an awesome feeling!”
So this has made one fan extremely happy. Go ahead and tell me why this was a bad thing, talking heads.
“She somehow found out where we were registered,” Cousins noted. “I guess that’s public information, if you want to look into it. And so she found out, put it in the article, and we actually had — Julie estimated — about 20 people had sent items to Julie’s apartment. So we already were getting some items, and I just this afternoon, in my offseason time — it’s real exciting — I was writing thank-you notes to those fans. So that’s how I spend my offseason time, is responding to those registry gifts, which we appreciate.”
“Well, we’ll make sure to make as big a deal of that as they did of Robert getting gifts last year,” Steve Czaban jokingly said of Cousins.
And now, let’s all agree not to do that.