I spend a lot of time thinking about why photos of Robert Griffin III show up so frequently on social media sites. I have a few theories.
1) His distinctive hair makes him more recognizable than many non-huge professional athletes.
2) He constantly wears Adidas gear in public, erasing any lingering doubts for anyone not convinced by his hair.
3) His nickname makes him extremely easy to tag on social-media sites. Like, if I saw Colin Kaepernick walking down K Street, frustration and confusion over attempting to type his last name would likely cause me to walk into a garbage can. True story: I was recently walking down a residential street near my home while staring at Twitter on my phone — which is what I always do when walking down streets — and I literally walked into a large tree branch. With my head. I bashed my head into a tree branch in the middle of a city street, in broad daylight, because I was so committed to reading 140-character bursts of Redskins fans musing over their favorite potential third-round right tackles, or whatever. I should get credit for that on my performance review. Anyhow, it’s wayyyyy easier to write “#RGIII” or even “#RG3″ than “#Roethlisberger.”
4) He often responds or amplifies sightings from strangers, which no doubt makes the strangers happy, but also clues in the rest of the world as to his whereabouts.
5) He does interesting things with his free time.
Many of these items came into play this week, when Griffin grappled with The Rock, a 52-foot tall rock-climbing wall at Baylor’s Student Life Center. He was recognizable, he was clad in Adidas, he was #RG3, he responded on Twitter to the people he met, and the results were visually striking.
Now I’m not saying climbing The Rock is as interesting as, say, going to a Wizards game, which is what Ryan Kerrigan and Kirk Cousins did on Tuesday night. I’m just saying: a pro athlete scaling the tallest free-standing climbing structure in Texas is going to lead to photographs, and when Griffin engages with the photographers, it’s going to lead to blog posts, which is going to lead to comments asking why I don’t have anything better to do with my life than post photographs of a young kid having a good time with students at his alma mater, which is going to lead to me staring out the window and thinking of other ways to make a buck in this great big world.
Like, maybe by selling helmets to protect ardent Twitter users from overly aggressive tree branches.
Casually creeping on RG3 rock climbing at the SLC. pic.twitter.com/lTYF5Y3yN8— Lindsey Duckworth (@LindseyDuck) February 25, 2014
Casual rock climbing with RGIII… ✌️ pic.twitter.com/fg0PMsJ638— Madison Powell ♡ (@madisonbpowell) February 25, 2014
Watching RGIII climb the rock wall while eating my free dr pepper float. I’m really going to miss Baylor next year🐻💚— Ashton Goode (@thegoode) February 25, 2014
@RGIII glad you got to come climb today! You rock! …get it? 😁— brittainy tidwell (@brittainytweets) February 25, 2014