Today: Jul 23, 2024

RG3 and the hype machine

Ryan Flynn  – Sports Editor

Surely you’ve heard about him by now. The 6’2, 200 pound Baylor product with the track speed and the rocket arm. The 22-year-old who had endorsement deals with both Subway and Under Armor before he’d taken a single solitary NFL snap. The guy who put the entire league on notice two Sundays ago, downing Drew Brees and the Saints and putting up probably the best game one line any rookie quarterback ever has.

Yeah, that guy. Robert Griffin III.

One Sunday was all it took for the Washington Redskins quarterback to take the world by storm, smothering number one pick Andrew Luck, a guy who went one spot higher in the draft no less, in his overwhelming behemoth of a shadow.

After his stellar performance in the superdome, the hype machine has begun churning non-stop. Though, it’s not as if we couldn’t have seen this coming.

While Andrew Luck has that goofy, buck-toothed charm, Griffin is undeniably cool. He’s a well-spoken Michael Vick. He’s Cam Newton without the shady past, or Aaron Rodgers with a much cooler haircut.

Throwing for over three hundred yards and claiming his first win proved his substance. The way he carries himself, the cool nickname (RG3) and that ridiculous wrist to shoulder half-sleeve shows us some style. All at once, every sound bite of his sounds both cocky and incredibly polite.

But, more than anything, the Griffin hype is founded on the way that he plays the game. People who run a 4.4 at the forty-yard dash are not supposed to also be great at playing quarterback. Vick’s downfall will be the same as it is with all dual-threat quarterbacks: his first instinct is always going to be to run. Not Griffin. Griffin is a pass-first, run-second QB. He is, in many ways, the perfect prospect.

And at the same time, having been drafted second to Luck (a man he beat out for the Heisman Trophy last year, let’s not forget), he somehow simultaneously can take the role of underdog. Playing for a defunct franchise and for a coach who hasn’t had a real playoff run in over a decade, Griffin should seemingly be set up to fail. But, that’s the real key to why no one can take their eyes away from him. We don’t know.

The injury factor also, exists, same as it does for Vick. Newton, much like Tim Tebow, is a battering ram. With Griffin’s slim frame, each hit may be the one that knocks him out of the game.

Possibly the most unique quarterback prospect in NFL history (did you know he was born in Japan? Can’t make this stuff up) will take the field again next Sunday and the Sunday after that. The hype machine will keep on turning, as it always does and we, the fans, will watch and wait.

And we’ll see what Washington’s shiny new savior does next.

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