Robert Griffin III: Why Redskins fans won’t give up on Him

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Jun 16, 2015; Ashburn, VA, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) signs autographs for fans after day one of Redskins Minicamp at Redskins Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Why Redskins fans Still Have Hope in RGIII

By Robert Griffin III’s rookie season, I had almost given up on the Redskins. I was like a man in a bad marriage: the emotional bond was still there, despite years of manipulation and abuse. Every year it was “Look! I’m making changes! We hired Jim Zorn!” This sort of hope was wearing me out.

I kept telling myself I was going to leave, and even attempted affairs with other teams. I was just one more Haynesworth from leaving for good.

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If you’re reading this thinking, “Don’t you remember the good ol’ days?” then you’re at least 10 years old than me (I’m 31). Like other millennial Redskins fans, I don’t remember Riggins, the Hogs, or George Allen at all. I went through Joe Gibbs the sequel, missing most of the superior original. To me, these legends of Redskins’ lore are distant figures cemented in the past by NFL Films.

But you know what I do remember?

I remember first round pick Heath Shuler getting beat out of a job by seventh-rounder Gus Frerotte. Then I remember Frerotte spraining his neck during a puzzling TD celebration in a game that eventually decided the NFC East. I remember wearing my #12 jersey that night and watching in shock as Jeff Hostetler and his hideous 90s mustache came in for the second half and pissed away the division.

I remember the unceremonious dumping of Marty Schottenheimer for hotshot good ol’ boy Steve Spurrier. And I remember Spurrier that year running up the score in his first preseason game, letting Shane Mathews and Danny Weurffel air it out up several touchdowns in the fourth, and subsequently turning out two of the most embarrassing seasons in the team’s history.

I remember Michael Westbrook punching Stephen Davis in the face.

I remember Richie Petitbon and Norv Turner Jim Zorn and Steve Spurrier and Mike Shanahan. And Jeff George and Tony Banks and Patrick Ramsey and 36-year old Mark Brunell, the best of the bunch.

No matter how much I try to forget, I remember Dan Snyder’s picked-on-too-much-in-middle-school-but-look-at-me-now face, which told me at the end of every season that he was going to do something desperate and brash to make his team not suck.

I remember this:

And this:

I remember uttering these absurd phrases while stone-cold sober: “I really think Jason Campbell will make the Pro Bowl this year,” and “We got McNabb!”

In short, almost all of my Redskins memories are embarrassing. Millennial Redskins’ fans have no good ol’ days. And there is some sort of evolutionary impulse to find even the tiniest bits of pleasure to sustain you while you wait for help to come.

Next: Why 2015 is a pivotal Season for RGIII