RGIII Is Traded to Cleveland: a.k.a., Do You Believe In Resurrections?

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Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III kneels on the sideline during an NFL preseason football game against the Cleveland Browns, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015, in Cleveland. (How Ironic is this pic?)

Here’s where sports and spirituality collide. Here’s where we split hairs between what’s carnal and what’s sacred. And here’s where I can defend the combination of God and sports all day. Not only do I believe in The Resurrection, but I believe in resurrections, in sports and in life, and I hope you do too. RGIII needs a rousing, riveting, reviving resurrection right about now. And I hope he gets one.

Robert Griffin, III, a.k.a. RGIII, just got traded from the Washington Redskins to the Cleveland Browns. That’s right – the Cleveland Browns. And lest you lament that he could languish and loaf and loiter in football La La Land, a.k.a. Cleveland, he could be trade bait for the upcoming NFL Draft, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. First things first. RGIII is headed to another team and that means he has another chance at another dream.

Despite the Browns’ well-documented history of subpar play under center, there is a sense of optimism in Ohio this spring with the arrival of new head coach Hue Jackson, who is widely known as a quarterback savant. He has extensive experience developing quarterbacks, most notably with the recent work he’s done with Andy Dalton in Cincinnati and Joe Flacco in Baltimore. And now there’s hope he can resurrect RGIII’s career as well.

I’ve blogged about my man RGIII a few times here before because I like him. I do. (https://godandsports.net/2015/09/02/another-one-bites-the-dust-a-k-a-the-rise-and-fall-of-rgiii-in-dc/https://godandsports.net/2013/11/09/dont-beat-yourself/ –  https://godandsports.net/2013/08/24/rgiii-a-life-changing-story/)  But I don’t like how he’s been treated or how he’s been cheated or how he looks defeated. So I hope that he bounces back and comes back and even storms back from way back to fare well in the dungeon and dunghill of the NFL.  

And I hope that he proves all of the doubters wrong. We all have detractors and dissenters and disparagers and disbelievers. What else is new? What we all need to do is to Diss them and decide to disappoint them. Yes he needs to be stronger in the pocket and yes he needs to learn how to get rid of the football faster and yes he needs to learn how not take a hit and yes he needs to work on a whole lot of things, but who doesn’t? Don’t we all need a resurrection?

So here’s to RGIII and to the Cleveland Browns. Because in sports, anything is possible if you just believe.

Another One Bites The Dust: A.K.A., The Rise and Fall of RGIII in WDC

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This is a sad day for Washington, D.C. sports fans. Or is it?

Yet another Washington Redskins’ quarterback has gone by the wayside; yet another ‘Skins QB has been benched; and yet another change has been made at the most important position on FED EX field. Yeash! Oy vey! Mama Mia! Ai, yai yai! (and every other emotional expression I can’t think of!)

Robert Griffin the Third, a.k.a., RGIII, came into DC and he was the talk of the town. He was loved and lauded and praised and applauded even before he stepped onto the field. He had lots and loads of pressure heaped upon him from the gun, being the Heisman Trophy winner and all, and so it was a classic, meteoric rise of epic proportions.

Yet he didn’t help himself by heaping a whole bunch of pressure on his own head on top of all that. RGIII had promise and potential and possibilities galore — it’s just that, well – it’s complicated. His career in DC has been up and down and all around. And here lately, his numbers were low and his ratings were lower, and yet in his mind he was still a wonder. And that’s the problem with most of us; we’re a wonder in our own minds. And so it’s been a classic, colossal, catastrophic fall.

And if it’s a sad day, it’s sad because, on the one hand, while we like Robert and want him to succeed, some of us saw this coming a mile away.

As we all know, the way up is down, and on the way up you had better keep your hopes up but your mouth shut, at least to the press. Being humble and acting humble are supposed to be opposite sides of the same coin. But for RGIII, his recent claim of being the best quarterback in the league didn’t help his teammates (or this fan, for that matter) support him. You can hope and wish and work and will your way to the top, but in order to get there, you’ll need help. So it’s not a good thing when you “piss off” (excuse my French) the help, a.k.a. your teammates and your fans, not to mention your coach (or multiple coaches for that matter.)

And so the only drama left is if and when the Redskins trade or release their once bright and shining star athlete. Griffin was going to lead the Redskins to the Promised Land of multiple NFC East Championships (he got one) and Super Bowl appearances, if not victories, to boot. And after his first year, there was no reason to believe that he wouldn’t. We saw the rise, and now — behold the fall.

So here’s to hoping and praying that RGIII lands on his feet on a different team in a different state with a different result. Let’s hope that RGIII goes to a team with a different scheme that can work with him and walk with him to his desired destiny. Because it would be a shame to go from Heisman Trophy winner to Heisman Trophy has-been.

And so while it may be a sad day, it’s also the first day of the rest of RGIII’s life and career.  In other words, this is a redemption story just waiting to happen.

Don’t Count Me Out: a.k.a., It Ain’t Over Till The Fat Lady Sings

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Don’t count me out. That’s what every weary, wounded and washed up warrior says to all those who dont wish them well but instead wish them woe and want them to throw in the towel. And that’s what RGIII is saying to the watching football world right now.

RGII, Robert Griffin III, was the 2012 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. He won the 2011 Heisman Trophy, for Pete’s sake.  He was selected by the Redskins with the second overall pick of the 2012 NFL Draft.  He had nothing but “ups” coming out of college and coming into the NFL. And everybody loved him. That was then.  This is now.

Now, RGIII, the once up and coming quarterback of the Washington Redskins, has been benched in favor of the 3rd string QB, Colt McCoy.  Talk about a fall from grace.  His play this season has been less than stellar, and he has been injured and on the sidelines just as much as he has been agile and on the field. 

But don’t count him out.  I like RGIII. I do. I like him a lot. Even though he’s the quarterback for my Eagles archrival, the reviled Washington Redskins, he’s got heart.  And because of his heart and his soul and his guts and his gusto and his ambition and his determination, I hope and pray that he gets back up, dusts himself off, and tries again. Isn’t that what we all must do after heartache and heartbreak? After being letdown and being put down? After fallouts and washouts? After a setback, don’t we all wish for a comeback? 

We must hope and pray that it’s not over for RGIII. We should not presume to know the outcome of RGII’s career, or any event, for that matter, which is still in progress. We must caution against assuming that the current state of RGII’s career is irreversible and determines how or when his football life will end. We can only hope and pray that he’s got a lot of football left in him and that his best is yet to come.  After all, it ain’t over till the Fat Lady sings.

By the way, where did that phrase come from?  The phrase is most commonly used in association with organized competitions, particularly sports. The phrase comes from and is generally understood to be referencing the stereotypically overweight sopranos of the opera. The imagery of Richard Wagner’s opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen and its last part, Götterdämmerung, is typically the one used in depictions accompanying reference to the phrase. The “fat lady” is the valkyrie Brünnhilde, who is traditionally presented as a very buxom lady with horned helmet, spear and round shield (although Brünnhilde in fact wears a winged helmet). Her aria lasts almost twenty minutes and leads directly to the end of the opera. As Götterdämmerung is about the end of the world (or at least the world of the Norse gods), in a very significant way “it is [all] over when the fat lady sings.”

Biblically speaking, the Apostle Paul may have said it best:

We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair.  We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.  Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. 

2 Corinthians 4:8-10, New Living Translation

Don’t Beat Yourself

RGIII Vikings Loss 11.6.13

I like RGIII. I do; I really do. He’s athletic, affable, and articulate. He’s the kind of player you can root for, no matter who “your” team is. That being said, I don’t like the Redskins. I don’t.  For one thing, they (the Redskins) expect RGIII to put them on his back and carry them to the Promised Land. Aint gona’ happen.  Why? Because the Redskins keep beating themselves.

The Redskins led Denver by 14 points late in the third quarter and lost. They led San Diego by 10 points in the fourth quarter and needed a goal-line stand to force overtime. And they blew a 13-point lead against Minnesota. Don’t beat yourself.

Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder went 17 for 21 for 174 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. On the other hand, Griffin was 24 for 37 for 281 yards, three touchdowns and no turnovers and the Redskins led 27-14 early in the third quarter. He also ran seven times for 44 yards.  In other words, the Redskins lead the Vikings in nearly every statistical category except one: the final score. The Redskins won the battles but lost the war.  Don’t beat yourself.

And to top it all off, when they were out of time-outs, Griffin ran for 12 yards on fourth-and-1 at his own 49 right after the 2-minute warning. On fourth-and-goal with 32 seconds left, his throw to the corner of the end zone was caught by Santana Moss with only one foot in bounds.  Unbelievable. They snatched defeat right out of the hands of victory. Isn’t that supposed to be the other way around?

So, my message to RGIII and to the rest of us when we find ourselves in similar circumstances is this: don’t beat yourself.

At one point in his life, Peter was beating himself. He was cold-blooded and hot-headed. He’d cut you off and do you in, just for something to do. Peter was the kind of guy who couldn’t win for losin’; he just couldn’t get out of his own way.  Spiritually speaking, he had audacity and tenacity, yet he lacked veracity. When asked if he knew Jesus, he lied.  When asked if he would deny Jesus, he went too far.  He spoke too soon and moved too fast. In the Garden of Gethsemane, he unwisely tried to defend Jesus and in the process cut off a soldier’s ear.  Then, to top it all off, AFTER Jesus rose from the dead, Peter said, “I’m going back to fishing.”  Peter was beating himself.

But thank God for Jesus. Jesus was on Peter’s side.  Jesus reassured Peter, comforted Peter, and gave him another chance.  And Jesus always reassures us, and comforts us when we’re down and gives us another chance.  The world and the devil are forever trying to beat us up and tear us down. Don’t let them. Lean on the everlasting Arms, and encourage yourself in the Lord.  

Hang in there. Be patient; things will work out.  Hang (on) in there. Continue to try even though it’s hard and rough and tough.  Even though life and living can be very difficult at times, you can win when you have Jesus on your side. So don’t beat yourself. 

RGIII: A Life Changing Story

Robert Griffin III won the 2011 Heisman trophy running away. He was a world-class track star in high school and converted to an athletic, play-making, dual-threat quarterback in college.  Most significantly, he made a successful comeback from season-ending knee surgery which derailed his 2009 season in the third game.  He is a comeback player who owns or shares 30 Baylor records. Now with the Washington Redskins, in 2012 he led them to win the NFC East. He also won the 2012 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award.

It seems like there is always something special to be said about RGIII, from His dynamic story, having to work his way back from season ending knee surgery, to his thrilling comeback finishes he has provided time and time again.  Now, after off-season knee surgery yet again, he is expected to lead is team to even higher heights. 

RGIII is quoted as saying that the moment he won the Heisman was ”Unbelievably believable. Unbelievable because in the moment we’re all amazed when great things happen. But it’s believable because great things don’t happen without hard work. The hotter the heat, the harder the steal.  No pressure, no diamonds.  We compete. We win.”  Continue reading