“He’s ready for you,” said a suited, serious man, holding the door barely ajar which read: Dan Snyder, Owner.
“But it’s so dark in there,” responded Robert Griffin III, pointing with his right crutch.
A broken, cackling laughter emerged from the seemingly pitch black room. The disturbing sound was then consumed by the erupting cheering of 90,000 fans. The game was about to begin. Kirk Cousins was probably sprinting just a little too quickly out from under the inflated R-Words helmet, Griffin thought to himself. Dork.
The robotic man in the suit walked away. Griffin used his crutch to inch the door open.
“Don’t be afraid, dear boy,” said a deep, cracking voice.
“I’m not,” Griffin was always quick to defend himself. He hobbled into the blackness, the door shutting behind him without his help. Robert could see a small, red light glow in and out across the room. He must be smoking a cigar, thought Robert.
“You wanted to watch the game with me, sir?” he added.
“Yes, yes, watch. We’ll watch the match from in here,” responded the voice, with the semblance of a chuckle afterword.
Griffin looked around for a seat, his eyes barely adjusting.
“Come, come, you may sit here,” the voice said.
“I don’t feel comfortable with that, sir,” Griffin said, assuming he meant his knee. “I told you on draft day that was a one time thing.”
A florescent light blinked on to display a cushy chair opposite the glowing red voice. Griffin awkwardly stuck his crutches against the wall, and swooped himself into the chair, muttering, “Baylor statue!” as he finished. Griffin thought he needed to stop cursing, for the hundredth time since his ankle injury. The light on the chair cut off. Darkness again.
The FedEx Field announcer barked on and off. Music played intermittently. The crowd cheered. It was all muffled. After several minutes of silence in the room, the crowd emitted the constant rumble that meant the game had started. Griffin began to feel awkward.
“I hope we win,” he said as a conversation piece.
“Yes, I’m sure you do,” responded the voice, chuckling. “Hail those R**skins!”
“You mean ‘Hail to the R**skins’, sir,” said Griffin, getting drawn into cursing again, “and I do want them to win.”
The crowd cheered wildly.
“What was that?” Griffin said. “Why isn’t there at least a TV in here?”
“Fumble, dear boy,” responded the glowing red voice. “It probably had something to do with Tyler Polumbus.”
“But they were cheering.”
The voice just laughed.
A few minutes later, more cheering, but this time mixed with boos.
“I can’t stand this!” said Griffin.
“I think you know exactly what that was,” the voice now mocking an empathic one. “Search your feelings.”
Griffin paused for a moment, then suddenly found himself saying, “Not a Giants touchdown pass.”
The voice laughed and said, “Gooooood, you’re learning. I sense anger in you.”
“Well, our secondary is too young without DeAngelo back there.”
“Oh, there’s more to it than that. I can feel it. How’s that leg?” said the voice, which it chased with laughter, then with coughing.
Griffin ignored the voice’s comment. A few minutes later, there was more cheering.
“Go ahead,” said the voice, which, oddly enough to Robert, sounded like it was smiling.
“Alfred Morris touchdown,” he responded coldly. His feelings were growing negative inside of him, he knew it. He had been fighting the urge to root against the R-Words winning in his absence to cement his job when he returned. It was getting harder. The voice laughed.
Griffin sat silently in the dark for some indefinite amount of time, long enough for his eyelids to get heavy. Maybe sleeping would help him escape. Every once in a while, Griffin’s lids opened to see a glowing red light, accompanied by muffled boos, and laughter within the room. Finally, he started awake.
“How long has it been?” Griffin almost shouted.
“What is that smell?” Griffin asked, sniffing heavily. He wished he could look down at his shoes. How could he have stepped in dog poop, though?
“Search your feelings.”
“Oh no! How many interceptions has he thrown?!”
“Baylor statue, it’s like I’m in it!” Griffin yelled, covering his nose. “I have to get down there.”
“Please, there’s nothing you can do,” said the glowing red voice. “We’re very far from the match.”
The muffled crowd erupted with boos again. The stench quadrupled.
“Robert, the team will be yours again soon. And together, you and I will rule this fan-base as…”
“Sorry,” Griffin said, “let me just cut you off there. I really can’t even listen to what you’re saying with this smell. I want to hear you, I do. I just have to go.”
Griffin sprung up, grabbed his crutches, and sprinted out. Cackling laughter ushered him out as he hobbled away down the bright hallway to he knew not where.
Keep saying it: There is no perfect quarterback. Say it when you wake up when, when you’re driving, when you’re making love to your wife: There is no perfect quarterback.
Pundits continued to assert that the Washington R-Words starting quarterback position is Cousins’ to lose, not win. Former Steelers Hall of Fame coach Bill Cowher joined the ranks this past Thursday, before the 45-14 loss the Giants, that is. The list of experts, analysts, former players and coaches preaching the Captain Kirk gospel grew long. On Thursday night, Kirk did what any self-respecting R-Words quarterback would do: implode. Not since Rex Grossman and Bad Tony Romo (or Good Tony Romo as R-Words fans know him) have we seen interceptions so blatantly the quarterback’s fault, and there were four of them. “I tried to bring us back in one play,” Cousins told reporters after the game. Feel free to repeat that in a middle school mocking voice. It will make you feel better.
Unfortunately for the health of my psyche, this horrible loss has cemented my love for Captain Kirk. I’ll say it again: I love Kirk. Yes, he single-handedly lost the game. He forced throws and continually gave the ball back to the hot Giants offense. But think of the Captain more of an Ensign at this point, and you’ll understand it. He fights like a younger man. The question is not, who is better: RGIII or Captain Kirk? The question is: who are you willing to hitch your wagon to for a few years to see if they blossom into a very good quarterback? The R-Words had done that with Robert, and sadly, it was his injuries that has made them second-guess that commitment. Good and great quarterbacks all struggle at the beginning. That’s why sophomore slumps exist; because there’s no way for a quarterback to not struggle. In Peyton Manning’s rookie year, there were only six games that weren’t multi-interception games. In three of his first four starts, he threw three interceptions. But the Colts were committed and they saw that he would learn. I hate to positively compare Kirk with one of the most annoying C-Words of the last decade, but I see a lot of Tony Romo in him, minus the arrogance and revolving door of model girlfriends (he’s married; sorry, my wife). Kirk is a gun-slinger, who will probably never be great, but could be very good and can win and lose games with his arm and decision-making.
I love how Kirk forces passes, because we’ve seen that this leads to some of the prettiest completions that have ever come from a Washington jersey. So many young QB’s fade into irrelevance by stringing together sub-200 yard games with one to zero touchdowns. See E.J. Manuel and most Browns quarterbacks ever. Author, John Eldridge, said that he wants to raise his young sons to not back down from fights because they need to learn their own strength so that one day they will know how to use it correctly. Captain Kirk has come out of the womb swinging. Will Gruden be willing to cradle him in his arms this week and tell him softly to not stare down his receivers? All the boy needs to know is that there is a tomorrow. Five of them, to be exact, until the bye week when RGIII is healthy again. Unfortunately, the next tomorrow will be against the defending Super Bowl champs in primetime on Monday night. Let’s hope that day after that tomorrow is nothing like the movie, The Day After Tomorrow, which would, interestingly enough, probably make Captain Kirk Elsa from Frozen. Let it go, Kirk. Actually, don’t let it go as much next time, Kirk. Too many interceptions. Hold onto it, Kirk.
This doesn’t mean I think he should start over RGIII when he returns, because I’ve hitched my wagon to Griffin. But if Ensign Kirk turns into Captain Kirk before our eyes, how could they not keep him in?
Reasons for Depression
Right tackle Tyler Polumbus remains absolutely terrible. He was solely responsible for the first of Washington’s six turnovers, a sack turned fumble. What’s worse is that Gruden isn’t putting 3rd rounder, Morgan Moses, in to replace him. If Polumbus is this bad, I don’t want to know how bad Moses looks.
Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson, the two best receivers the R-Words have ever fielded, caught two balls total on Thursday.
Niles Paul, our surprise back-up tight end, got injured.
Two other under the radar story lines are now in the spotlight after the loss, like two stripe-shirted robbers trying to tiptoe their way off stage, loot over shoulder. DeAngelo Hall’s season-ending injury might as well be called the Washington secondary’s season-ending injury. Youngins, Breeland, Biggers, and Amerson, are starting to look like they are on the field just because their names were alphabetically first on the R-Words’ “Players to Avoid” list, which someone sinisterly swapped out. Only Amerson, Washington’s 2013 2nd rounder, is meant to be starting. All of them are potentially going the way of Bacarri Rambo by being thrown into the fire too soon, which is unemployment.
Reasons for Hope (Poison)
The second story line is RGIII’s injury not being serious, at least as far as RGIII injuries go. Griffin is likely to be in fighting form after the R-Words’ Week 10 bye week. No one cared to hear this news when it was released right around the Eagles game because everyone was drooling over Cousins. Now, it’s time to take notice.
Alfred Morris and the running game are still good.
Jordan Reed, our young star tight end, could be back against Seattle.
The R-Words rank very well statistically in most categories. In yardage per game, they rank 4th in overall offense, 4th in passing, and 7th in overall defense. Of course they would, though. The R-Words are uncannily always excellent on paper.
Not much else.
Washington is 1-3. The next five games in Kirk’s treatise for franchise-hood are as follows:
- Seahawks at Home – gulp
- At Cardinals – currently undefeated
- Titans at Home – fellow bad team, 1-3
- At C-Words – 3-1 – best case scenario we make it here at 3-4, making this game make or break for the season. If we do and win this, the next two are winnable.
- At Vikings – 2-2
- Bucs at Home – fellow bad team, 1-3
Sorry if I’ve just poisoned you with hope, but I can’t help it. That’s what R-Words fans do.