“Just a cup of coffee, please,” Robert Griffin III told the waitress behind the bar. He eased his broken body onto the bar stool at the Washington D.C. breakfast diner, but he wasn’t hungry. He had slept poorly the night before after watching his Washington R-Words fall to the Seattle Seahawks, yet again. He couldn’t break his mind of the cycle of watching the Washington defense being run by and run over, time and time again, by…
“Russell Wilson?” the waitress behind the bar said, her mouth agape. “You are just my hero! Oops, did I say that out loud? That’s blasphemy here in Washington.”
“Now, now,” said Wilson, “I was just doing my job. You guys are the real heroes.”
“Well, you are just the greatest, Mr. Wilson. Here, there’s a seat next to this gentleman right here.”
She pointed to the stool next to the gentleman named RGIII. Russell walked over, his presidential smile, drooping eye lids, and all.
“Well,” Russell said, really dragging it out, “if it isn’t Robert Griffin, the third. Hey, buddy.”
Wilson slapped Griffin hard on the back.
“Great game last night,” Griffin mustered, extending his hand.
“Yeah, well, when you get blocking like that…”
The waitress interrupted: “And what would you like, Mr. Wilson?”
“Oh, just everything.”
“I think I’ll take one of everything on the menu,” Wilson said, then really dragged out with his arms extended, slowly dancing back and forth: “Come on, I’m celebrating!”
“Of course, Mr. Wilson. You know, we should just call that the “Russell Wilson,” when you order everything on the menu. Because you can do everything. You run. You pass. Oh, this is so great.”
The waitress scurried off to the giant chalkboard on the wall, erasing the “Captain’s Log” breakfast with fierce excitement. The Captain’s Log had been an order of four sausage links on top of r**skin potatoes.
“So,” Wilson turned to Griffin, “you’re not eating?”
“Not hungry,” Griffin answered, his head drooped.
“Well, you can just pick off mine, buddy,” Wilson said, slapping Griffin on the back again.
“Gee, thanks,” said Griffin, feigning excitement.
“So, how’s everything? How’s the boot?”
“Doctors say I got another few weeks before I’m ready to go.”
Waitresses were now in a line, delivering hordes of breakfast foods: sausage, bacon, pancakes, benedicts, eggs every way.
“I don’t know,” Griffin said, his head still bowed a bit, “I just sort of wonder if I have anything left.”
“Uh huh.” Wilson was now arranging his platters around him. He grabbed a blank plate and put it in front of Griffin, and tucked a napkin into his shirt to form a bib. Russell dug in. “Just let me know if you want anything, buddy,” he said with his mouth full, “I’m still listening.”
“I just… Remember 2012?”
“Of course. Sort of, yeah. All the wins sort of blend together for me now, but yeah.”
“I can’t seem to get back to that. I just used to be able to think quickly, make all the throws, you know? I was usually the fastest guy on field. I used to be so…”
Wilson held up a plate of over-easy eggs as if to scrape them on Griffin’s plate. Griffin shook his head.
“When I play now, I see the lanes to run, but I hesitate. It’s mental, I think. I mean, I’ve hurt my leg like three different ways since I’ve been in Washington. I wonder if I’ll ever again be able to…”
“Scramble?” Wilson offered, plate and fork held up, ready to scrape.
“No, thanks,” Griffin said, holding up his hand.
“Your funeral, buddy. There’s nothing I like better than a good scramble.” He proceeded to finish it in three bites.
“Exactly, Russell. I was just like you, man. It just used to be my…”
“Bread and butter?”
“Yes!” Griffin’s fist slammed on the bar.
Wilson slathered butter on a roll and tossed it onto Griffin’s plate.
“I mean, Russell, am I…”
“Toast? Sorry, I didn’t know there was any or I wouldn’t have given you bread.”
Griffin shook his head.
“You know, buddy,” Wilson said, leaning back and sucking his teeth,” when I won my first Super Bowl, I thought, can I do this again?” He was chuckling at this point. “I mean, Marshawn Lynch and Richard Sherman and I were partying with these hoes, right? It was the night of the Super Bowl win over Peyton Manning, the best quarterback of all time. You remember. Anyway, we just had this moment, girls all over us, our rings glistening in the lights, people worshipping us. Like literally, someone prayed to me and I granted it. Anyway, that’s not the point. We had a moment where I said to them, ‘Guys, we should take a moment and think about all the people out there who don’t get to have this.’ And Marshawn and Richard tried to be serious, but they just broke and started laughing at me. I started laughing. Everyone in the club started laughing, man. It was hilarious.”
“Yeah, I guess that helps,” said Griffin. “I mean, I was watching you last night. We were drafted the same year, and we’re similar, you and me. But there I was on the sidelines in street clothes, with this freaking boot on, while you’re out there killing us. You were running so much, and you were confident, man. You just had these huge…”
“Huevos?” Wilson held up a plate of eggs, beans and salsa. He shrugged his shoulders upon Griffin’s refusal.
“I just wonder if at this point, I should…”
“Juice?” Wilson held up his glass of OJ, which only had a gulp or two left after he had just chugged it, and looked Griffin in the eye, a shiny orange mustache adorning his upper lip.
“Hey, man, are you alright?” Griffin said, concerned, “Did you accidentally take some sort of Ambien or something? It looks like you’re about to fall…”
Griffin stopped. Wilson was frozen there, his seemingly heavier-than-normal eyelids covering half his eyes. Griffin remembered that’s just how Russell Wilson looks, like he’s constantly just taken Benadryl.
“I mean, I’ll take a waffle,” Griffin recovered. “Actually, I better go. I have this award ceremony to get to.”
“Oh, really? Me too. Which one are you getting?”
“No, I’m actually giving one.”
“Really. Giving an award. Huh,” Wilson paused. “For what?”
“We give a weekly award to someone during the season. We call it the “Best Player Ever This Week” award. The R**dskins honor a player from the opposing team every week that we made look like the best player ever. It doesn’t mean they are at all, but for a while, the analysts and commentators will talk about them like they are. It’s just really nice for the guy who gets it. In the past, it’s been guys like Tiki Barber, Tony Romo, etc. So far this year, we’ve given it to J. J. Watt, Eli Manning, and I don’t know who it is this week.”
Griffin reached to his back pocket for his wallet.
“It’s me,” Wilson said.
“Oh. Congratulations, then.”
“Thank you. Well, that’s good news, buddy,” Wilson said, reaching for his wallet, chuckling, “I was worried I wasn’t going to know anybody there. Marshawn and Richard and I were laughing before the game yesterday about how we couldn’t even name one player on Washington. Too funny.”
“Well, this is embarrassing,” Griffin muttered, touching his pants in the back and the front as if he was itching.
“Yeah, I would be embarrassed to give an award to another quarterback, too, I guess.”
“No, I mean, I seem to have left my wallet.”
“No worries, buddy. I gotcha.”
“I always lose it now.”
“It’s just… I always liked it out of the pocket, before the injury. I would carry it a lot. Then I hurt my leg, and the crutches, and I couldn’t carry it anymore. Hands were full. Too much to remember.”
“I hear ya.”
“Everyone’s been telling me, ‘in the pocket, in the pocket,’ but I don’t like it in the pocket. It’s so restricting.”
“Well,” Wilson said, getting up, “You just need to get a more secure pocket. Then, you’ll like it there. Me? I never lose it. Been an ‘in the pocket’ kind of guy since college. It feels like home to me. Like I’m back in the womb.”
The waitress accepted Wilson’s wad of cash with glee, and seemed confused when he paid for the gentleman next to him. As they walked out, Griffin slower than Wilson, Griffin overhead the waitress.
“Russell Wilson is the nicest man ever! He just picked up that homeless man’s tab that was next to him at the bar. He even talked to him. You know that homeless guy that’s always in here with the boot? Yeah, I think he’s a wounded veteran. Poor soul.”
The Seahawks continue to be the bane of the R-Words’ existence. The last three playoff trips the R-Words have taken in the last decade have ended with losses to Seattle. I love it when call they them, “trips,” to the playoffs, especially for the R-Words because when they get into the playoffs, it’s uncannily similar to a school boy finding out he gets to go to Disney World, a place he never goes and may never go again. I wouldn’t be surprised if they go home with autographs from their favorite players. Either way, Seattle has been to Washington’s playoff trips what seeing Ursula in real life for the first time is to a trip to Disney. Joe Gibbs took the R-Words to the playoffs twice in his four year renaissance with the team. The Seahawks knocked them out both times. It was during the playoff loss to Seattle two years ago that Robert Griffin III and Mike Shanahan teamed up to prematurely hamper, if not ruin, Griffin’s career, by keeping him in while he was clearly injured. It was during this game in January of 2012, possibly during some handshake or post-game embrace or inhaled fart, that RGIII’s alternate reality of success and durability was passed on to Russell Wilson. The two men have grown more and more apart over the last two years. On Monday night in Washington, Wilson rushed for 122 yards and threw two touchdowns. Wilson was exactly the quarterback Griffin was supposed to be.
Reasons for Hope (Poison) and Depression
While the R-Words are 1-4, R-Words fans remain interested. Born debaters and romantics, Washington fans watch now for two reasons: We have been brainwashed by the R-Words to continually believe they might be good, and we watch for argument fuel to participate in the great quarterback debate: Captain Kirk vs. RGIII. Captain Kirk is now 0-3 as a starter this season, and Griffin returns in a month. Kirk has looked magnificent at times, but he can’t seem to win. His two deep throws to DeSean Jackson in the second half against Seattle were brilliant, the touchdown on a roll-out, was reminiscent of 2012 RGIII, but maybe even better. Winning is the single key to Cousins maintaining his hold on the starting quarterback position when RGIII returns. He must look good, but he must win. If he remains solid, like he has been other than the Captain’s log he dropped against New York, and they win against Arizona this week, Cousins apologists will come out of the woodwork again.
More than that, the R-Words’ season might possibly be on the line in Arizona. It would honestly be better for R-Words fans if they went ahead and lost. Better we break up now than date longer and waste all of our time. But as we know, the metaphysical evil presence known as the R-Words plans to poison us with hope to retain its hold on our hearts and wallets. Look for the R-Words to pull out a win in Arizona to accomplish this, and add fuel to the quarterback controversy. Jordan Reed, our young star at tight end, is returning just in time to help Captain Kirk. Come on, it’ll be fun.