In a shocking development, the subject of one of today’s Washington, D.C., sports-talk radio was surprise, surprise, Robert Griffin III.
Yes, whether it’s his knee, his rehabilitation, his wedding, his press conference or just him in general, the second-year quarterback from Baylor holds this town in the pam of his hands. The subject today was discussing whether Griffin’s career with the Washington Redskins would be a success if he didn’t win a Super Bowl.
Now, I tend to be someone who believes athletes are held to ridiculously high standards. For example, many hammered LeBron James before he won an NBA Championship, completely ignoring the fact he took the Cleveland Cavaliers to the NBA Finals, largely by himself.
We never point out that Buffalo Bills went to four straight Super Bowls, an unprecedented accomplishment in league history. We regularly note the Buffalo Bills lost four straight Super Bowls.
In short, fair or unfair, we live in a culture that places a disproportionate premium on winning.
Still, when it comes to Griffin, I have a really simple answer to the question of whether his career in Washington will be a disappointment if he doesn’t win a Super Bowl.
Griffin is the player the Redskins took with the second overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Griffin is the man who would have almost certainly gone No. 1 any other year, if not for another once-in-a-generation phenom, Andrew Luck, going before him to the Indianapolis Colts. Griffin is the quarterback the Redskins gave up three first-round draft choices and a second-round draft pick to move up four spots to get. Griffin is the person the franchise has built its offense around schematically. Griffin has already emerged at 23 years of age as the face of the franchise, a role in which he clearly embraces.
This is not to say Griffin is somehow a failure personally if he doesn’t win a Super Bowl. Nor am I trying to project unfair expectations on Griffin.
However, in terms of the Redskins, Griffin is the person they have for better or worse, hitched the fortunes of their franchise to. You don’t surrender three first-round draft picks for any player. You do for franchise caliber players who you believe can be the cornerstone of a championship team.
And, without question, that is the expectation for Griffin.
Brian Carroccio is a Washington Redskins blogger for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @bricarr2, ”like” him on Facebook and add him to your Google+ network. Also, check out his baseball and golf columns on Rant Sports.