When Robert Griffin (RG)III, the young star quarterback of the Washington
Racists Redskins caught his toe in the chewed-up turf at FedEx Field® on Sunday night as he fell across the sideline in a vain attempt to put his team two touchdowns ahead of the Seattle Sea Hawks, his resultant gimpy hop/walk back to the huddle sent alarm bells ringing in the minds of all Sons of Washington.
The federal district, not the state. Those football-watching Washingtonians who get to have U.S. Senators and some semblance of autonomy from Congress instead found themselves salivating like Pavlov’s pomeranian at the prospect of three quarters against badly damaged opposition, and who could blame them? It was pre-obvious that our most precious resource (RGIII, to hell with The Children), would be kept in far too long at the risk of his health and the Skins’ hopes of advancing to the divisional round of the playoffs.
To be clear, as clear as the noted Islamo-Marxist Governor-General of British Kenya (B. Hussein NOBAMA) is when he’s being all “McCONNELL, DON’T MAKE ME DRONESTRIKE YOU”, etc., I don’t fault R. Geezy for any of this. He’s still too much of a newbie NFL player to yet have experienced his scarcely mortal limitations, especially when those boundaries are compressed stochastically by the (until recently) unfamiliar situation of playing through a serious injury.
NFL players are who they are not just because of physical gifts and hard work, but also because of a winning mentality unfazed by anything but the most immovable of objects. We should take it for granted that RGThreesus wanted to be on the field until his leg basically unscrewed itself from the rest of his body.
How-EVAH, Mike Shanahan, that Coppertone soul brotha of the chain-smoking serial weeper John Boehner (R-OH) should know better. Recalling an event familiar to all but the youngest citizens of Broncos Nation, Shanahan once ordered Terrell Davis to grow some balls on his chest and get out on the field whilst blinded by a migraine from the lower circles of hell… and that was back when your correspondent was but a third-rate pupil at the world famous District of Columbia
Department of Juvenile Corrections Public Schoolz.
Fifteen years on, the steakhouse entrepreneur has yet to demonstrate that he can be trusted with the health of his new football club’s transcendently valuable asset. And if Shanny can’t be counted on to protect players like TD and RGeezus, how can anyone (but most especially GM Bruce Allen and the wee man himself, Daniel M. Snyder) be comfortable with his judgement of the fitness of any player?
The reaction of the Twitterati has been depressingly telling. Former players are siding uniformly with Shanahan’s capitulation, seemingly on the theory that NFL PLAYERS ARE MANLY MEN, I WAS AN NFL PLAYER, AND AM THEREFORE A MANLY MAN ALSO, BECAUSE LOGIC. Meanwhile, most everyone else in my feed was asking questions that journalists would ask if sports journalism was still a respectable profession.
Variants of “WTF?”, mostly.
Perhaps I and the members of the drive-by media are being too harsh to Shanahan, because there’s another possibility here. We may have to take RGeezus’s comment literally when he said he would not allow himself to be taken out of the game; the obvious implication being that Griffin, as a rookie, pulls more rank than his veteran head coach.
Either case is really quite astonishing. If this is a false dichotomy, I want to hear about it because both of the scenarios outlined above make Mr. Shanahan’s position untenable. This is shameless speculation (whatever shutup) but it’s quite interesting that Dan Snyder is personally accompanying Griffin to Birmingham, Alabama to see Dr. James Andrews, the orthopedic specialist who is likely to confirm with exploratory surgery the initial diagnosis of career-threatening ACL and LCL tears.
Global warming is a myth (obvs), but this inconvenient truth is real: the league’s problem with the lingering corporeal effects of repeated blunt head trauma is already damaging football’s viability as a going concern in the long run, despite the best intentions of USA Football’s Heads Up Football™ campaign, and this high profile injury debacle isn’t making it any better.
Don’t shoot the messenger, but don’t deny the obvious either: Smash Mouth Football will either die out or devolve into something resembling rugby, as it was before the narrow field at Harvard Stadium necessitated the forward pass. The criminal negligence with which coaches like Mike Shanahan treat even the league’s best players will only accelerate ‘Merican Football’s descent into the sporting abyss, taking with it college football (SEC country’s most profitable industry since the invention of the cotton gin, according to economic statistics I just made up).
Although football’s impending implosion will eventually benefit baseball, basketball, and soccer in this country (hockey is Canadian, and Canada is imaginary), it is very sad that athletes of #BlackJesus’s caliber are the collateral damage of our too-slowly expanding scientific understanding of what this sport actually does to people.
Let us all pray to Tim Tebow, seated at the left hand of Allah, that Bob Griffin can recover from this injury well enough to give Mike Shanahan and Dan Snyder all the success they so thoroughly do NOT deserve.