If you think you’re tired of Robert Griffin III stories now, let’s see how you feel after another decade of them.
That’s about how long, Thom Loverro predicts, Griffin topics will continue to move the needle in Washington, D.C.
“He moves the needle, and everyone cares, and anything you say to the contrary is a lie, and you know that when write about him or talk about him, you’re going to move the needle. You’re gonna get calls and you’re gonna get clicks,” Chad Dukes said on 106.7 The Fan Wednesday.
“When does that stop?” he wondered. “Is every time, if somebody comes out that played with him two or three years down the road — if Pierre Garcon’s got something to say, or Cooley’s got something to say, or Logan Paulsen’s got something to say — if he fires back on Twitter, are we going to go through this referendum again?”
“Yes. Albert Haynesworth had a lot of legs, and he was a zero-personality defensive tackle,” Loverro said. “This guy was a superstar quarterback who thinks of himself as some kind of icon.”
“He’s going to find a place,” he said. “It’s probably not on the football field, but he’s gonna find a place somehow where he’ll be able to stay in the public eye, express himself still publicly.”
“He’s got all those followers,” Loverro added. “It’s only a matter of time before he winds up on the We TV network with a reality TV show. So he will always have a prominent place, so whenever something comes up about him, for I’d say the next 10 years, that he will move the needle.”
Loverro reacted to remarks made on the air by Santana Moss days earlier, in which Moss, who played 10 seasons for the Redskins, accused Griffin of openly gloating around teammates about Mike Shanahan getting fired.
“It was good to hear what Santana had to say,” Loverro said, “but if you go back and look and see what [Griffin] said after Shanahan was gone, he was bragging and boasting about getting rid of Shanahan, we just didn’t realize it. You had to read between the lines.”
“He still has a place, a bizarre place, but a place in the media landscape,” he said of Griffin. “He remains I think the greatest rise and fall athletically that we’ve ever seen. He’s still a compelling story, and what makes him so compelling is he’s so clueless.
“He still doesn’t get it. I mean, he doesn’t understand. He looks in that mirror and he sees somebody different. He sees the best quarterback in the NFL. He sees a loyal teammate. He sees a guy who did everything that the coaches told him to do and he doesn’t understand what all this is about.”
“He still is a force,” he said. “What kind of force, I don’t know. I’m sure he thinks he’s a force for good, being a superhero freak and all that.”
Loverro pointed to the timing of a 10-day-old tweet as an example of clueless Griffin still is.
“It just happened to coincide with the Eagles-Redskins game,” Loverro said. “So no, I don’t think he gets it at all. I think that he sees himself as the victim of the year. I mean, when he left Redskins Park, he left behind this, like, long list of sayings that I called his ‘victim impact statement,’ that basically said, ‘Forgive them, for they know not what they do.’ That’s the way he sees himself, as a victim.”
“He had everything you could want in his mind, and in other people’s mind, too,” Loverro said. “It all disappeared one afternoon at FedEx Field, and he doesn’t understand why he can’t get that back. He doesn’t remember holding his own press conference, after Kirk Cousins started for him in the Cleveland game, because he didn’t want to see anyone else get all the attention.”
Loverro recalled one quote in particular — of Griffin to Chick Hernandez four months after Mike Shanahan’s firing — which perfectly captured Griffin’s genuine perspective. That video no longer appears on CSN’s website, so here’s Dan Steinberg’s transcription:
“We’ve got some new faces here, a lot of excitement,” Griffin said in the April 2014 interview. “And we’ll actually get a chance to play the brand of football that we want to play, determined by the players, and Coach Jay Gruden’s gonna allow us to do that. So whenever you see me tweet #TheMovement, it’s just saying what is the movement? What do we want to be known for?”
“And I’ve talked to my teammates about it,” Griffin said. “We decide what our identity is. We’re gonna play whatever kind of brand of football that we want to play, and that’s part of our movement, and we’re excited about presenting that to the fans this upcoming season. And we can’t promise many things. We can’t promise how many wins or how many losses, but we can promise you this: It’s gonna be exciting.”
“So the players are gonna decide what kind of football they’re gonna play. That’s bragging. That’s boasting,” Loverro said. “In other words, that’s sitting there saying, ‘We’re gonna play our football now.'”
“Was he trying to, though, say in kind of a clumsy way that the talent on the field is going to dictate how we run this team,” Dukes wondered, “instead of the system dictating how we handle the talent on the field?”
“No, I think he was trying to say he was going to decide what was going to happen on the field,” Loverro said. “He saw himself as the leader of this team, so when he talks about the players, he means him, and I don’t think he thought anything more than just, ‘I’m going to decide what we’re gonna play from now on, how we’re gonna play, just like I told Mike Shanahan I was going to when I walked into his office that day and showed him the plays I wasn’t going to run any more.’ This was a victory speech: ‘I won.'”
“Look, I believe Santana anyway,” he added. “But I went back and read through some of [Griffin’s] statements and he was publicly bragging, people just didn’t realize it.”
“We heard the stories about him dictating what kind of music was going to be played in the weight room, his family getting rides to games in a limousine that Dan Snyder would get them, how his father was the only parent allowed in the Redskins locker room after games,” Loverro said. I mean, just one set of privileges after another, so of course he’s going to feel empowered to think that he could get the head coach fired.”
“Santana has built up a career of credibility,” he said. “But, what Santana did, in a way, was take us into the locker room and confirm what a lot of us had already known. So, basically, it was just affirmation of what we had told people before and they’d say, ‘Well, I don’t believe you. You’re just making it up. The media. Fake news.’ Whatever. From Robert sycophants, that’s what you would hear. They’re not going to do that to Santana Moss.”
“And let me be the first one to say that I led the Robert Griffin III parade in his rookie year,” he said. “I thought he was the greatest thing since sliced bread.
“I went nuts when he would have his press conferences outside Redskins Park — walking off the field at practice and they’d have them outside the door — and the planes from Dulles would fly over. And he would stop when a plane would fly over so the microphones wouldn’t be drowned out by what he had to say, and then continue, and I thought to myself, ‘My God. This guy is amazing. I want to vote for him for president.'”
“And, you know, he’s done. He’s finished,” Loverro said. “He’s not going to play in this league again. I mean, where is he? He’s playing basketball in Estonia? What’s that all about?”
“He’s not listening to the message he left at Redskins Park, when he left, about forgiving people, and ignoring the noise.”