Redskins fans received Robert Griffin III on Saturday at a card and memorabilia collector’s show in Chantilly as if he already has won multiple championships and restored the franchise’s good name.
Judging by how hundreds of fans stood in line and paid at least $100 each to get his autograph or have their photograph taken with him, you’d never know the reigning Heisman trophy winner hasn’t even been drafted yet.
Redskins supporters turned out in droves to greet their new savior, whom the Redskins are expected to draft with the second-overall pick this month. A few wore customized No. 10 Redskins jerseys with “Griffin III” on the nameplate. Others wore burgundy and gold t-shirts with “RG3” screened on. A few even wore cartoon-themed socks, following Griffin’s custom.
Griffin’s handlers refused to allow him to speak to reporters, who staked him out for more than four hours.
Fans cheered loudly the first time Griffin appeared in the public area of the show. He signed autographs for fans for at least an hour longer than the allotted 90 minutes. Then he spent another hour away from fans signing Redskins and Baylor helmets and other memorabilia for dealers to sell.
There wasn’t an Indianapolis Colts helmet in sight.
When Griffin was finished signing, his handlers whisked him out a back door, past reporters and into an SUV that was waiting with the engine running.
Redskins second-year running back Roy Helu signed autographs for fans while sitting two tables from Griffin’s right.
“I didn’t get to catch a lot of Baylor games but he’s a quality player, won the Heisman,” Helu said. “I trust the front office over there to pick a quality guy. Whoever we get a chance to get, it will be good to work with him.”
In the midst of the all the RG3 fervor, Helu emphasized how important it is for Griffin to ignore it.
“The less he can worry about what other people think of how good he should be, the better he is,” Helu said.