On Oct. 23, 2011, Robert Griffin III passed for 404 yards and four touchdowns in a win over Kansas State. That was his second-biggest accomplishment of the night.
The main event came afterward. Griffin had planned to propose to his girlfriend, Rebecca Liddicoat, that night, win or lose.
Jacqueline Griffin, Robert’s mother, shared the story of the proposal on Wednesday, standing mere yards from where it occurred: at midfield of Baylor’s indoor football practice facility.
Now, Baylor’s indoor facility is quite nice. It’s the type of facility you’d expect a professional football team (cough, cough) to have. After it hosted Baylor’s pro day on Wednesday, a group of women held yoga class in there while we scribes continued our work. As it turns out, it also makes a nice setting for a marriage proposal.
Let Mrs. Griffin take it from here:
Robert “told me he wanted a candlelight-type of ceremony,” she said. “He wrote a song. Yes, he sings and he writes music – he doesn’t know how to write ‘music’ music but he writes lyrics and he can come up with a melody. He wrote a song for her. He had one of his teammates go up there [to a camera perch at the top of the indoor facility] and he played the guitar.
“As they were walking in, [Robert] started singing the song. I had set up candles – battery-operated candles; I didn’t want to burn the building down – right here in the middle. Her mom and her dad and her two sisters and my family – my husband and [RG3’s] two sisters – were all standing in a circle with a candle in our hand.
“He walked her to the circle. She couldn’t see. We had it dark in here. When they got close to the BU [midfield logo], we all hit our candles and it came on. She was like, ‘What is this?’ And he got on one knee.
“The funny thing about it is he came in the building and he said, ‘Rebecca, wait a minute. I’ve got to use the bathroom.’ And my husband was in the bathroom with the ring. He gave him the ring, and it was a fun time.”
Fairytale stuff. But it gets better.
“It wasn’t initially supposed to be in here,” Mrs. Griffin said. “He showed me a tree that they used to go sit under and talk, but it stormed that night. He was like, ‘Mom, you’ve got to come up with a backup plan for me.’ And you know that military kicked in. We always have to have a backup plan.
“I happened to be driving past here, and I saw that the facility lights were on. The whole time I was driving around going, ‘God, please give me a plan.’ I came in here and they were showing recruits the facility.
“The coach told me, he said, ‘Mrs. Griffin, what’s going on?’ I said, ‘I think I need to use the facility,’ but I couldn’t tell him what it was for. I said, ‘I need to use the facility for a few minutes. Is that OK?’ He said, ‘Well, as long as you finish by the time we get back in here.’ I ran around him like a little chicken with my head cut off, putting everything together.”
“He was like, ‘Mom, Mom, we’re coming!’ My husband was like, ‘Honey, they’re on their way.’ But it all worked out. We got in here. He sung the song. He got on his knees. We all were crying. She was crying. We all hurried up and cleaned up.
“By the time we did all that, [the coach and the recruits] came back in and they said, ‘Mrs. Griffin, we’ve got to cut the lights off and leave.’ I said, ‘We’re finished.’ They asked, ‘What are y’all doing in here.’ They didn’t know.”
The happy couple has not set a date because Robert doesn’t know for sure where he’ll be employed.