- Costco status quo: Wholesaler lists Bible as fiction, Ron Burgundy memoir as gospel
- Sarah Palin responds to Martin Bashir’s resignation, praises media
- Obama to send 2 Gitmo terror suspects back to Algeria
- Paul Walker secretly bought $9K wedding ring for Iraq vet
- Mystery sign poster hits Washington state town: ‘It’s OK to say Merry Christmas’
- Pope Francis forms commission to advise on sex abuse
- Anthony Weiner on radio? Cumulus says, ‘Never, ever’
- Executive order: Obama ups green-energy mandate on feds to 20 percent
- GOP launches candidate training: How to talk to women
- N.Y.’s Rockefeller Center lights up, as Bloomberg flicks on 76-foot Christmas tree
FENNO: Hope returns as RG3 leads Redskins into 2013 season
The game was supposed to be a celebration.
After starting 10 different quarterbacks in 10 forgettable years, the Redskins had found the man to construct the franchise around. His powerful right arm and legs that always seemed one step ahead of would-be tacklers merged with an endorsement-winning smile and the uncanny ability to say the right thing at the right time.
The franchise knocked back by everything from Albert Haynesworth’s ill-fated $100 million contract to draft-pick blunders to the NFL-imposed $36 million salary cap penalty finally had a face. All the bad feelings vanished in a charmed run to win the regular season’s final seven games, capture the NFC East Division title and make the first playoff appearance in five years. The same old Redskins became a juggernaut of exotic offensive formations and victories snatched from certain defeat.
Forget about the porous secondary. Never mind season-ending injuries to Fred Davis, Adam Carriker and Brian Orakpo. Even Griffin’s scare after being enveloped by refrigerator-sized Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata in December turned out to be nothing more than a sprained right knee.
Griffin had the gift to sidestep trouble with the same ease he escaped defenders.
The celebration, however, disappeared in a shower of green-painted dirt.
Scenes from the last time Griffin played at FedEx Field in the 24-14 playoff game to the Seahawks appear like remnants of a bad dream than a football game. The renewed hope that this team was different from past disappointments, the 84,325 supporters chanting “R-G-3!, R-G-3!”, the early 14-0 lead, the ability to find a way to pull out a win no matter the circumstances, the rookie quarterback who could do no wrong. All that promise dashed against turf that resembled a freshly plowed field rather than something suited for football.
The consequences of that chilly day haven’t left. They followed Griffin from the tear-streaked moments after January surgery to repair his damaged right anterior cruciate ligament to the all-out rehabilitation that spawned an ESPN documentary to the back-and-forth bickering that clung to each phase of his recovery.
The most-discussed knee in the NFL is once again healthy. At least that’s what coach Mike Shanahan and Dr. James Andrews and Griffin insist. But time can only do so much. Moving past the painful series of events from January and months since can only happen on the field.
That starts with Monday’s season-opening kickoff against the Eagles scheduled for 6:55 p.m. To welcome back possibility. To lift the burden that’s hung over Washington like the 74-foot projection of Griffin’s image on the side of the Newseum above Pennsylvania Avenue last August. To finally end a game that festered an entire offseason.
Griffin rolling toward the right sideline to buy time for a pass, falling with his right leg awkwardly underneath him, then limping like a man with a leg that refuses to work correctly.
The unsettling reality that he wasn’t the same, that his once-smooth strides became abrupt hobbles. The inability to run neutered the offense. Just 36 total yards came on his final six possessions. Nothing worked like it used to.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- FENNO: No obvious answer for Redskins in determining Mike Shanahan's fate
- FENNO: After another loss, Redskins a franchise in free-fall
- Learning to play football right: Some hope to bring safety back to game
- FENNO: NCAA finds way into Rep. Linda Sanchez's crosshairs over concussions
- FENNO: RG3's words not the Redskins' biggest problem
Latest Blog Entries
- CURL: 'Mission Accomplished' for Obamacare
- Hack attack: 2 million Facebook, Twitter passwords stolen
- NAPOLITANO: Pope Francis should be saving souls, not pocketbooks
- Democratic infighting erupts over 'we can have it all' fantasy on entitlements
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality
- American teacher shot and killed at Benghazi international school
- Obama returns to class warfare as poll numbers plunge
- HARPER: 'Knockout game' not a myth to liberal Sharpton
- Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.
- Pentagon may give recruits 'a shot to start over' after shameful social media posts
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Film Reviews and Articles by Kevin Williams
A collection of reader guest articles, thoughts and opinions by Communities writers and breaking news and information.
The cold hard truth about politics in America today and the state of this once great nation.
Politics, economics, and business from a real world perspective.
White House pets gone wild!