May 16, 2012

The Waiting

In the days and weeks following the St. Louis/Washington trade, up to and through the NFL draft and subsequent Redskins rookie camp, feeding the daily Robert Griffin III obsession was easy. There was such a cornucopia of news available that the difficult part was trying to assimilate it all in the few hours a working person has to spare.

But now the dust has settled.

In the interminable lull between camps, the available nourishment has been pared down to following links–any links–even if they're about socks.

These days the morning ritual includes a quick stop on Google's sports news roundup, typing "RG3" in the search field and scanning the entire list. You know, in case someone somewhere wrote something new about the Redskins, their new quarterback phenom, and their inevitable return to rightful gridiron relevance.

Or better yet there might be a new video.

At first, the Baylor games were the video prize. On-field heroics. Amazing throws, breathtaking runs. Having watched them all repeatedly, however, today the off-field, who-is-this-guy version have become equally prized. Maybe more so, given that ultimately they are what led to the kid getting under our Skins.

Twenty-two year old Robert Griffin III has spawned more man-crushes–particularly among men who generally cringe at mention of such a thing–than anyone since Art Monk was hailed into Canton.

And no, it's not just about the kid. Any thinking soul knows there is more to it than that. It's about the kid becoming quarterback of the Washington Redskins.

So will this all prove just another too-good-to-be-true infatuation? Jeremy Lin 2.0? Yeah maybe–shit happens.

But not yet. Not today ...

Today it's all about promise.

And so we wait. With 84 days to go before the preseason opener against the Buffalo Bills, we know what we have to do. We'll will find things to occupy our time; things to distract us.

We will mow the grass. Alot. Maybe hit the beach if we're lucky.

You know, attend to daily life.

We'll keep one eye on the first-place Nationals, who, as of this writing, are slowly, blood-vessel by blood-vessel, reclaiming the hearts of Washingtonians whose first baseball love was ripped from their chests forty years ago.

We'll wish we still had those pre-preseason scrimmages with the Pittsburgh Steelers up in Latrobe. Some of us more seasoned types remember tuning in, at high noon on certain sweltering August Saturdays, to catch some position drills, a little 7-on-7, and at the end, a four-series-each, full-squad scrimmage, where two different sets of uniforms actually lined up, ran a few plays, tackled, and even kept score.

Imagine what a circus–and how much fun–that would be this year.

Alas, it is not to be. 

So we wait.

We understand that the first time we see these new Redskins take the field, and get to watch Robert Griffin III walk up to the line of scrimmage in "live" action (air-quotes denoting preseason), we will only get a glimpse. A morsel. He'll throw eight, maybe ten passes. He might even take off and run once (though the bet here is that if he does, he'll scamper out of bounds and/or slide quite early, so as to not make his coach and every living soul within a million mile radius of Redskins Nation pucker in unison).

But he will have played. In Redskins colors.

And when the first preseason game is over, we will dive in and take the full nine days until the Redskin play again (at Chicago) to dissect every step, decision, throw, body-language cue and post-game comment that can be gleaned, inferred, or simply made up, from repeated slow-motion replays of bad local network television coverage, and Youtube mashups, as is humanly possible.

It will all mean exactly nothing of course. Preseason is still preseason. It will be preposterous, indulgent, and a complete waste of time.

It will also be absolutely, unapologetically glorious.


Anonymous said...

It's great to have you back posting again. Love your latest piece. Its that late May through July wait (for training camp and eventual preseason games) that is the hardest part of each year.

Cupcake Products said...

Thanks for writing this.