Both my boys played football. One played skills positions and the other was on the line. They worked really hard. I don’t think they threw up during two-a-days. I know some of the boys did. No flies on them. Washington is brutal in August.
Neither boy won a Heisman. They didn’t end up the second pick in an NFL draft. Lacked the NFL Rookie of the Year honor, too.
Nobody underwent reconstructive knee surgeries. One did have his hand stepped on by a 300 pound freshman lineman when he stepped up to fill a hole on the line. (Yes, it’s true. There were 3-4 freshman that size.) He was a 165 pound corner just doing his job. It was a hairline fracture and he was cleared for practice in a week.
I love football. And, after watching many, many, many practices and games, I know I truly love the young men who work hard to make plays, playing a game they love.
When Robert came to Washington, the entire city loved him, a super-athlete with an easy, thousand watt smile. What a C.V.! He was a stellar student-athlete, earning his Bachelor’s in 3 years with a 3.7. He played his 4th year of D-1 football eligibility while working on a Masters. Seriously, that’s baller. Oh, and he loves his folks.
I don’t feel like reciting his career, but know that I was saddened to hear he was released from The Washington Football team. I’m glad that his benched-time is over. I still feel like he was misused and abused.
Oh, come on, Doc! some of you say. That guy made more in Subway and Gatorade endorsements his rookie year than you will make in your entire worklife. Put your sympathies to better use.
I’m like. So. What are his big faults? He’s arrogant? He blamed his O-line? He made a logo for himself? He wasn’t buds with the other quarterbacks? He didn’t play hard enough <false>? The team didn’t win <true>?
But, also. Did he flip off an opposing team? Get into “massive fights” at his apartment? Show up all over the place drunk? Hit his girlfriend, many times? While driving drunk, by the way? Did he hurt dogs? Drag a woman out of an elevator by her hair? Violate a restraining order? Drive through a hit and run? Get pulled over for DUI, even once, versus more than once? Murder somebody? [Here’s a list.]
No. He did not.
Did he publicly support his team while dealing with the personal public humiliation of being benched? Well, yes. Yes he did. Still, he worked hard running the practice squad. Knowing that he wasn’t suiting up he still made his team better by prepping for the opposition–and keeping his head and body in the game for his future.
Robert was a young man recruited by older men to demonstrate Einstein’s definition of insanity. You know, repeating the same experiment and expecting different results.
Bottom line, he came to a Washington Football Team franchise that as a habit brought in a star–could be a coach or a linebacker or a QB–to flip the franchise to #winning.
No matter, there were no more wins. It was always the same result. Loss. Former Washington Football Team linebacker LaVar Arrington–who was once one of those star variables introduced into the proofs of insanity–said you can’t just add a superstar, stir and expect a change if the underlying system is a mess.
That seems right. As long as your owner focuses on a star-savior as a solution and manipulates the savior and the universe around that star to try and voodoo the owner’s desires, the system remains blighted. Your superstar bounces off the tense surface of your dysfunction like a penny on a trampoline and beelines a trajectory to the ground.
And, he ends up ignobly packing a cardboard box with his superhero figures and disapparates away.
Robert didn’t earn that. He gave fans much more.
Alas, dear Robert, we knew ye well. It’s time for us to let you go. I wish you much success. Know that when you come back to D.C., with your new team, I will be rooting for you.
Good luck this next round.