Last night at 8:15pm at the 2012 NFL Draft, the face of the Washington Redskins franchise changed for now and for the foreseeable future. After weeks of terrible secret keeping, and bad acting, the Redskins selected Robert Griffin III, quarterback, Baylor University, with the second overall pick in the draft.
And with the selection, an organization engrossed in twenty years of dismal performances and strife, took a long cathartic breath.
Donning a pair of burgundy and gold socks with the words, "Go Catch Your Dream," and singing 'Hail to the redskins' when asked how he felt to be drafted by Washington, Griffin would appear to be just what the doctor ordered for an ailing franchise. Charming, intelligent and charismatic, the young man seems more than ready and willing to walk into the powder keg that he is about to inevitably walk into.
Over the following weeks, much will be made and analyzed, and over-analyzed, about the football fit that Griffin and the Redskins will have; but Griffin has already proved proficient in arguably one of the most important aspects of the role he will seek to fill - handling the stress and pressure of a big market with monstrous needs.
He's prepared. He's polished. He's ready to do this. He spent an hour and a half talking with reporters after his selection, and barely batted an eye. In fact, he looked as fresh when he finished as when he started. Some people are just born to do big things.
It's rare for a rookie to come into the NFL with such a broad understanding of what stands before him. Coach Mike Shanahan certainly was delighted to select Griffin, even alluding to the fact that while Andrew Luck would have been a great selection, the Redskins were hoping that it would be Griffin all along:
"I just think he will bring a lot to this organization. You are always looking for that franchise guy. He has not proven himself yet and we understand that. We need to put a good supporting cast around him and play well as a football team. I think he will have the chance to do some special things."
Shanahan stated earlier in the offseason that he had been looking at game film of college quarterbacks even during the 2011 season. Obviously Griffin's body of work at Baylor speaks for itself, and earned him a Heismann Trophy, but the Redskins became even more enamored with the young man after the Scouting Combine and spending time with Griffin and his family.
Regardless of what happens in the future, it's hard not to be impressed with what the young gunslinger is doing to start his professional career on the right foot. On top of the custom burgundy and gold socks and signing the fight song, Griffin said that he has already started studying film on the existing Redskins roster.
Have John Beck and Rex Grossman even done the same with the new talent added to the roster this offseason?
Rest assured that the moment that Robert Griffin III arrives in Washington D.C. today, he instantly becomes the biggest star in a sports mecca - the franchise quarterback, in a football town. There will be a lot of scrutiny the moment he steps off the plane.
Fortunately for Redskins Nation, a man with the mantra "No Pressure, No Diamonds" is exactly the type of athlete that you want to have in that position.