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Robert Griffin III: 'I'm Just Me'


The 10 Days with No. 10 series concludes with on Redskins Nation and, as Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III talks about the burden of celebrity and watching good friends get cut in a meritocratic profession.

Over the last three years, quarterback Robert Griffin III has gone from a little-known talent at a small collegiate program to the poster child for the American sports landscape.

He put the Baylor University football program on the map with a 2011 Heisman Trophy Award. He watched his future employer mortgage two future first round picks in exchange for his rights.

He was named the starter in his first weekend in Washington, and never looked back en route to a magical rookie season that saw him named the top offensive rookie in the NFL.

Despite all the hysteria over Robert Griffin III or his on-the-field persona, RG3, Griffin III is and remains true to who he is.

"I don't think I realize how big of a deal—I'll talk about myself in third person here—Robert Griffin III is because to me, I'm not Robert Griffin III or RG3, I'm just me," he said in the final installment of his 10-part series on Redskins Nation. "But it's part of the business and you don't want [the hysteria] to get easier is what I've told everyone.

"You want it to get worse; you want it to be so unbearable you can't go anywhere. That means you're doing what you're supposed to do: you're winning Super Bowls, you're winning your division time and time again and people love you for it.

"But also your team and your organization love you for it too."

In the last year, Griffin III said his fame and spotlight has not changed who he is, just given him insight into the inner workings of professional sports.

"I think you realize that it's a business. It's not what you dream of when you're the five, six year old kick throwing the ball to yourself in your front yard saying who your favorite player is," he said. "It's not like that.

"It's not like we just go out play football and then party all day. It's a lot of work. It is a business, guys get cut. Your best friend might be there one day and on another team the next day or on the street working at the super market [or] doing something else."

At this time last year, Robert was meeting with more than 60 NFL-hopefuls; a combination of drafted, undrafted and tryout players.

At the end of rookie mini-camp, some players were offered contracts to stick around for training camp, but many saw their chance at an NFL career ended.

"It was tough for me," Griffin III told Larry Michael. "Then we went from 90 guys to 53 guys in the snap of a finger. Lost some friends along the way and its tough because you come in on cut day and there's the guy that you went to dinner with last night and they're escorting him out of the building because he just got cut.

"A lot of guys don't get another chance. They get that one chance and then once it's over, their dreams of the NFL are gone. So that was tough for me."

But regardless of how many friends he has to say goodbye to, Robert Griffin III said he would not change who he is as a person and how he interacts with his teammates.

Teammates are family, and tough decisions help build mental toughness necessary to survive in the NFL.

"I'm not hardened from that, I'll still get to know everybody and it'll still be tough for me," he said. "I just feel like that's the person I am.

"It'll be tough to see guys go, but I think in that sense I kind of understand the NFL a little bit better and what you have to do, the mental toughness that you have to have, and just be able to let things bounce right off you and move on."




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