Keith Elgin can’t escape Robert Griffin III.
Not that he wants to. In fact, Elgin, a pastor, musician, and lifelong Redskins fan from Fairfax, Virginia, is pretty amazed at how entangled his life has become with that of the former Redskins’ quarterback. The convergence all began when he bought Griffin a welcome mat off the player’s Bed, Bath & Beyond wedding registryin 2013, and Griffin then thanked Elgin on Twitter.
Over the course of the next few days, Elgin gave interviews to CNN,The Washington Post, The Washington Times, and several TV and radio stations.
“I became the spokesman for all the fans who bought gifts,” Elgin said by phone on Friday.
A week later, when Griffin— who signed with the Cleveland Browns on Thursday —sent Elgin a thank you note, and Elgin put a picture of it on Twitter, the media descended once again. And a few months after that, Griffin helped Elgin out by tweeting the link to a fundraising page for Elgin’s wife Emily, who needed a stem cell transplant.
And then, a year or so after Elgin bought the infamous welcome mat, his friend took him to a Washington Wizards game. They sat in a box with about 20-25 other people, one of whom happened to be— you guessed it —Robert Griffin III himself.
“So everyone’s talking to each other, and he totally remembered me,” Elgin said. “He knew my whole name, my wife’s name. He asked how she was doing and we talked about it there.”
It doesn’t end there. This February, while playing a show at a party following a George Mason basketball game, Elgin realized he was hanging out with the guy who’d been the best man in Griffin’s wedding.
“You’d think it was over,” Elgin said. “And then I got your email, and I was like, ‘This is unbelievable. It’s the never ending story.’’
Many Redskins fans turned on Griffin over the course of his troubled tenure with the Redskins. After an incredible first year with the team, Griffin succumbed to injuries and never really bounced back. A fraught relationship with coach Mike Shanahan and the rest of the coaching staff didn’t help the situation, and some of Griffin’s abrupt media appearances angered fans. The rookie who’d been such a beacon of hope for beleaguered Washington loyalists quickly became part of the same old narrative of dashed dreams.
Even Elgin, who’s so clearly a fan of Griffin the man, doesn’t like the way things worked out with Griffin the player.
“Before [Griffin], I wouldn’t buy any jersey, because quarterbacks always left too quickly,” Elgin said. “But I got a jersey thinking, ‘This is our guy! After ten years!’ And then boom, gone. So I’m literally never buying a jersey again.”
SOURCE: Charlotte Wilder
USA Today Sports: For the Win