In today’s NFL, there’s no shortage of things to complain about if you’re a player.
There’s the persistency of terrible officiating by replacement refs, concussions becoming as common as busted Matt Millen draft picks and murky discipline decisions by NFL czar Roger Goodell.
However, shiny new prodigy Robert Griffin III found a few more grievances to air Wednesday following a 31-28 loss to the Rams last week.
According to a report from USA Today, Griffin called St. Louis players “unprofessional” and accused them of taking “cheap shots” throughout the game.
"They were definitely going after me,'' Griffin said in the article. ''They made it a point, obviously, all week to hit me. Some of the shots were cheap of that nature. But it's nothing I can control. Teams are going to try to hit me because they don't think I can take a hit. I think I've proved over my career that I can.''
The fact is, comments like this always seem like sour grapes coming from a loser.
If Griffin can handle and promote himself with the accolades that come from being a high NFL draft pick and franchise quarterback, then he better be able to handle the knocks and punishment that comes with it too.
He’s had plenty of time to make commercials with Subway and Gatorade over the summer and as I’ve recalled, has never complained when media from around the country has kneeled before him.
However, the minute adversity strikes and his star falls just a little, the complaints came out in full force.
''I remember one play,'' Griffin said. ''After the play, the guy said: 'We're going to hit you every play.’ ''I said: 'Isn't this football?' It's nothing that I'm not used to. It was extremely weird the way they went about it, though.''
“It’s nothing that I’m not used to,” echoes loudly in that quote. If you’re used to it, then why bring it up when the Rams are in the rearview mirror and the Bengals are coming up?
Oh, actually Griffin brought up the Bengals too, hoping they aren’t like the big, bad and “cheap” Rams.
“Hopefully, going against the Bengals (in Week 3), they'll be a lot more professional,” Griffin said.
“Professional” goes both ways, Robert. Spectators of the game on Sunday and players too saw multiple instances of missed calls by the refs and aggressive plays from both the Rams and Redskins.
“Professional” means playing with some restraint on the field, but it also means going from week to week without dragging the names of previous opponents through the mud.
Griffin will learn that with time, and maybe the Bengals will teach him a few lessons this week as well. I saw Vontaze Burfict, who will be on the field for Cincinnati, play plenty of times in college, and he’s no stranger to questionable plays and personal fouls.
The good thing is, it speaks loudly of St. Louis, a team far more likely to be a doormat than a battering ram the last few seasons, that a rival quarterback is complaining about physical play.
That’s exactly what Jeff Fisher brought to the Rams, and running back Steven Jackson had the best last word of the day in response to Griffin.
“This isn’t the Big 12,” Jackson told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, in reference to Griffin’s collegiate conference.
No, the NFL isn’t the Big 12, and although Griffin’s skills have already translated to the pros, his maturity in taking a loss is clearly stuck in a grade school rut.