When in doubt, consult RG III User's Manual

Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan is taking a lot of flak for his handling of injured quarterback Robert Griffin III in Washington’s wild-card loss to Seattle. And rightfully so.

Shanahan completely ignored the RG III User’s Manual.

RG III User’s Manual

Congratulations on acquiring the latest model of the RG, the RG III -- the most exciting quarterback on the market today! With proper use and care, your RG III is designed to run and pass smoothly for years into the future and win you numerous championships.


1. Place your RG III on the football field and start the game.

2. That is all. You should be quite pleased with the performance of the RG III. It is designed to do everything for you and make you look competent.

Maintenance and Care

The RG III is a highly functioning performance quarterback. As such, if not used properly and carefully, it can be delicate and become ruined.

ALWAYS refer to your RG III User’s Manual if you are concerned about the appearance or performance of your RG III.

On-Field Support

The RG III comes with a handy companion quarterback called the Kirk Cousins, or KC I. You will find the KC I to be a more than adequate fill-in for the RG III when the RG III needs downtime or routine maintenance. This is what the KC I is for. Do NOT hesitate to use it if you notice problems with your RG III.

RG III Genius Support

An RG III Genius, Dr. James Andrews, is available to consult 24/7/365 about the performance and durability of your RG III. ALWAYS listen to the RG III Genius and follow his orders to maintain the long-term performance of your quarterback. Failing to do so will void the warranty.

The RG III itself may want to keep performing and running. THAT DOES NOT MEAN THE RG III SHOULD. Follow only the advice of the RG III Genius when it comes to maintenance and care.

Troubleshooting FAQs

Q: My RG III is a rookie and is limping around in a wild-card playoff game and having trouble driving off his back foot when throwing. Should I keep it in the game?

A: What?! No. Why risk the RG III’s future production when you can install the Cousins?

Q: But...

A: No “buts”! Do you have any idea how much some teams would give to have an RG III, and you’re treating yours like this? Please give your RG III to someone who will cherish it if you’re going to handle it in this manner.

Quote of the Week

"I just feel like this is our year. I feel like we have a special group, a group that has been through a lot, that has persevered through a lot, and some guys that won’t quit."

Guess who said that this weekend?

Did you guess this: It could have been any player on any winning playoff team, because they all think exactly the same thing?

You’re correct! Congratulations!

In this case, it was specifically Anquan Boldin of the Baltimore Ravens. Check back next week to see the name of another player on a different team who says almost exactly the same thing!

Stat of the Week


Adrian Peterson ended the regular season 8 rushing yards short of Eric Dickerson’s single-season record of 2,105. In 1984, when Dickerson set the record, the Rams were eliminated in the playoffs in their first game. Dickerson had 107 rushing yards in the loss.

Peterson had 99 rushing yards in Minnesota’s loss on Saturday. So he was also 8 yards short of Dickerson in the postseason. Hmm.

The year after Dickerson ran for 2,105, he had 1,234 rushing yards. This clearly means that Peterson will rush for exactly 1,226 yards in 2013. Uh-oh. Better develop some semblance of a passing game, Vikings.

Misleading Stat of the Week


The Redskins drew 84,325 fans to FedEx Field for their game against the Seahawks, a playoff record for the franchise. You might think that so many people watching a playoff game would make a lot of noise, but you would be super-wrong about that.

"They're nowhere near as loud as home," Seahawks’ cornerback Richard Sherman said. "They've got more people, but they don't make enough noise."

Dick Sherman is an expert on making noise. You have to trust him on this.

This Week’s Playoff “X Factor” All-Stars

John Kuhn, FB, Packers: 19 total yards, 2 TDs

DuJuan Harris, RB, Packers: 100 total yards

Joe Flacco, QB, Ravens: 12-for-23, 282 yards, 2 TDs

Michael Robinson, FB, Seahawks: 26 total yards, TD

Vonta Leach, FB, Ravens: 1 carry, 2 yards, TD

Look for these players to be discussed this week as possible “X factors” -- a condescending term football analysts use to refer to players they think could make an impact on a game because the opposing team will focus on their superior teammates.

Photos of the Week

“Why is everyone glaring at me?”

“Why you gotta be like that, man? Don’t you trust me?”

“I get a few dozen people sick with undercooked meat one time and no one comes to my tailgates anymore.”

“Locking down the starting job is so easy.”

“Just got another text from Jerry Jones asking me what the playoffs are like.”

“Uh-oh. Looks like I put some weight on over the holidays.”

“Good try, bud. I guess not everyone can go from backup to star.”

“OK. Don’t mess up. This is what you’ve practiced for all these years. Nail every step and be great.”

“Go away. I can’t let Ed Reed see me with you.”

“Ohmigod! My teammates are on fire! Someone help!”

“Let me help you up so I can knock you down again.”

“Oh, no. Please say that’s not from RG III’s knee.”

“Honest. I never took even one art class.”

“Yeah, but what do you know, Dr. James Andrews?”

“If you would at least let me have the Rookie of the Year, I would really appreciate it.”

Press Conference Questions Someone Should Have Asked

Mike Shanahan: “Where did you attend medical school?”

Gary Kubiak: “You now have two career playoff wins, but they are both against the Cincinnati Bengals. Does that count, do you think?”

John Harbaugh: “Did you ever get served by Ray Lewis?”

Reader Twitter Question of the Week

I assume from your question that you are a Redskins fan. And if you are a Redskins fan, I assume that you are a fan of all Washington, D.C. sports teams. Therefore, I have good news. Well, it’s good and also horribly depressing.

The good news is that you will get over this. The horribly depressing part is that the reason you will get over this is that it will just blend into all of the other disappointment and sadness that comes with being a fan of D.C. sports teams. So … cheer up? Or something?

How They Will Spend Their Offseasons

Redskins: Running every decision through Dr. James Andrews -- from who to draft to what type of paper to buy for the copy machines.

Colts: Wondering if they should have sucked on purpose all season in order to get some offensive linemen high in the draft.

Bengals: Keeping Andy Dalton out of the sun.

Vikings: Adding to their current roster of Adrian Peterson.

Five Things I Thought You Thought We Thought

1. Any sports fan over the age of 25 clearly remembers Sept. 6, 1995, when Baltimore Orioles great Cal Ripken Jr., took a lap around Oriole Park after breaking Lou Gehrig’s consecutive games streak. It was a memorable moment, and it helped repair the damage baseball had caused with the 1994 strike. But something wasn’t perfect. Ripken’s moment could have been better, yet I never knew exactly what was missing. Until Sunday. Compare Ripken’s moment of adoration before Baltimore fans to Ray Lewis’ final seconds dance-off. How much more awesome would Ripken’s moment have been if he had stood on the pitcher’s mound and done a gyrating dance, thrusting his hips at the crowd and doing jazz hands? Here’s your answer: way more awesome. But it’s too late for Ripken now. And he must spend the rest of his life regretting that wasted opportunity.

2. One of the things that was clear in Ray-Ray’s send-off -- well, the first of his send-offs (if you got tired of Jerome Bettis’ final playoff run, prepare for the Ray-Ray-over-coverage if Baltimore sticks around all the way to the Super Bowl) -- is his near-universal respect around the league. That was evident on Sunday. Did you see the sod that Lewis rubbed on himself at the start of his pregame dance routine? That was clearly donated to the Ravens by the Washington Redskins, who tore up their field to honor Lewis, even at the risk of the health of RG III. That’s respect.

3. There are exciting developments in head protection for football players. With the sudden explosion of Hannibal Lecter-style facemasks, a trend that is sure to continue, soon all players will have their heads surrounded by thick metal bars. Plus, they won’t be able to see very well, so everyone will just jog around the field very slowly, trying not to bump into anyone or anything.

On a related note, I declare that the first kicker to wear a Lecter face mask will be the greatest kicker ever. Do it, Janikowski.

4. Andy Reid coached 14 years in Philadelphia. He had a .583 winning percentage in the regular season, was 10-9 in the playoffs and won an NFC title. He got fired.

Lovie Smith coached nine years in Chicago. He had a .563 winning percentage in the regular season, was 3-3 in the playoffs and won an NFC title. He got fired.

Marvin Lewis has coached 10 years in Cincinnati. He has a .497 winning percentage in the regular season and has never won a playoff game. He is gainfully employed.

The lesson is this: Coach in a small media market.

Or maybe the lesson is this: Coach under an owner who has been asleep at the wheel for 20 years.

I’m not sure. There’s definitely a lesson there somewhere, though.

5. The comparison between the Redskins’ handling of RG III and the Nationals’ handling of Stephen Strasburg isn’t exactly parallel. Griffin was hurt, Strasburg wasn’t. Still, it’s interesting to think how the Nationals would have handled Griffin and how the Redskins would have handled Strasburg. If Mike Shanahan managed the Nationals, you can bet Strasburg would have pitched in the postseason. You can also bet that the Nationals would have taken out a lot of middle infielders with chop blocks to the knees while breaking up double plays.