The Washington Redskins star quarterback had reconstructive surgery on his injured knee today, and ESPN's sources think Robert Griffin III might, might, be back for the start of next season. It's way too early to know for sure, however, along with whether he'll ever be the same dynamic player. In the meantime, the team and coach Mike Shanahan are getting vilified for the decision to leave him in the game:
- Horrible call: Shanahan "made quite simply one of the worst decisions of his life as a head coach," writes Sally Jenkins in the Washington Post. "Anyone with eyes saw the kid hurt his knee three times in the past month, twice in the same playoff game, until a strained ligament turned into a torn one." The coach and his fellow decision-makers have jeopardized the career of a thrilling young QB, along with the team's immediate future.
- Bad karma? Fellow Post writer Courtland Milloy thinks the injury can be chalked to "bad karma" ... because of the team's nickname. "Does anyone really believe that the name 'Redskins' will survive the 21st century? Other than the people who probably thought white actors in blackface would survive the 20th?" Cute caricatures don't absolve genocide, he writes. Change it.
- DC parallel: Maureen Dowd dips into the sports pages and complains in the New York Times that Shanahan "committed malpractice." Then she heads back to more familiar turf: "At that moment, the Redskins became like the rest of Washington, and the rest of our self-centered, grasshopper attention-span culture—going for short-term gain and avoiding long-term pain."