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Matters of the Heart

First, let us be clear about something. I am not a doctor, nor did I ever play one on TV. I also didn’t sleep in a Holiday Inn last night. What I do seem to have is more than 2 brain cells to rub together, which appears to be more than we can say for most sports reporters.

However, even with my limited medical knowledge, I know that the concussion we all saw Griff sustain on Sunday had nothing to do with the fact that at 6-2 and 218 he is not as big as Newton and Luck. This fact, however, appears to be completely lost on so many in the media. For weeks they have been saying that because of his size he is going to get hurt playing the way he plays.

News flash folks…anyone in the NFL taking a double tap to the head like Griffin took from Atlanta LB Sean Weatherspoon near the sideline this last Sunday is going to get concussed. I don’t care if you are 218 or 318, a QB or a RB or a DT.

That hit was kryptonite to Superman.

While I don’t disagree that he is flirting with disaster with something approaching reckless abandon, his concussion had nothing to do with his size and anyone with an ounce of common sense knows that.

If the issue were just that he is 218 lbs there are a lot of guys in the NFL who would be hurting. Check out the number of Running Backs who carry the ball more than Griff who weigh in right around 218. I’m sorry but if his weight was it, the NFL wouldn’t let anyone under 235 play, so can we just give that a rest. Please.

The problem is not the weight of his body but the size of his desire.

He is, like all people who are great at anything, driven. Driven to succeed. Driven to lead. Driven to make more of those around him and, when failing to do that, driven to make up the difference personally.

We have all known people like him. At least we have if we are lucky. Perhaps a few of us ARE people like him, we just aren’t football players. We know what it is to do everything necessary to get the job done and sometimes what it takes is stuff that isn’t good for us. We skip meals or skip sleep, work 6 or 7 days week, ignore family obligations and become social hermits but the job gets done. Most of the time recovering from “what is necessary” is a only matter of good rest, good food and, if we really pushed the edge, a heartfelt apology to those we love.

For Griffin, “what is necessary” to achieve success often leads him outside the protective zone the NFL has set up for QB’s and into the land where defenders don’t just go for the stop, they go for the kill. (Especially if the guy they are lining up on happens to wear a yellow jersey in practice - see Harrison, James v. McCoy, Colt for precedent) He is less concerned with his health than with doing what it takes to score for his team. He has the kind of heart every coach in the NFL loves and would give his right arm to have 53 hearts just like it.

So please Mr. Sports Writer, can we get it right just this once? Please? It is Griffin’s heart that will get him hurt, not the weight of the body carrying that heart.
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