Originally posted on Fox Sports Houston  |  Last updated 5/10/12
The person was Robert Griffin III, the phenomenon was RG3. If you used the number it sounded like a sports car. If you used the Roman numerals it looked like an event. Either way, it was the truth. You may have heard the news Griffin III is trademarking both of those symbols. People have been hocking RG3 stuff all over Washington, D.C. since the Redskins took the former Baylor quarterback second in this year's NFL Draft. Everything from sandwiches to T-shirts to an ad agency have adopted Griffin's nickname for personal profit. So what else is new? Baylor spent two strong years waving that nickname over its head. Television broadcasters sometimes sounded like they were on orders not to mention him by his real name. Robert Griffin III was a player, but there are 22 players on the field at a time. RGIII was a product, and until now the only person who couldn't sell it was Robert Griffin III. Not too long ago there may have been some public belching about this. The arrogance! The self-importance! Hasn't played a down! Earn it first, Bucko! And I suppose in the corner of some musty bar there might still be. Maybe not too long ago a player like Robert Griffin III would have passed on the opportunity to trademark his own nickname, because it would have drawn all the wrong kind of attention. It would have cast him as something he wasn't, some kind of Neon Deion guy. But it has been a big year for the constitutional rights of the so-called student-athlete. Nothing has changed, technically Baylor won't be sending Griffin any royalties checks for back-payment. But the needle of public sentiment has moved to a place where, whether or not they have a practical solution in mind, most people are sympathetic to the plight of a figure like Griffin, who so clearly was responsible for so many ticket sales, jersey sales and TV ratings, who with his class, astonishing football ability and catchy nickname, branded Baylor University in a way no ad campaign or U.S. News and World Report list ever could. Robert Griffin III made Baylor seem like the kind of place where a good kid can go and be a great player. But RG3 was what made it seem kind of cool. There is a really ham-fisted column to be written about the NCAA here, but you've already read that column a few times by now. That will all be settled one way or another, and when it does it won't have much in particular to do with Robert Griffin III. For now, we can be glad a good guy is getting back something that is rightfully his, and that he probably won't get hassled for it by the public. That's a good thing, and it might even be progressive. About those trademarks. They include RG3, RGIII, Robert Griffin III and a fourth one, which seems vaguely appropriate. Unbelievably Believable.
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