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Redskins Fans Elated with RGIII

Barrington M. Salmon | , Charles E. Sutton | , WI Staff Writers | 5/1/2012, 9:26 p.m.

Time Will Tell if He's Worth the Hype

As loyal Washington Redskins fans, Steve Brando, Bill Reed and Alvon Smith know all too well the pain of watching the team they love struggle amid the humiliating defeats, unexpected victories and constant quarterback musical chairs.

Yet bad memories have faded and the agony has been washed away for now because Robert Griffin III has landed.

Color the Redskins Nation elated.

The city is abuzz, folks are giddy and long-suffering fans are daring to dream of a return to the glory days again.

Brando, decked out in a Redskins cap and jacket as he shopped Sunday evening at Best Buy in Northwest, could barely contain himself.

"I'm excited, very excited," gushed Brando, 61, a local bartender and resident of Sursum Corda in Northwest. "We've got a quarterback we

need. He's marketable, he's black and he's athletic. Everyone is alive."

Smith, 53, agreed.

"I'm thrilled we got a black quarterback. I've been watching him since college," said Smith who said he's a season ticket holder who's been

going to Redskins games since he was eight years old. "I think he'll add a new dimension. He's quicker, exciting, will be another Michael

Vick. He will fit well into the offensive scheme."

The Columbia Heights resident said he is also pleased coaches picked up offensive linemen who will protect Griffin as he works his magic in

the pocket, as well as running backs and wide receivers who will offer enticing targets for the man who embodies their hopes of changing the

face and the faded fortunes of the Redskins. Smith and Brando counted among the several thousand fans who poured into FedEx Field on Saturday, April 28 to see Griffin. Following his first official press conference, Griffin bounded onto a dais and addressed the throng. Crowds joined long lines to buy Griffin jerseys

at $140 a pop, secure players' autographs, visit the team locker room, watch interviews and soak up the atmosphere.

The excitement is palpable now that Griffin (RGIII) is finally a member of the Redskins following months of speculation and waiting. He was selected the No. 2 pick in Thursday's National Football League draft.

The Griffin era began with a song. Just after he was drafted, in his first meeting as a Redskins quarterback with the local media, RGIII started to sing "Hail to the Redskins." He didn't sing very long because he has yet to learn the rest of the lyrics.

The Redskins traded four picks - first round picks this season as well as the next two, plus this year's second round pick - to acquire the

No. 2 overall pick from St. Louis. The anticipation of RGIII wearing a Redskins uniform has energized the win-starved fan base, and pro

football pundits from around the league have proclaimed the Heisman Trophy winner as the ideal fit for Mike Shanahan's offensive scheme,

but there's a wide gulf between potential and becoming a franchise quarterback.

Griffin is viewed as a savior as much for his skill set, his formidable talent and what those in sporting circles have called his

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