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December 10, 2011It's not easy to peel the many layers of this Heisman Trophy story for Robert Griffin III and Baylor University.
But the one that matters most is the one about how unlikely it is for a player from Baylor to win the Heisman. The one where a certain ESPN commentator said it couldn't be won by RG3 because he goes to Baylor.
That point of view is the very reason Griffin is the 77th Heisman Trophy winner.
If you've spent five seconds with him, then you know why he won this award wearing green and gold. Griffin doesn't need anyone to tell what he can and can't do. He doesn't need our approval; why else would he wear Superman socks with a red cape to the Downtown Athletic Club in New York City? Because he's RG3.
He's the kid who overcame an ACL tear to win the Heisman Trophy. He joins Oklahoma's Jason White as the only players who immediately come to mind who have suffered the gruesome injury, rehabbed and gone on to win the Heisman. And with apologies to White, Griffin needs his legs a lot more than he did.
Griffin has defied the odds and is bringing the Heisman home to Baylor because he doesn't know the word "can't."
I can't even think of one time in three years when he's even uttered the word.
There's not a player on the Baylor roster Griffin doesn't think he can whip in the 100 or in the classroom. Are you're going to tell him he can't?
Are you going to tell him he can't play quarterback in the Big 12? That he can't throw the ball down field with accuracy?
Are you going to tell him he can't lead Baylor to a bowl game? That he can't beat Texas or Oklahoma?
Are you going to tell him he can't get his degree in three years? Fine, he'll do it in 2 1/2 years.
Are you going to tell him he needs to be protected from running the ball because the Bears can't afford for him to get injured again? Go watch the end of the OU game again.
Griffin has destroyed the myth that you can't do something at Baylor. And he's not alone.
Who said Art Briles can't win at Baylor so he has to go to Texas Tech or somewhere else? No one has convinced him of that. Briles and the Bears can win 10 games this season with a win against Washington in the Alamo Bowl. Briles has proven he can win in Waco, with a huge assist from RG3.
Baylor can't hold on to Briles? Well, he just signed an extension.
Baylor can't build a new football stadium? See you down on the river soon.
Baylor can't be a viable school in a mega-conference? Think again. Griffin has leveled every myth about Baylor football.
He did it by rallying the Bears from a 21-point deficit against Kansas in the fourth quarter.
He did it with his signature moment against OU with his game-winning touchdown pass to Terrance Williams.
Oh, and he beat Texas – again. Don't tell him he can't play quarterback and beat Texas two years in a row.
Griffin was gracious in accepting his award Saturday night, and the way he represented Baylor on the stage in New York City can't and won't be forgotten.
He reminded the doubters, the ones who tried to tell him what he can't do, that he can with three words in an eloquent speech.
"It's unbelievably believable," Griffin said of winning the Heisman.
And with that, Baylor fans just can't stop smiling.