For nearly a decade the city of Chicago and Washington D.C. sports franchises have been mired in mediocrity and disappointment as fans of the Washington Redskins and the Chicago Bulls have been relegated to cherishing the past due to the endless years of disappointment.
However, after years of poor personnel moves and there fair share of draft busts and free agent signings the Redskins and the Bulls were fortunate to have innovators and future of the NFL and the NBA fall into their lap. After years of making all of the wrong moves all the Redskins and the Bulls had to do was hand their selection to the commissioner to make it official.
When the Bulls selected Derrick Rose with the first pick in the 2008 NBA Draft no one expected the hometown kid to reach elite status in such a short time. Rose revitalized his hometown and restored hope to a franchise that had become an after thought after his Airness retired. Blessed with elite athleticism and maturity beyond his years Rose lead the Bulls to the best record in the NBA and collected a MVP in only his third year. Lead by one of their the city of Chicago embraced Rose who embodied the toughness, grit, and swagger of his hometown. However, chatter of championships was reduced to a whimper when Rose tore his ACL and MCL in the first round of the 2012 NBA playoffs.
The Redskins also appeared poised to return to their era of dominance when they selected 2011 Heisman winner Robert Griffin III with the second pick in the NFL Draft. Blessed with Olympic speed and a howitzer for an arm Griffin took the entire the league by storm with his jaw dropping athleticism and precision passing. A franchise known more for draft bust and free agent blunders had finally struck gold. Although the Redskins were not expected to contend for a title the fate of the franchise was dealt a harsh blow when Griffin III went down in the Divisional Round of the Playoffs.
These two promising stars have more in common than the Adidas apparel that they both endorse. Despite their young ages Rose and Griffin carry the weight of a city and a franchise on their broad shoulders. As each continues down their long road to recovery the pressure too return is immense due to the NFL and the NBA crowning them as the future of their perspective leagues.
Although some injuries are unavoidable both young stars fueled by competitiveness played through the pain which ultimately lead to their torn ACL injuries. The Bulls are pressuring Rose to return after the All-Star break and the Redskins are angling to pencil Griffin III in as their week 1 starter.
Both Rose and Griffin III possess once in a generation talent and their future is bright but if they truly wish to make a last imprint for their teams patience must be a virtue. Many players have failed to reach greatness because they faltered under pressure, for the sake of their careers and their franchises I hope Griffin and Rose don’t do the same. Stay tuned… I know I will – A. Denmark (@eatdrkslpsprtz2)