LONG BEFORE HE was known as a Roman numeral, 16-year-old Robby Griffin sat at the hospital bed of his terminally ill great-grandmother, 83-year-old Mattie Wright, who refused to let go of Robby's palm. She kept murmuring, "Robert Griffin ... Robert Griffin ... Robert Griffin." Out of respect, the teenager didn't pull away until she fell asleep.
On his way out of the hospital, Robby seemed pensive and asked his father why she had squeezed his hand so long. "She lost her son young -- my daddy, your grandfather -- and you remind her of him. You know who I'm talking about, right?"
Robert Griffin I.
Robby asked questions about the original Robert Griffin and heard about his toothy smile, about how he slapped almost everyone he met on the back. But it never came up again until Robby took the field for his first game as a Baylor Bear two years later, wearing Griffin III on the back of his jersey.