While I typically focus my energies on professional football, one of the top names in all of football this year was Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III, affectionately dubbed “R.G.3”
What most Redskins fans fail to realize is that the Redskins had their very own ‘R.G.3’ under center this season, in Rex Grossman III. Seriously.
Grossman has extensive Indiana football lineage, with each generation staying local to Bloomington, Ind. to raise families. Let’s have a look back at “The Grossmen” football tradition:
The original Rex Grossman (R.G.1) was a fullback/linebacker/kicker for the Philadelphia Eagles, Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Colts in the middle of the last century. At 6-1, 215 pounds, he was almost the exact size of his grandson during his playing days (6-2, 220). According to Grossman’s (R.G.3) Florida bio, he had a framed photo of his grandfather on his desk, with a caption that read: “”Hi, I’m Rex Grossman, 6-1, 215 pounds. I play for the Baltimore Colts.”
Grossman (R.G.1) played for only three seasons in the NFL from 1948-50, before retiring. In his time, he played in 37 games, rushed eight times for -3 yards on offense and threw one pass for an interception. On special teams, he kicked 16 field goals and 78 extra points, punted the ball 28 times, and returned one kick. And on defense, he registered two interceptions.
Here was a clipping from his final game at Indiana University, courtesy of Glory of Old IU:
In order to distinguish him from his father, Rex (R.G.2) went by “R. Daniel Grossman.” The second generation of Rex Grossmen was a first for gunslingers, as both Rex (R.G.2) and brother Dobby were collegiate quarterbacks at Indiana and South Carolina, respectively.
Neither would ever make it to the professional ranks, as Rex (R.G.2) would instead choose a life of ophthalmology, graduating in 1973. Curiously, during his pursuit of a medical degree from the Indiana University School of Medicine, he did a residency at Baylor School of Medicine, the same institution where the other R.G.3 is currently player.
Rex (R.G.2) opened his private practice in Bloomington in 1980, and currently awards the “Rex Grossman Scholarship” to a deserving candidate for a biology degree.
But all of this was building to the third generation of Rex Grossmen, the original R.G.3.
Rex Grossman has had the most football success of any of his namesakes, playing in the NFL for nine seasons and throwing for more than 10,000 yards. He has appeared in one Super Bowl, and possesses a 25-22 career record.
According to Grossman’s Florida bio and R.G.2, he has been playing football since the age of 2. As a running back, he ran for a 60-yard touchdown on his first play of organized football as an 8-year-old. His mother made him switch to quarterback in the sixth grade.
His father (R.G.2), his uncle Dobby and Rex (R.G.3) own every passing record at Bloomington South high school. And although he grew up on a horse farm in Indiana, he hates riding horses.
Not only has he performed ably on the football field, but he has also inspired a holiday commemorating his name in his native Bloomington, Ind. I don’t know about you, but “Rex Grossman Day” sounds awesome.
So the next time that you chat with a football buddy about R.G.3, make sure that you ask to be specific. It’s a creative nickname, but there’s more than one in the wide world of football.
Tags: heisman trophy, rex grossman, Robert Griffin III, washington redskins
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