Joyful pandemonium reigned supreme at Broad Run High School Friday night, when Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III made an unannounced visit to support the school's "Pink'd" breast cancer awareness campaign, and seemingly spurred the Spartans to fourteen unanswered third quarter points and an important 34-20 win over Patriot.
Griffin coyly tweeted his possible plans to crash the Broad Run event earlier in the evening with the innocuous-sounding question "What quarter is the Pink'd game at broad run high school in?" For those in the twitosphere and beyond, the question may have seemed a bit random for a superstar rookie quarterback. But behind the scenes, a spirited social media campaign by Broad Run students to invite RGIII to their "Pink'd" event was the likely culprit for luring the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Month out of the house on the Friday before the 'Skins host the 4-0 Atlanta Falcons.
Led by student DECA members Will Metzfield and Emily Daley, this week students launched a Twitter campaign to get the star quarterback out to the "Pink'd" event to support the Loudoun Breast Health Network.
"It just goes to show how strong social media is these days,” said Daley, who along with Metzfield used social media to get the "Pink'd" crew an interview on The Today Show. “All of this happened from tweeting. We tweeted RGIII and he came."
But up until the game, the students had no idea whether their Twitter prayers would be answered. It wasn't until RGIII sent his tweet just before halftime that Metzfield realized the quarterback might actually come to the game. As school administrators and Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office deputies scrambled to ensure the arrival of the braided wunderkind would not turn the aforementioned joyful pandemonium into utter chaos, Metzfield and Daley grabbed an official "Pink'd" shirt to give Griffin upon his arrival.
Once recognized, chants of "R-G-three, R-G-three," soon filled the stadium.
As if scripted by a Hollywood producer bent on adding to the supernatural lore already surrounding Griffin, the Spartans Chuck Davis intercepted a pass and returned it 50 yards for a game-changing touchdown just seconds after the Redskins quarterback hit the sidelines. The score sent the stadium into delirium, and gave the Spartans a lead they would not relinquish.
"I've never seen a non-football play excite a crowd like that," Broad Run girls varsity basketball coach Sean Gundry said about Griffin’s entrance. "But when Chuck Davis picked off that pass and ran it back, it just knocked the roof off the place."
Amidst the happy din, Griffin happily donned his "Pink'd" shirt, and posed for photographs with Metzfield, Daley, and others while signing autographs.
"It's been a great way to spread the message," said Metzfield about getting RGIII to participate in their event. "It was amazing."
Seemingly lacking anything resembling an entourage or media contingent, the sense around the stadium was that this über-talented young man taking the NFL by storm was there as a genuine expression of support for the Broad Run event.
"For a guy like that to take time on a Friday night and show up to support a cause like this is really something special,” Gundry said. “Every kid there tonight will be RGIII fans for life."