On Thursday, Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan compared Robert Griffin III to Cool Hand Luke, which sparked conversation when the young quarterback was unfamiliar with the 1967 movie character. Upon learning that his reference missed its mark with RGIII, Shanahan sent him a copy of the film.
New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd has used the Cool Hand Luke comparison when talking about President Obama, and in her most recent column, she went so far as to suggest that one of the most powerful men on the planet could learn a thing or two from the Redskins rookie.
While Obama has developed an unnerving and enervating pattern of going into a prewin slump [...] RGIII never allows his batteries to run down while he’s playing.
While Obama prefers to preen as the man alone in the arena [...] RGIII never passes up a chance to share credit.
While Obama [...] finds media a bother, Griffin has an easy charm with the press.
While Obama gets tangled up in his head [...] RGIII keeps the joy, intensity and bonhomie in his game.
At this point, there are few RGIII comparisons that would surprise me. Although surely Dowd knows the page view value in using “Obama” and “RGIII” in the same sentence, and isn’t actually suggesting that the two discuss foreign policy over coffee.
As is often the case, few of the commenters left their sense of humor at home, and made it clear that running the country and running the Redskins offense are two different things.
Mary Scott: “The idea that our president needs to seek leadership advice from a 22 year old football player is insulting and disdainful. It’s what I’d expect John Sununu or Donald Trump to suggest, not a NYT columnist.”
Delving Eye: “Obama has shepherded our country away from the brink of disaster and will go down in history as one of the greatest Presidents we’ve ever had. Griffin is calling plays on a football field. Apples and oranges. Man and Superman.”
Vance: “Robert Griffith III has played 11 games in the NFL.” [um, it's Griffin. But please continue.] “He has a losing record. So yeah, by all means, let’s build him up into the savior of the NFL in general and the Redskins in particular. Oh and while we’re at it, let’s make sure to point out that President Obama needs to emulate the Immortal RGIII. It all makes perfect sense.”
Wes: “While Obama deals with trying to keep the world from exploding, RGIII plays in a gladiatorial game and lives in a fantasy world.”
It’s all very silly.
As for the Cool Hand Luke comparisons, let’s not forget that Paul Newman’s character eventually goes down. Perhaps we can find a character with a happier ending.