RGIII and ‘Black Jesus’

August 12, 2013
(Via @myanchulis)

Former NFL cornerback tight end Nate Jackson reviewed Dave Sheinin’s RGIII book in Sunday’s Post, and he seemed concerned about the hype. Jackson seemed particularly concerned about the whole “Black Jesus” thing.

Between only two covers, Sheinin portrays Griffin as, variously, Black Jesus (a nickname Sheinin overheard in the locker room), post-racial, presidential and transcendent….

Griffin is just 23 years old, and now he has a 300-page book about his first season as a pro, jam-packed with every city-saving-superhero-athlete cliche that’s ever been uttered, along with a few new ones. Sheinin delivers them all with a straight face and rarely shows us the other side. Like so many others in the stands and in the press box, he is holding out hope that there is no other side, that the fairy tale will come true in the end. Maybe RG3 is Black Jesus. But like every other player in the NFL, he is only human, a revelation that many seem reluctant to accept.

Now, this whole “Black Jesus” thing has always seemed a bit tongue-in-cheek to me. I first heard about it during Fred Davis’s interview with Comcast SportsNet after the Vikings game last fall.

“I mean, like I said, he’s Black Jesus right now,” Davis said then. “He saved us today.”

And, possibly offensive iconography aside, fans seemed to like the moniker. Thus, the license plate above, which reader @myanchulis sent to me this week. And also this customized Redskins fitted hat, which reader @rendonsmullet sent along.

 

“Honestly, just a fan of RG3 & that’s how much I appreciated him bringing us a winning team,” wrote the latter, who said his real name was Bruno. “He’s our ‘savior.’ ”

Bruno also wrote that all the Redskins fans who’ve seen it — “and I mean all” — have appreciated the hat.

“They all laughed and agreed!” he wrote. “It’s a bonding gesture to me at least!”

Those customized hats are available here, for the record.

Dan Steinberg writes about all things DC sports at the DC Sports Bog.
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