Yes, the Pearl is told, Fred Davis, Griffin’s teammate, christened the 22-year-old Redskins rookie quarterback “Black Jesus” more than a month ago. But he apparently did not know the former Baltimore Bullet was given the nickname some 45 years ago.
“Well, I’m fine if they want to call him that,” Monroe added. “Fact is I really love watching him. He is something. I read yesterday his [touchdown to interception] ratio is 16 to 4. That’s just incredible.
“But people should know when they see a special player now they’re comparing him to things they’ve seen. So when I hear some crazy opinion, ‘This is the most exciting player, ever, of all time,’ I just laugh because I know the person saying that hasn’t been alive very long.”
Going head-to-head Monday night against Eli Manning in the first meaningful December NFL game at Washington since 2008, Robert Griffin III is many things.
He is the first rookie in league history to drop four touchdowns on opponents in back-to-back weeks.
He is a natural commercial pitchman whose jersey remarkably outsold Peyton Manning’s, Tom Brady’s, LeBron James’s and the other most popular athletes in the world on Cyber Monday.
He is, well, money on game day. “No Pressure, No Diamonds” isn’t just a Nike marketing slogan; the bigger the stage the grander the guy’s performance thus far.
He is indeed the biggest, brightest, most exhilarating performer in this town at this very second.
Yes, 11 mostly scintillating games into his maiden season, the congregation needs to be seated. As too good to be true as his start seems, Griffin is not the most exciting athlete in the history of Washington sports.
Heck, he’s not even the most breathtaking quarterback the Redskins plucked from a Texas college.
To even begin to place him in a category of Sammy Baugh stutter-stepping at Griffith Stadium, Frank Howard walloping a shot and denting the left field seats of RFK, Len Bias levitating at Maryland, Allen Iverson going reverse baseline at Georgetown, Patrick Ewing swatting balls into Row D or John Riggins churning off left tackle in the Super Bowl smacks of premature elevation.
George Solomon, The Post’s longtime former sports editor, reminded me that papers were actually added to the Sunday circulation run on the nights when Sugar Ray Leonard fought in the 1980s, so enormously exciting and popular was the champion boxer from Palmer Park, Md.
Josh Gibson, batting for the Homestead Grays, once crushed more home runs in the distant left field bleachers of Griffith Stadium than the entire American League. “Most thrilling player I ever laid eyes on,” said Audrey Fields, the 82-year-old widow of former Homestead Grays pitcher Wilmer Fields, when I interviewed her in late September.
And just try talking 99-year-old Bertram R. Abramson out of his most exciting athlete in Washington being anyone but Walter Johnson, whom Abramson told my friend Josh du Lac he saw pitch in Game 1 of the 1924 World Series.