In his last column for Fox Sports before heading to ESPN, Jason Whitlock called Robert Griffin III a “mouthy, leverage-having quarterback.” In an appearance on PTI yesterday, he had some more tough love for the Redskins quarterback.
Tony Kornheiser asked Whitlock, who was filling in for Mike Wilbon, if the news that Griffin will start Game 1 effectively ends the RGIII-Shanahan drama.
“No, it does not, because Robert Griffin III loves the spotlight,” Whitlock said. “He loves it as much as Terrell Owens, loves it as much as Chad Johnson. He’s just wrapped better. He’s more palatable to the mainstream, so we just put up with it. But I, for one, am tired of it, because I love RGIII. He’s one of the best players that ever hit the league, in terms of excitement. I love watching him play, want him to be successful. But we are looking at the second coming of Tiger Woods. We are going to hype this guy into fraudulence because he’s buying into it, and we’re going to be very disappointed when we find out just how flawed he is.
“Tiger Woods as this cultural icon of perfection, that’s what we’re hyping up,” he continued. “We’ve got a documentary, ‘The Will to Win.’ He hasn’t won anything. He won the Heisman. He hasn’t done anything else.”
I’m pretty sure that Whilock isn’t the only critic out there who found Tuesday’s documentary over the top. But he’s definitely the first to compare RGIII to Terrell Owens, Chad Johnson, and Tiger Woods in one breath.
If you think it was a ridiculous thing to say, then hold on to your hat because the exchange that happened next is a doozy.
Kornheiser: “I live in Washington. Now, I’ve watched the Redskins for 35 years and I can guarantee you in the last 20 years there’s been nobody close to as exciting at Robert Griffin III. Maybe I’m too close to this, but I don’t understand it. Why is he contantly, overtly and covertly, sniping at Mike Shanahan? Is someone in his ear saying, Mike Shanahan will do you harm?”
Whitlock: “Because he wants — and Tony, you’re gonna think I’m joking — he’s building a Twitter following, Tony. And you have to be involved in controversy. He wants to be a Kardashian. Listen, Khloe is gonna be on the market shortly, it sounds like. And I woudn’t be surprised if RGIII…well, he just got married, so I won’t go there.”
Looks like Whitlock has Stephen A. Smith beat in the “knows when to shut up about RGIII’s wife” department. Probably should have left the Kardashian reference on the cutting room floor, though.
In the end, Whitlock returned to his obsession with leverage.
“He’s a smart kid. He understands the leverage that he has over his head coach. And if you allow a kid to have leverage over a parent or an adult, he’s going to take advantage of it, and that’s what he’s doing.”
If you’re going to give a columnist a platform to say controversial things for attention about one of the most popular athletes in the country, he’s going to take advantage of it, and that’s what he’s doing.