Thursday, December 8, 2011

Is Robert Griffin III Worthy of Stiff-Armed Trophy? Absolutely


Through the spectrum of a city that adores and shouts in delight, after Robert Griffin III was put on the pedestal for such a prestigious honor in college football, you can almost sense that he will be the winner.

Or at least from conversations, in addition to driving his team into what was almost BCS bowl contenders, Griffin is the feel-good story, a precious tale nobody can ever deny. There is, believe it or not, a sense that he will win the Heisman Trophy Saturday, a winner for considerably leading a substandard school into national spotlight.

The toughest quarterback in the nation, though he’s the top product at Baylor — an unappreciated school with less attention and no plaudits nationwide — is Griffin who is solely responsible for resurrection at Baylor. Griffin, who already has earned his undergraduate degree and possibly is ready to declare for the NFL with one season of eligibility left, is a playmaker and has carried the Bears to five Big 12 wins.

Folks, meet Griffin.

He’s not only electrifying on the field, he’s a top candidate for Saturday’s presentation after he was announced Monday night as one of the five finalists traveling to New York City for the honor to bring home the stiff-armed trophy. Right now, he is certainly a potential winner among Stanford’s Andrew Luck, Alabama’s Trent Richardson, LSU’s Tyrann Mathieu and Wisconsin’s Montee Ball.

A world of football fans who could use a few lessons for which athlete is worthy of the Heisman have a better description of Griffin, if those people weren’t already familiar with his mesmerizing performances that a national television audience haven’t seen much. In fact, assuming that he has solidified his status as one of the top contenders for the honorable award, Griffin can stiff-arm his way pass Luck and Richardson.

Like many athletes, those in the past, he can propel forward into the Heisman Trust if he’s the winner, guiding a team of achievers to the Alamo Bowl to take on Washington and marking a second straight bowl appearance for the first time since the early 1990s. The great ones always win the trophy and, this time of course, the great one is Griffin, a perfect discussion in relations to his Heisman Trophy chances.

This season, as he is known all around town, the kid had been applauded all over Waco and is clearly the scariest duel-threat quarterback in football for which he can’t be stopped or even touched.

He’s got my Heisman vote, and so should he get yours.

It’s fairly commonplace to honor the best in the game and it’s chivalrous to believe that he deserves the Heisman, when he’s one of the finalists for the 2011 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, a respectable award to the nation’s top senior quarterback. It is nice to laud a kid that has not come from college football national powers but from a smaller school, where a player has invigorated a football program and influenced folks nationwide to vote for him.

It was a game in Waco. He had fired the ball into the air all night. He had confused TCU’s stagnant defense and threw for 359 yards and a career-best five touchdowns to pull off the thrilling upset of TCU. It was another game in Waco, one that convinced Heisman voters that he’s best player in the nation. It was a night that he lifted Baylor to its best football season in school history, coming in a 48-24 win over Texas in a statement game which was nationally televised last Saturday.

So fast, Griffin ran down the field on his own two feet, raced past the goal line twice, and delivered two touchdown passes for an all-purpose night to stun the Longhorns. For Griffin, it’s a never-ending debate about his Heisman assumptions, curious for a nation that has seen him guide the Bears to wins over Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Texas and after all it was made certain that he deserves the award.


Griffin as the team leader had the wins, and better yet, he had the distinctive nature in his actions. A trip to the Nokia Theater at Time Square and a night in New York indicates that he has the numbers to be given individual accolades for such an awe-inspiring season. But it’s Baylor, remember, so he may not be given much limelight and honored with the prize. Then again, he is just as worthy as the rest of the finalists are in this compelling Heisman candidacy, a year we could actually distribute the trophy to a defensive back in Mathieu.

The downside to that is, Mathieu may not raise the prize and stare in triumph Saturday night after he tested positive for synthetic marijuana in a school-administered drug test. It’s not so much because Griffin almost led his team to BCS relevancy, but it’s partly because he’s a well-rounded athlete, having success with a school that won only three conference championships in 111 years.

That can mean but one thing: He merits the Heisman. Until now, the Bears had one of the longest droughts in school history, going 16 years minus a winning team.

And then, eventually, Griffin, a world-class athlete, came along and led the Bears to a 9-3 season. This is Baylor’s best record in 25 years. So yes, he deserves considerations for the award.