WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- Washington D.C. became enamored with the Nationals this summer, in large part because of rookie Bryce Harper and his stand out abilities. First, it was the diving catches and stealing home plate on ESPN. Then we watched Harper evolve into a patient home run mashing teenager.
And the love affair with Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III cannot be prosed into proper words. The way fans -- and hell even the media -- revere Griffin III is something that happens once in generation.
Some are already proclaiming RGIII will be the NFL's best player before we know it. "He's light years ahead of past Redskins rookie quarterbacks," proclaimed one longtime D.C. sports writer.
So for the first time EVER, diehard sports fans are not only experiencing the joy of seeing their sports franchises in the early stages of greatness, they also get the joy of having nationally celebrated figures. Harper and Griffin routinely tote the cover of magazines, lead the conversation of sports radio, and are flaunted all over television and Twitter.
Talk about a tough time for Wizards rookie Bradley Beal to enter town.
I asked Beal whether he felt that fans would put unrealistic expectations on the guard from Florida, guessing they'll compare him to Harper and Griffin III. He agreed.
"Probably...I can kind of see that happening. Those guys are having success right now, especially Bryce. RGIII is on the up-rise, he's doing terrific for the Redskins. I know [the fans] are probably going to put the pressure on me," said Beal.
He continued: "At the end of the day it's not just me out there. It's me and 14 or 15 other guys."
So the natural follw-up question would be, is Beal putting more pressure on himself?
"No. Not really. Because I mean, it's different sports. It's different expectations on each level and in each organization. I can't put that extra pressure on myself."
You won't believe me, but Beal is just as mature for his age as Harper and Griffin III are. Beal gets it.
He knows how to act like a superstar but he also realizes it will take him some time to ultimately become the face of the Wizards franchise -- unlike the other two rookies who have burst onto the scene.
Just like he did at Florida as a freshman, expect Beal to become a leader (with the basketball and in the locker room) right away. But if you are expecting Beal to be as successful as Harper or Griffin this season, you're being naïve