Alvin Garrett

Alvin Garrett
No. 25, 84, 89
Position:Wide receiver
Personal information
Born: (1956-10-01) October 1, 1956 (age 62)
Mineral Wells, Texas
Height:5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Weight:178 lb (81 kg)
Career information
High school:Mineral Wells
(Mineral Wells, Texas)
College:Angelo State
NFL Draft:1979 / Round: 9 / Pick: 237
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Alvin Lynn Garrett (born October 1, 1956) is a former American football wide receiver in the National Football League (NFL) for the New York Giants and the Washington Redskins. Before his NFL career, he played college football at Angelo State University.

Professional career[]

Garrett is best known for replacing injured starter Art Monk in the 1982 NFL playoffs. Although he only caught one pass during the regular season, he caught 13 passes for 231 yards and four touchdowns in Washington's three playoff games. Then in Washington's 27-17 win in Super Bowl XVII, he caught two passes for 13 yards and another touchdown. He also ripped off a 44-yard run on a reverse play during the third quarter, setting a field goal by kicker Mark Moseley. At the time, it was the longest run by a receiver in Super Bowl history.

His best season came in 1983 with the Redskins when he played in fifteen games, catching 25 receptions for 332 yards and one touchdown. He went on to catch a pass for 17 yards and gain 100 yards returning kickoffs in Super Bowl XVIII.

He finished his five-season NFL career with 32 receptions for 412 yards and two touchdowns, 43 punt returns for 334 yards, and 50 kickoff returns for 1,013 yards in 55 games.

The Cosell incident[]

During the first half of the September 5, 1983 Monday Night Football game between the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins, Howard Cosell's commentary on Garrett included "That little monkey gets loose doesn't he?" Cosell's references to Garrett as a "little monkey," ignited a racial controversy that laid the groundwork for Cosell's departure from MNF at the end of the 1983 season. The Rev. Joseph Lowery, then-president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, denounced Cosell's comment as racist and demanded a public apology. Despite supportive statements by Jesse Jackson, Muhammad Ali, and Alvin Garrett himself, the fallout contributed to Cosell's decision to leave Monday Night Football following the 1983 season.

"I liked Howard Cosell," Garrett said. "I didn't feel that it was a demeaning statement." Source: Washington Post article, April 25, 1995.

Cosell explained that Garrett's small stature, and not his race, was the basis for his comment, citing the fact that he had used the term to describe his own grandchildren.

Among other evidence to support Cosell's claim is video footage of a 1972 preseason game between the New York Giants and the Kansas City Chiefs that features Cosell referring to athlete Mike Adamle, a 5-foot, 8-inch, 195-pound Caucasian, as a "little monkey."

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