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RG3: The Promise Hardcover – August 6, 2013

4.3 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Robert Griffin III is the most exciting athlete to come to Washington in 20 years. And there's nobody better to write about him than Dave Sheinin. Dave Sheinin writes like Robert Griffin plays.”—Tony Kornheiser

“Robert Griffin III was THE story in Washington even before the Redskins drafted him and Dave Sheinin has chronicled that story from day one with the kind of insight not often seen in this era of the insulated, over-protected athlete. Griffin's story is worth telling and Sheinin is uniquely qualified to tell it.”—John Feinstein

“A skillfully told tale of the most exciting young player the NFL may have ever seen. Dave Sheinin holds nothing back. With RG3’s insight, he examines the dark side of the game and leaves us wondering if football in some places has become something less than human.”—Tim Green, New York Times–bestselling author and former Atlanta Falcons defensive end

“Sometimes there is a life in sports you want to know about before a career plays itself out. Robert Griffin III has had one of those lives, as interesting as the way he plays football.”—Mike Lupica

“There is no doubt that Robert Griffin III—that would be RG3, in modern text-speak—is the face of the professional football future. He is the mobile quarterback in a mobile time, dashing and daring, an escape artist who can win games with his feet or his arms, then talk about what he did in complete and interesting sentences. Alas, the danger of his job was underlined in his last game of last season, when he limped off the field, headed for major knee surgery. Will he be able to stay in one piece long enough to fulfill all of his promise? Or will the violence of his chosen game make him another famous casualty? Dave Sheinin looks at all of this and more in his sweet biography of football’s newest star. Terrific stuff.”—Leigh Montville, New York Times–bestselling author and sports columnist

“Dave Sheinin meticulously describes the collision of a nice young man and a brutal sport. Here is everything a reader needs to know about the perils of the new age of the mobile quarterback.”—George Vecsey, former New York Times sports columnist and author of Stan Musial: An American Life

About the Author

Dave Sheinin is an award-winning sports and features writer for The Washington Post, where he has worked since 1999. A graduate of Vanderbilt University, where he studied English and music and trained as an opera singer, he lives in Maryland with his wife and their two daughters.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Blue Rider Press; 1St Edition edition (August 6, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399165452
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399165450
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #664,116 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By brenten gilbert on October 28, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition

NOTE: I read and reviewed this book alongside of Robert Griffin III: Football, Faith, and Leadership by Ted Kluck. If there are any references or comparisons to "the other book" (or anything to that effect), that's the book I'm talking about. Okay, here we go...

What Kluck’s book lacks by way of investigative journalism, Sheinin – an established sportswriter – provides in spades. Immediately, “The Promise” strikes the reader as a well-researched work of writing that, upon reading it, you will be well informed and better equipped for water cooler conversation.

Sheinin digs into Griffin’s past, starting as a young boy nicknamed “Ponytail” who shared a pinky-swear with his mother to gain her approval to play football. He details the training regimen engineered by his father, his early successes and stubbornness in the face of a challenge. We learn of his progression through high school and college, the struggle he had deciding which sport deserved his full commitment, and all the hard work that went into becoming the number two draft pick for the NFL and the transition to his new role as the face of a franchise. This, I expected.

And all that would’ve been enough to warrant praise as an excellent biography. But Sheinin’s RG3, offers even more. Describing the seeds sown at a young age, Sheinin offers an intimate look at the faith woven into Griffin’s very fabric. There’s the prophecy, the trust, the supportive family, and the deliberate choices that have shaped the character of the man known to many as “RGIII” along the way. This, I didn’t expect from this book – especially since it was all but absent from the book released by a Christian publisher. (Both books are side by side in Christian book stores, by the way.
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Format: Hardcover
There is no question that during his time at Baylor, Robert Griffin III brought Baylor football to a higher level than it had been for decades. Not since the end of the Grant Teaff era had Baylor fans had much reason to celebrate. Now, with three consecutive winning seasons, recruiting on the upswing, a new stadium being built, and better and deeper talent than ever, Baylor football looks like it's here to stay.

Could it have happened without RG3? Maybe. But probably not. His talent on the football field was backed by his leadership of the team, his charisma on campus and in front of the camera, and his inspiring back story. He was the right man at the right time to turn the Baylor program around. Now Washington Redskins fans have put their hope in RG3 to turn their team around.

This is the story that David Sheinin tells in his new book, RG3: The Promise. For Baylor fans, RG3's influence continues, but his work is done in Waco. For Redskins fans, "the promise" describes their outlook for Griffin. In his rookie season, he won rookie of the year honors while leading Washington to their first playoff berth in years. But, as Sheinin reminds us with excruciating detail, RG3's knee hobbled their playoff run. The question is, will the knee be the downfall of RG3 and the crux of a losing bet by the Redskins' leadership, who traded away future picks for the chance to draft Griffin?

RG3 is definitely a fan's book, bordering on hagiography. Sheinin, a writer for the Washington Post, compiles press accounts and his own observations, as well as interview material from Griffin's friends and family (unfortunately not much from RG3 himself). You won't find tell-alls and dirt in this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While I read a lot of books, not that many of them are sports books. But having lived in Washington and followed the Redskins travails for a long time, I wanted to see what the big deal was about RG3. And I made the perfect choice to find out. Yes, it is a sports book. But it is also a people book - how RG3 became who (and what) he is today. Skillfully and artfully written, I was immediately drawn into the story and stayed immersed through every page. If you like sports, it is a must-read. And even if you don't like sports, but enjoy excellent writing, great research and insight, and the ins-and-outs of what influences what creates a star, you will love this book, too.
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Format: Hardcover
I don't know that I've ever seen a more appropriate subtitle than "The Promise," which refers, chillingly, to a pinkie promise that young RG3 once made to his mother about his health, and, later, his promise as one of the most gifted athletes of his generation and the face of the NFL's future. In amazing, intimate detail, Robert Griffin III is revealed here as an intelligent, sophisticated, preposterously gifted man who even sings beautifully and initially planned to go to law school while playing football at Baylor. Even as an adult, he falls asleep while getting his hair braided by his mom. He missed just one team breakfast in college -- so he could vote in the 2008 election (apparently for Obama, although Griffin refuses to divulge his politics). Reading Sheinin's account of RG3's development as a person only makes the ensuing chapters more powerful and haunting. His unprecedented rookie season ends with the Redskins -- including six doctors, five trainers and head coach Mike Shanahan -- leaving him out on the field for 24 excruciating plays on a severely damaged knee, running the read option as RG3 gamely carries the ball "as if he were dragging a fallen tree behind him." It was hard after reading this book (and watching the Skins' horrible opener) not to wonder if RG3 is already another human sacrifice on the NFL's altar of pain. We can only hope not. Sheinin, who has covered Major League Baseball for years, is one of the best sportswriters of his generation, and the final sentences of RG3: The Promise provide a perfect summary about the difference between baseball and football. I won't ruin it. Read this great book as the perfect backdrop for this season of change in the NFL.
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