A spellbinding biography tracing Robert Griffin III’s meteoric rise to sport superstardom.
In his debut book, Washington Post writer Sheinin crafts an engrossing portrait of Griffin, aka RG3, the 2011 Heisman Trophy winner and the current quarterback for the Washington Redskins. However, Sheinin’s work transcends RG3’s on-field heroics, focusing instead on the psychological portrait of a man whose personality and demeanor appear at odds with the typical franchise quarterback. “In school, Griffin was that rare kid who bridged social cliques,” writes the author, “a star jock who also liked poetry, who made straight A’s, who wore silly socks and still loved his superhero figurines.” He was also a boy who loved football third (after basketball and track) and who, at the age of 12, promised his mother that if tackled, he would quit the sport altogether. It was just the motivation he required to ensure that he wasn’t brought down, the spark that kept him pulling a tire uphill late into the evening as he transformed himself into an athlete of the highest level. Sheinin, who spent a year reporting on RG3, provides rare insight into the star’s home life by incorporating firsthand interviews with Griffin’s parents, both of whom describe raising their son in a Christian, color-blind household. Yet upon RG3’s entrance onto the national stage, the young quarterback soon found himself embroiled in a racially charged maelstrom when an African-American commentator insinuated that Griffin wasn’t a true “brother.” RG3’s skillful handling of the situation further proved that he was “comfortable in the spotlight, but wasn’t one to seek it out”—a man who, while mysterious, was quite clear in his preference for heaving touchdowns rather than making headlines.
Insightful, engaging and a must-read for sports fans interested in teasing out the true RG3.