Hey, Robert, Just One More Question?
6:40 p.m., THURSDAY, Oct. 13, 2011
I have to wonder if even Tom Brady gets this kind of weekly media scrutiny.
Brad Sheffield's official title is Coordinator of New Media for Athletic Communications. But lately, he's taken on the dual role of personal interview screener, organizer and watch dog for one Robert Griffin III.
According to Brad's calculations, RG3 is averaging 15 separate interviews per week. And that's counting our weekly "Shark Tank" as one, which includes myself and writers from the Waco Tribune-Herald, Baylor Lariat, Rivals.com and any out-of-town newspaper reporters.
Circled around the Baylor quarterback at the end of Monday's weekly press conference, we grill him for 10-15 minutes. He answers every stupid question that comes his way (even queries about his socks of the day), always smiling. RG3 is like the anti-Bob Knight.
I think it's safe to say that Baylor has never had a single student-athlete that's been as requested as Griffin III. Especially when you consider that there are a ton more media outlets now (particularly the .com varieties) than the eras when guys like Mike Singletary and Olympic gold medalist Michael Johnson were here on campus.
We're not even halfway through the year, and RG3 has already made a live appearance on ESPN's College GameDay, along with a taped feature that called him "The Most Interesting Man in College Football"; plus a live phone interview with ESPN's First Take.
He's also been featured in Sports Illustrated and Sporting News, had a lengthy interview this week with a USA Today writer and done radio interviews with stations in Los Angeles, Calif., Seattle, Wash., and Atlanta, Ga., just to name a few.
Even with a three-day window - no other players are available on Wednesday - Sheffield still has to turn down several interview requests a week. And remember, that's Brad saying no, not Griffin III.
I usually try to stay away from hyperboles, but I've never seen a player handle interviews any better than RG3. As impressive as he has been on the field this season - Rivals.com selected him as the national Midseason Offensive Player of the Year - you couldn't ask for a better ambassador for Baylor Athletics in the interview room and postgame press conferences.
If there was a Heisman Trophy for interviews, I'm pretty sure Griffin III would get it hands-down. Robert, if you haven't heard it lately, just a word of thanks from a media that demands way too much time from a 21-year-old student-athlete that probably has far more important things to do with his life.