Dungy’s Got a Brand New Book

Dear Reader,

In late January, retired Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy released his new book Uncommon: Finding Your Path To Significance. And I hope Tyndale House Publishers did a better job of disclosing its contents than it did for Dungy’s earlier book, Quiet Strength: The Principles, Practices, & Priorities of a Winning Life. My December ’07 Amazon.com review of Quiet Strength should fill you in.

“Bait and Switch, December 12, 2007

The bait: The cover photographs, title, subtitle, back cover, and book flaps, all of which benignly indicate the book’s about Dungy’s football coaching style as he believes it can be applied to life.

The switch? The foreword by Pauletta and Denzel Washington. Here’s the first line: ‘We are blessed and privileged to write the foreword to a book that truly represents the power of God and the rewards of obedience to God’s Word.’ It gets worse; and before you know it, you find out the book was written to push evangelical Christian agenda. The cover, back cover copy, and dust cover flaps say nothing about Christianity. For shame!

I blame Tyndale Publishers for this. I also blame them for allowing this cobbled together book to go to press before it was ready. It was started after the February 2007 Super Bowl and was released in July 2007―way too short a time to produce a good book.

Because of this, I wanted to assign Quite Strength one star, but I upped it to two because it contains some redeeming—thought provoking—ideas:

· I know I can have blanket rules, but blanket rules don’t always fit every individual. I need to treat everybody fairly, but fair doesn’t always mean equal.’

· The truth is that most people have a better chance to be uncommon by effort than by natural gifts. Anyone could give that effort in his or her chosen endeavor, but the typical person doesn’t, choosing to do only enough to get by.’

· ‘I knew that I had made the wrong decision. Just because a decision is deliberate doesn’t mean hindsight won’t make it clearer. And walking closely with the Lord, trusting Jesus, and looking to the Bible for guidance doesn’t guarantee that we’ll always make the right decision.’

I don’t doubt Dungy is a man of principle. Obviously his publisher hasn’t adopted his principles.”

Now, I should tell you I read the whole book. I wanted to. Really. I picked it up because I knew nothing about Dungy. Nothing. I asked Dungy, like I do other memoirists, to use his words to tell me who and why he is.

Note: This review garnered the most comments for me… ever

  • One commenter wondered if God used this [false advertising] to lead me to read this book and thereby learn about his mercy.
  • Others slammed my knowledge as an editor.
  • Some wanted me to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal savior.
  • One said I was a sloppy consumer: I should have read the first pages before I bought the book.
  • Another said everyone knows Tyndale is a Christian publisher.
  • And more.

To read these comments, go to http://www.amazon.com/gp/pdp/profile/AJZEANIM8QBYS/ref=sv__4, scroll to my review of this book.

I’ve already ordered Uncommon. And I hope this book convinces me to congratulate Dungy on a job well done.


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February 2009
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Photo Credits: Header - Barbara McNichol, Author - Bernadette Garcia

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