The King of Sports

The King of Sports

Football's Impact on America

Book - 2013
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Gregg Easterbrook, author of the wildly popular column Tuesday Morning Quarterback takes on football's place in American society.

Gridiron football is the king of sports - it's the biggest game in the strongest and richest country in the world. Of the twenty most-watched television broadcasts ever, both in the United States and internationally, all twenty were Super Bowls. In The King of Sports, Easterbrook tells the full story of how football became so deeply ingrained in American culture. Both good and bad, he examines its impact on American society at all levels of the game.

The King of Sports explores these and many other topics:

* The real harm done by concussions (it's not to NFL players).
* The real way in which college football players are exploited (it's not by not being paid).
* The way football helps American colleges (it's not bowl revenue) and American cities (it's not Super Bowl wins).
* What happens to players who are used up and thrown away (it's not pretty).

* The hidden scandal of the NFL (it's worse than you think).

Using his year-long exclusive insider access to the Virginia Tech football program, where Frank Beamer has compiled the most victories of any active NFL or major-college head coach while also graduating players, Easterbrook shows how one big university "does football right." Then he reports on what's wrong with football at the youth, high school, college and professional levels. Easterbrook holds up examples of coaches and programs who put the athletes first and still win; he presents solutions to these issues and many more, showing a clear path forward for the sport as a whole. Rich with reporting details from interviews with current and former college and pro football players and coaches, The King of Sports promises to be the most provocative and best-read sports book of the year.

Publisher: New York :, Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press,, 2013
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781250011718
Branch Call Number: 796.332 EAS
Characteristics: 354 pages ; 25 cm


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Feb 13, 2014

Not a football fan, but this was an interesting, but poorly edited, read.

george0819 Oct 16, 2013

If you'e an NFL fan, root for a BCS-bound football playoff school, have a child, grandchild or nephew in youth football, you'll need 2 copies of this book ! One, to read over and over and the other you will have destroyed, having thrown it repeatedly against the wall, all the while picturing Mr. Easterbrook as your target. This book is guaranteed to make you do 2 things:make you think, and if you fall into any of the above categories...infuriate you ! Mr. Easterbrook "holds no punches" and there are no "sacred cows" in HIS football world. To start, he is clearly a lover of the game, to the point he's envisioning the game at least through 2096, and at Bowdoin, of all places. No, rest easy, BCS combatants, he's not espousing that revolutionary a change in America's leading sport. What Mr. Easterbrook has actually done is taken a grandfatherly, I have nothing to lose personally, I've been through the wars, look at a game he loves and respects, but which he fears, may have a "shelf-life". He takes the NFL to task for being less than honest and forthright on the severity of injuries, particularly to the brain. He also appears honest in his less than full blown support of NFL sponsored youth programs, as they foster full-year participation in football at the exclusion of other extra-curricular activities. In moderate defense of the NFL, with the reduction in physical activities, by children, any activities may be welcome. He most strenuously abraids the NFL for it's "Not for Profit" status and it's bogus attempt to appear to be a charity, when, in fact, average tax-payers fund billionaire owned stadia and the NFL protects licensing rights of activities performed on public property. BCS powerhouse fans and alums, you may need 3 copies. Nearly every element of "major college football" is reviewed, in detail, and some might observe, does not fare well under his harsh light of day. The entire college "collective" from school Presidents, to Head Coaches to Assistant Coaches, boosters and supporters at all levels are "investigated". One might take one of 2 views: if you're a BCS Bowl aspirant, you might look bad or you've got better ammunition against your arch-rival, who might look worse. After throwing one copy at Gregg, hypothetically, of course, you still have one to throw at them ! Mr. Easterbrook is particularly terse as applies to "graduation rates" or lack thereof, I'll leave the findings to the reader. He sharply balances the "this is a problem" in football, with "this is how and why things should run", utilizing Coach Frank Beamer and Virginia Tech, as his example, though other schools, he notes, fit the positive influence bill. Lastly, he ends the book with significant ideas on changing, or at least adjusting, the game he so clearly loves. If the idea of writing a book is to cause the reader to "think", this is clearly a 5-star success !! Oh, don't forget the "throw against the wall" edition when your NFL team and/or alma mater come up !!

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