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The King of Sports: Football's Impact on America

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2013

    If you'e an NFL fan, root for a BCS-bound football playoff schoo

    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 !!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2014

    A real eye opener!

    Every sports fan and every tax payer needs to read this book!

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  • Posted December 27, 2013


    The King of Sports is written in the same vein as League of Denial and The System. Way too many spelling and grammatical errors. I enjoyed this piece of reading but the evidence does not seem to be as evidentiary as I would prefer, relying rather on anecdotal events with little data tied to the conclusions being drawn. Very interesting in that it addresses football at all levels from Pop Warner to NFL and every level in between. Easterbrook is excellent at establishing the disturbing cause and effect relationships that exist between the sources of money and the prostituted parties who receive these tainted dollars, i.e. - equipment manufacturers, college programs, peripheral recruiting organizations, etc. The most unsettling segment of this read relates to the ability of the NFL, as an organization, the NCAA, major college football programs and post season bowl games the ability to maintain tax exempt status, literally, costing the taxpayers of specific states and the country, collectively, billions of dollars over the years. The rich certainly do get richer by means of legislative extortion. I will reread this book, its worth the time. 4 stars.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2013

    This is a good read. It's well-written and entertaining, but it

    This is a good read. It's well-written and entertaining, but it will infuriate you to learn of the insane tax breaks the NFL gets. Had to stop reading it before bed because it made me too worked up -- this book definitely not in the "puts you to sleep" category!  Easterbrook exhaustively goes through all the flaws with the finance and social impacts of modern American football.  Really makes you think.

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