Game Over: How Politics Has Turned the Sports World Upside Down
  • Game Over: How Politics Has Turned the Sports World Upside Down
  • Game Over: How Politics Has Turned the Sports World Upside Down

Game Over: How Politics Has Turned the Sports World Upside Down

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by Dave Zirin
     
 

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Sportscaster Howard Cosell dubbed it “rule number one of the jockocracy”: sports and politics just don’t mix. But in Game Over, celebrated alt-sportswriter Dave Zirin proves once and for all that politics has breached the modern sports arena with a vengeance. From the NFL lockout and the role of soccer in the Arab Spring to the Penn StateSee more details below

Overview

Sportscaster Howard Cosell dubbed it “rule number one of the jockocracy”: sports and politics just don’t mix. But in Game Over, celebrated alt-sportswriter Dave Zirin proves once and for all that politics has breached the modern sports arena with a vengeance. From the NFL lockout and the role of soccer in the Arab Spring to the Penn State sexual abuse scandals and Tim Tebow’s on-field genuflections, this timely and hard-hitting new book from the “conscience of American sportswriting” (The Washington Post) reveals how our most important debates about class, race, religion, sex, and the raw quest for political power are played out both on and off the field.

Game Over offers new insights and analysis of headline-grabbing sports controversies, exploring the shady side of the NCAA, the explosive 2011 MLB All-Star Game, and why the Dodgers crashed and burned. It covers the fascinating struggles of gay and lesbian athletes to gain acceptance, female athletes to be more than sex symbols, and athletes everywhere to assert their collective bargaining rights as union members. Zirin also illustrates the ways in which athletes are once again using their exalted platforms to speak out and reclaim sports from the corporate interests that have taken it hostage. In Game Over, he cheers the victories but also reflects on how far we have yet to go. Combining brilliant set pieces with a sobering overview of today’s sports scene in Zirin’s take-no-prisoners style, Game Over is a must read for anyone, sports fan or not, interested in understanding how sports reflect and shape society—and why the stakes have never been higher.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In his enlightening essay collection, Nation columnist and author Zirin (Welcome to the Terrordome) employs common sense and research to show that politics and sports are entangled, whether it’s members of the Green Bay Packers supporting the collective bargaining rights of Wisconsin’s public workers or the Phoenix Suns donning “Los Suns” uniforms to protest Arizona’s controversial, immigrant-obsessed law, SB 1070. Sports also provides material that highlights class and gender issues: massive stadiums funded with the tax dollars of citizens who can’t afford the tickets, the expectation that female athletes be competitive and feminine, and cities using the World Cup and Olympics as justification to displace low-income residents in the name of looking good for the world. Sports, Zirin writes, is a “common language,” that encompasses far more than wins and losses: “Our sports culture shapes societal attitudes, norms, and power arrangements.” Zirin steadfastly demonstrates how the games we watch are not just an escape from the everyday: they are a reflection that provides a perfect opportunity for protest and change. (Feb.)
From the Publisher

“A damning indictment of all that is corrupting sports and a song of praise for athletes standing up for human rights and decency.”
Kirkus

“In his enlightening essay collection, Nation columnist and author Zirin (Welcome to the Terrordome) employs common sense and research to show that politics and sports are entangled, whether it’s members of the Green Bay Packers supporting the collective bargaining rights of Wisconsin’s public workers or the Phoenix Suns donning ‘Los Suns’ uniforms to protest Arizona’s controversial, immigrant-obsessed law, SB 1070. . . . Zirin steadfastly demonstrates how the games we watch are not just an escape from the everyday: they are a reflection that provides a perfect opportunity for protest and change.”
Publishers Weekly

Kirkus Reviews
A well-told tale about the seamy mess that politics has brought to big-time sports. Zirin (Bad Sports: How Owners Are Ruining the Games We Love, 2010, etc.), an alternative sportswriter and columnist for the Nation, SLAM and SI.com, charts important episodes and themes that, during the past 30 years, have transformed the "athletic-industrial complex…into a trillion-dollar, global entity," where branding is the name of the game and the "modern jock should never sacrifice commercial concerns for political principles." But if that is the context, Zirin has dozens of stories of athletes, even entire teams, taking action in the face of reactionary behavior on the part of the front office or the mayor's office. The author plays his progressive political hand coolly, because there is no need for him to hyperventilate, so egregious are the acts of racism and sexism, of the misuse of public funds or the NCAA's greed. He examines how the great international sporting events, such as the Olympics, wreak social and financial havoc on the host countries to the benefit of a few or how such horrible things could happen at Penn State: "Protect the brand above all. In a company town, your first responsibility is to protect the company." Zirin highlights many moments when athletes stepped to higher ground—e.g., the Phoenix Suns coming out as a team against the state's anti-immigration bill or the national soccer teams of Egypt and Bahrain doing their part for fighting tyranny. There are also incidents when sport's corporate worldview has put stadiums over public libraries and youth clubs and collegiate athletic complexes over classroom instruction. A damning indictment of all that is corrupting sports and a song of praise for athletes standing up for human rights and decency.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781595588159
Publisher:
New Press, The
Publication date:
01/29/2013
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
339,138
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.90(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“A damning indictment of all that is corrupting sports and a song of praise for athletes standing up for human rights and decency.”
Kirkus

“In his enlightening essay collection, Nation columnist and author Zirin (Welcome to the Terrordome) employs common sense and research to show that politics and sports are entangled, whether it’s members of the Green Bay Packers supporting the collective bargaining rights of Wisconsin’s public workers or the Phoenix Suns donning ‘Los Suns’ uniforms to protest Arizona’s controversial, immigrant-obsessed law, SB 1070. . . . Zirin steadfastly demonstrates how the games we watch are not just an escape from the everyday: they are a reflection that provides a perfect opportunity for protest and change.”
Publishers Weekly

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