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The King of Sports: Football's Impact on America (Anglais) Relié – 24 septembre 2013

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26 internautes sur 27 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
a call for reform in an information heavy text 23 août 2013
Par Jason G - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit ( De quoi s'agit-il? )
The King of Sports, Football's Impact on America is an attempt to point out the massive amounts of corruption and hypocrisy that daily receive a pass, because of America's obsession with football, at all levels of the game. This work investigates and describes, in heavy detail, the health and safety, financial malfeasance and corruption of mission that are undergone at the high school, college and professional level by America's favorite sport. The reader is frankly, overwhelmed with the data and description, in at times rambling and example heavy book.

The author, Gregg Easterbrook, who has written for years for publications like The Atlantic and ESPN.com is certainly a fan of the game, and loves how athletics, properly used, are tools for character development, self discipline, exposing especially the young to a wider world, and for being one of the few outlets commonly accepted today that brings a real sense of civic cohesion. He has been a youth coach and active participate in the college recruiting process as well. So he does have not only the observational skills of a journalist, but the ability to understand how the game works on the inside.

I am largely sympathetic with Easterbrook's main points: football has become an unhealthy obsession in the nation, and we are taking massive risks with health and safety of youth, twisting educational opportunities into corrupt incentives for school pride and aggrandizement and abusing civic pride in professional sports into an excuse to pump an increasingly corrupt organization like the NFL. His most convicting comments, again largely in agreement with his main points, are from Super Bowl winning coach, Tong Dungy and a Virginia Tech player.

While I am largely in agreement with Easterbrook's thesis, this book can overwhelm the reader with the massive amount of data, and be quite rambling at times. I remain unsure if this book will convince anyone not already convinced of the sport's problems. The organization of this book does leave some to be desired. He did have tremendous amount of access to the Virginia Tech football program, a team that Easterbrook believes does things the right way, and he spends most of the text overwhelming showing how the sport, at different levels, is abusing the public trust.

The Virginia Tech sections of the books, especially the lengthy section on the 2012 Sugar Bowl, are hard to fit into a book that hits the game with negativity over and over. I understand Easterbrook wants to show a 'good' program, but it is hard to make sense if he wants to have a retelling of Virginia Tech's 2011 season, or critique the negative aspects of the game.

His real thesis chapter, the third from the end, really should have been at the beginning of the work. His reforms that he suggests, which he hopes return the balance of emphasis back to education and civic responsibility do make sense, though probably won't be enacted by today's public. Still, as a book that collates all the abuses and cultural negative influence of today's football, this book should be read.
15 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The King Does What He Wants 26 août 2013
Par M. JEFFREY MCMAHON - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit ( De quoi s'agit-il? )
Gregg Easterbrook wants to know why there is such a deep relationship between the American public and football, from high school, to college (with three times' greater attendance than pro football) and NFL. We become warriors for our teams on game day and we dissect the game throughout the rest of the week. He comes up with several reasons. We are aggressive like football; football is a recluse, a man's club, in a country where women are gaining more and more power in education in business. We are industrial and work for a boss the way the players work for their coach so we relate to the game on that analogous level. We are even so addicted to the sport that we subsidize football stadiums for owners who take all the money for themselves and politicians, the public do nothing. We allow the cozy relationship between the NFL and the TV companies to flourish while we pay for the tab in ways that are outrageous, even feudal, according to Easterbrook.

All the while we exploit our college athletes. Only about half graduate with a college degree. Only one in a hundred from college go to NFL. Five years after playing NFL, most players are broke. They don't get guaranteed contracts. Repetitive head injuries lead to brain damage, suicidal depression, ALS disease and a host of other disorders.

Additionally, college and NFL players, huge with inflated weight increases from a generation ago, influence the American youth to "bulk up," which leads to obesity. And then there are the pain killers and PEDs, which are sought out by our youth, many of whom are trying to be recruited as young as twelve years old.

This sick symbiotic relationship between a multi-billion-dollar industry and the viewing addicts is held under a microscope in writing that is accessible, fair-minded, well researched and moves along at a brisk pace in spite of all the valuable statistics Easterbrook relies on to support his points. Highly recommended.
8 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
"They Do It Because They Can" 11 août 2013
Par TMStyles - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit ( De quoi s'agit-il? )
Greg Easterbrook has written an expose of football in America that will not likely earn him many invitations to Pro Team sky boxes. In "The King Of Sports", subtitled Football's Impact On America, Easterbrook examines the role of football, professional, collegiate, and high school in America today and details historically how things got this way. It is a book heavy on the negative because there are a lot of negatives. To his credit, he does delineate his suggestions to overhaul the system and bring some semblance of safety and fairness to the modern sport.

Dedicated football fans and sports historians will find little new in this book beyond some of the amazing statistics Easterbrook has amassed to support his positions. Indeed, it reads as an amalgamation of ills and evils reflected in modern day football at all levels. But casual fans and outside observers may be shocked by these revelations that fall one after the other in "The King Of Sports". The avaricious team owners who use a clueless and willing Congress to further not only the direction of the game but also to secure tax-payer subsidies and outright "gifts" to build enormously expensive stadia wherein these same taxpayers can be charged onerous prices to attend while also subsidizing maintenance. The exploitation of college football players, particularly African Americans, while ignoring the true meaning of a college education. The devastating injuries and career ending concussions coupled with the fact that colleges provide no long term insurance support for injured players.

To provide a unifying thread across all levels of football, Easterbrook selected Frank Beamer and his Virginia Tech football program to shadow for a year and to use as a cautionary model of how things should be done at major college football institutions. His selection may be arguable to some but it does make a dry depressing read just a little more interesting as he follows Beamer and his staff from recruiting, to practices, to training tables, to a BCS bowl game with Michigan, to a follow up study on the coach's lasting influence on his players. These threads, interwoven in appropriate chapters, detail the hopes, dreams, and heartbreaks of the collegiate and future professional athlete.

All in all, a book of revelations that may startle many readers and certainly will make many readers aware of the dangers, misuse of public monies, and abuse of our young athletes. Not that these things are altogether new, but they are now codified, with supporting statistics and examples, of all that is wrong with football in America today. "The King Of Sports" is not a fun pass-the-time read; rather it can be ponderously slow yet quick to anger in many aspects. Perhaps its value will inevitably manifest in bringing attention to the problems, dangers and inequities of a game that America adores in hopes that appropriate changes can be made to ensure its continued existence amid new safety and new financing opportunities.
5 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
On target but... 11 février 2014
Par The Galloping Ghost - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
The insider's look at the Va Tech football program and Frank Beamer were the strength of this book. Otherwise, the author identifies worthy targets (The NFL and its owners ripping off the taxpayer, college athletics that is nearly corrupt to its core) but never moves too far beyond emotional sanctimonious ranting. The co-opting of the TV sports media by the leagues and teams they cover is not given enough consideration- why does the NFL need its own TV network when the one in central Connecticut is a 365-day year marketing extension of the league?
5 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Great writer, not so great book 5 septembre 2013
Par J. C Clark - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit ( De quoi s'agit-il? )
While football may be the King of Sports, this book does not make the case it sets out to do.

I am a regular reader of the tastefully named Gregg Easterbrook's prose on TMQ. I am not a huge football fan, but have a passing interest. However, Easterbrook is such a fine writer that I read his lengthy column weekly during the season and miss it when it is gone. I forward chunks of it often, probably too often. So, I don't think I am the audience for this book. Because most of what he says here he has said before. No, this is not a literal compilation of columns. But it is a thorough synopsis of his thinking and writing on football, and therefore, feels a bit too familiar.

In addition, while he has legitimate and powerful gripes about football in our culture, he remains a fan and makes a living writing about it. In one sense, this seems like me writing a guide to bordellos. I cannot encourage the use of something I disapprove of, and boy, Mr. Easterbrook has much to disapprove of. Kids are mauled and abused, both physically and mentally, starting at about age 6. They often grow up and become prima donnas who need not study as they are fed lies about the millions coming their way. Most never sniff a dollar, but many have lifelong injuries or disabilities caused by the violence encouraged by coaches living out personal fantasies and schools that emphasize wining above scholastics. If they get to college, in nearly every program cheating and fraud will be the norm. Lies, broken contracts, deceit, and money money money predominate. If they manage to get a degree (which Mr. Easterbrook relentlessly confuses with an education) they may have gotten something for their efforts, but many do not, and most never realize an NFL payday. Their bodies are beaten and battered, their educational opportunities lost, and they are eventually cast aside with little to take away from their experience. And if they make it to the pros, they will be participating in a system even more corrupt, if such a thing were possible, where taxpayers are fleeced, legislatures are misled, rules are flouted, rich owners threaten and cajole and blackmail their way to billions in profits, armed guards take coaches to games, laws are bent to permit the teams to do just about whatever they want, supervision and critique and analysis comes from those employed by, or in the pocket of, the league, and, oh, by the way, bodies are destroyed and it is accepted as the price of doing business.

So a system that is flawed from top to bottom produces an entertaining product? Really?
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