26 internautes sur 27 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
- Publié sur Amazon.com
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.
5 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
J. C Clark
- Publié sur Amazon.com
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?