The King of Sports by Gregg Easterbrook
Football's Impact on America

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Mr Easterbrook makes flat jokes and can be oddly lazy. “Perhaps in some ineffable way the too-big nature of football helps stimulate American freedom and affluence.” Yes, perhaps. Those are the questions one might want to ponder—in a book about American football, for instance.
-The Economist

Synopsis

Gregg Easterbrook, author of the wildly popular ESPN.com 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.

 

About Gregg Easterbrook

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GREGG EASTERBROOK is the author of a number of books, including The Progress Paradox, Tuesday Morning Quarterback, The Here and Now, and Sonic Boom. He is a contributing editor of The Atlantic Monthly, The New Republic and The Washington Monthly, and a columnist for ESPN.com. He has been a distinguished fellow of the Fulbright Foundation, a visiting fellow of the Brookings Institution, a bartender, a bus driver and a used-car salesman.
 
Published September 24, 2013 by Thomas Dunne Books. 367 pages
Genres: Sports & Outdoors, History. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for The King of Sports
All: 4 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 3

Kirkus

Below average
Reviewed by Kirkus Reviews on Aug 15 2013

The author does not aggressively examine, though he does mention, the proposition that the game’s popularity is principally based on violence—would anyone watch the NFL if it were flag football?

Read Full Review of The King of Sports: Football'... | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Above average
on Jul 08 2013

Easterbrook excels at exposing and describing the shaky behavior that gets lost in the games’ hoopla. It’s a shame that these observations come wrapped in a smug, academic arrogance...There’s much to like, but Easterbrook’s tone and alarmist proclamations make it hard to embrace his agenda.

Read Full Review of The King of Sports: Football'... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

NY Journal of Books

Above average
Reviewed by Michael Levin on May 03 2014

Here’s hoping that The King of Sports becomes a manual for improving the game that Easterbrook and millions of Americans so deeply love.

Read Full Review of The King of Sports: Football'... | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

The Economist

Below average
Reviewed by The Economist on Sep 14 2013

Mr Easterbrook makes flat jokes and can be oddly lazy. “Perhaps in some ineffable way the too-big nature of football helps stimulate American freedom and affluence.” Yes, perhaps. Those are the questions one might want to ponder—in a book about American football, for instance.

Read Full Review of The King of Sports: Football'... | See more reviews from The Economist

Reader Rating for The King of Sports
77%

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