The Game's Not Over : In Defense of Football
Overview - Is there anything more universally American than NFL football? Love of the NFL runs deep and broad. It is a primetime TV event on multiple national networks, subsidized by public funds and popular from Mount Rainier to Miami Beach. The 2015 Super Bowl, a thriller between the Patriots and Seahawks, was the most-watched program in the history of television, with more than a third of the country watching. Read more...
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More About The Game's Not Over by Gregg Easterbrook
Is there anything more universally American than NFL football?
Love of the NFL runs deep and broad. It is a primetime TV event on multiple national networks, subsidized by public funds and popular from Mount Rainier to Miami Beach. The 2015 Super Bowl, a thriller between the Patriots and Seahawks, was the most-watched program in the history of television, with more than a third of the country watching.
Yet football is in trouble. Public anxiety over football spiked in 2014 during the heat of the Ray Rice domestic violence scandal, the ongoing concussion crisis and the league's appropriations of tax money for its own ends. The mounting problems have led some to question the ethics of watching America's beloved game.
In this sharply argued, witty, observant book, Gregg Easterbrook makes a spirited case in defense of the NFL. As he shows, the league brings together Americans of all stripes, providing a rare space to talk about what matters. Indeed, the various issues we see in the league are often microcosms of the ones we see elsewhere, whether it's suspicion of the rich, or gender politics or even concern over bullying. The NFL's social, economic and legal problems are real, but they also produce some of our best and most valuable discussions of those issues. Football is a magnificent incarnation of our national character. It has many flaws, and they need fixing--but the game's not over.
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
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At a time when the reputation of the National Football League is under siege, Easterbrook (The King of Sports), a contributing editor at the Atlantic and the Washington Monthly, defends the sport but scolds its governing organization, which he calls broken and needing reform. Easterbrook examines the public fallout stemming from the New England Patriots Deflategate scandal, the chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) lawsuit and its massive cash settlement for ailing veteran players, the domestic assault debacle involving former running back Ray Rice, and various changes to rules in order to safeguard current players. He describes how the ambitious NFL empire brings in billions in revenue for the major TV networks and cable systems, yet he blasts the diminishing power of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, calling him a water boy who makes eight figures. In a series of familiar arguments, Easterbrook speaks of football as a sport of civic pride, a way to lift boys out of poverty, and a game that mirrors Americas obsession with violence and organized mayhem; some segments, such as the dull poetic bits and hastily assembled highlight reel of memorable moments, feel like filler. (Dec.)