Part introspective soul searching, part cultural analysis, Tribal tackles the controversies plaguing college athletics, tracing the dubious historical underpinnings of Americans' most popular sport, offering a visceral and often funny analysis of its tribal thrills and deep contradictions.Read more...
Part introspective soul searching, part cultural analysis, Tribal tackles the controversies plaguing college athletics, tracing the dubious historical underpinnings of Americans' most popular sport, offering a visceral and often funny analysis of its tribal thrills and deep contradictions.
Florida State's football team is always in the headlines, producing Heisman Trophy candidates, winning championships, and, at the same time, dealing with federal investigations into corruption and rape. Same as many big time collegiate sports programs. Seems no matter how the team transgresses off the field, if they excel on the field, everyone forgives them. Writer, professor and conflicted Seminole Diane Roberts looks at the problems plaguing her campus in Tallahassee, examining them within the context of college football itself and its significance in American life, and explores how the game shapes our culture.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-09-14
- Reviewer: Staff
For someone who claims to love big-time college football as much as Roberts does in this memoir and cultural history, Roberts is certainly critical of the game, going so far as to predict that the end times are coming for college football. Roberts is a literature and creative writing professor at Florida State University, the alma mater of elite quarterback and alleged rapist Jameis Winston (the NFLs 2015 #1 draft pick). She inherited her fathers FSU season tickets and has battled conflicted emotions ever since. With sass, wit, and colorful streaks of cynicism bordering on viciousness, Roberts delivers readers a female fans perspective of the game she both compares to slavery and labels muscular Christianity. She stretches an essay for the Oxford American into a book-length explanation of a maligned yet revered game, supplementing countless vignettes with references to history, literature, religion, and sex. The author also shares disturbing stories about Robert Champion, a Florida A&M Marching Band drum major who died following a 2011 hazing incident, and Calvin Patterson, the first African-American student to attend FSU on a football scholarship, who killed himself in 1972. While she forces fans to reevaluate their devotion to the game, Roberts concludes she still cares way too much, even though I know better. Agent: Gail Hochman, Brandt & Hochman Literary. (Nov.)