How Politics Has Turned the Sports World Upside Down
By Dave Zirin
(New Press, The, Paperback, 9781595588159, 240pp.)
Publication Date: January 2013
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Sportscaster Howard Cosell dubbed it rule number one of the jockocracy”: sports and politics just don’t mix. But in Game Over, celebrated alt-sportswriter Dave Zirin proves once and for all that politics has breached the modern sports arena with a vengeance. From the NFL lockout and the role of soccer in the Arab Spring to the Penn State sexual abuse scandals and Tim Tebow’s on-field genuflections, this timely and hard-hitting new book from the conscience of American sportswriting” (The Washington Post) reveals how our most important debates about class, race, religion, sex, and the raw quest for political power are played out both on and off the field.
Game Over offers new insights and analysis of headline-grabbing sports controversies, exploring the shady side of the NCAA, the explosive 2011 MLB All-Star Game, and why the Dodgers crashed and burned. It covers the fascinating struggles of gay and lesbian athletes to gain acceptance, female athletes to be more than sex symbols, and athletes everywhere to assert their collective bargaining rights as union members. Zirin also illustrates the ways in which athletes are once again using their exalted platforms to speak out and reclaim sports from the corporate interests that have taken it hostage. In Game Over, he cheers the victories but also reflects on how far we have yet to go. Combining brilliant set pieces with a sobering overview of today’s sports scene in Zirin’s take-no-prisoners style, Game Over is a must read for anyone, sports fan or not, interested in understanding how sports reflect and shape society—and why the stakes have never been higher.
One of the UTNE Reader’s 50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Our World,” Dave Zirin is a columnist for The Nation, SLAM magazine, and SI.com. He is the host of Sirius XM’s popular weekly show Edge of Sports Radio and a regular guest on ESPN’s Outside the Lines and on MSNBC. His previous books include A People’s History of Sports in the United States and Bad Sports: How Owners Are Ruining the Games We Love (both available from The New Press). He lives near Washington, D.C.
A damning indictment of all that is corrupting sports and a song of praise for athletes standing up for human rights and decency.”