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Bad Sports: How Owners Are Ruining the Games We Love Paperback – March 6, 2012


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Frequently Bought Together

Bad Sports: How Owners Are Ruining the Games We Love + People's History of Sports in the United States: 250 Years of Politics, Protest, People, and Play (New Press People's History) + Game Over: How Politics Has Turned the Sports World Upside Down
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: New Press, The; Reprint edition (March 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595587829
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595587824
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.3 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #351,385 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Even in the presence of model franchises throughout the sports world, Zirin makes a strong argument that team owners are ruining our storied teams, not to mention the sports themselves. But then, what's new? Profiling a rogues' gallery of owners—among them, the Yankees' George Steinbrenner, the Colorado Rockies' Charlie Monfort, the Oklahoma Thunder's Clay Bennett—Zirin says that many owners rely, primarily through legalized extortion, on public coffers to stay afloat. He also discusses the baseball owners' acquiescence in their players' use of steroids and the too-rapid expansion of the NHL that has diluted the quality of play for decades. There are many to blame for the strange state of pro sports today, including overweening politicians, fans, and sports media. But, from the evidence in Zirin's book, ownership is a good place to start. --Alan Moores --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Dave Zirin is Bringing The Noise once more with his expose on the modern day tyranny that has turned athletic entertainment into 'Gross' National Product. Dave Z is irreplaceable. He's the sportsworld geiger counter, exposing the truth and protecting the fan from first, second, and third degree burns."--Chuck D, Public Enemy

"The Nation's sports columnist Dave Zirin combines the passion of the most rabid sports nut with the intellectual rigor of the most learned Hegelian. This book is a critical account of how rapacious owners are leaching the fun out of sports and how we, the beleaguered fans, can take back the games we love."--Katrina vanden Heuvel, Editor, The Nation

"Not since Hunter S. Thompson has a sports writer shown the right snarl for the job."--Naomi Klein

"The only thing I like better than pitchers who throw hard, are writers who do the same. In Bad Sports, Dave Zirin does exactly that. No curve balls, no changeups, just fastball after fastball under the chins of owners who say they love sports but make decisions based on profits for profit, the hell with the fans or the quality of the game. Bad Sports doesn't ask for accountability, it demands it."--Howard Bryant, author of The Last Hero: A Life of Henry Aaron

"Every owners nightmare just came to life. Bad Sports is the book that all owners, general managers, presidents and CEO's of professional sports franchises prayed would never be written. Brilliantly blatant, Dave Zirin separates scandal and innuendo from truth and moral ineptness. Bad Sports proves that although wealthy men in suits may own franchises, they don't own the game."--Scoop Jackson, ESPN

"Hard-hitting, fun, ironic ane informative, Dave Zirin's Bad Sports is a riveting look at sports ownership in our time. Zirin takes on the owners in a way only he can and makes you think about sports in a way you never have. This book makes you laugh and it makes you cry, sometimes in the same paragraph."--Christine Brennan, USA Today sports columnist, author of Inside Edge and Best Seat in the House

"The smartest and gutsiest sportswriter in America has just written the smartest and gustiest book about sports--and about America"--Robert Lipsyte

"Zirin puts the politics back in sports and makes good sport of the politics. Even if you don't know the difference between March Madness and Spring Break, read this book: it's an original and scathing look at how America works."--Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine

"As Dave Zirin says to fans of corporatized sports teams--'There is a time to cheer and a time to seethe.' Zirin seethes and sometimes applauds with facts and true stories. It's more exciting reading Bad Sports than 95% of the games I've watched."--Ralph Nader

"Zirin makes a strong argument that team owners are ruining our storied teams, not to mention the sports themselves."--Booklist --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Dave Zirin was named one of the "50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Our World" by Utne Magazine. He writes about the politics of sports for the Nation magazine, and is their first sports writer in 150 years of existence. Zirin is also the host of Sirius XM satellite's popular weekly show, "Edge of Sports Radio," as well as a columnist for SLAM Magazine, the Progressive, and a regular op-ed writer for the Los Angeles Times. Zirin's previous books are What's My Name, Fool? Sports and Resistance in the United States; Welcome to the Terrordome: The Pain, Politics, and Promise of Sports; The Muhammad Ali Handbook; and A People's History of Sports in the United States.

Customer Reviews

I rarely give up on a book.
scott baxter
While I'm generally sympathetic to Zirin's arguments, the book's analysis is pretty shallow.
DRM
Dave Zirin is the nation's best writer on the intersection of sports and politics.
EastCoastingB

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Cool Papa J on July 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover
If you are a sports fan, or a progressive, you can't let this book get by you. I was truly caught flat-footed by Zirin's frozen ropes of insight into why I haven't been as inspired by the games I grew up loving so much--and by his ideas about what it will take to reclaim the game from profit driven owners. As a resident of Seattle, I was impressed how well Zirin tackled the saga of Clay Bennett and his sell out of our city by shipping of our beloved Sonics to Oklahoma. But this book is much more than an expose of rapacious sports team moguls. It is sociological study of sports and its fans that uncovers previously obscured ideas about why people marvel and partake in play. It is a study of urban planning in America and the role of the sports teams and stadiums in the modern metropolis. Moreover, it is a playbook for fans and social activists to make our cities and our teams inspiring once again.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Computer Fan on July 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I was lucky to get my hands on this at my neighborhood bookstore before it's officially released. If you like sports, it's a must read to understand how the owners are messing with the game and our society more generally. If you like politics, it's a must read so you can understand what the hell sports fans are talking about when they complain about the latest outrageous trade or missed opportunity (plus you'll get some good cocktail talking points to come at these questions from a different angle). If you don't like sports or politics, I don't know why you got this far, but any writer that Chuck D, Naomi Klein and Robert Lipsyte all like is worth checking out.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By DC Teacher on July 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I will admit up front, I am a veteran reader and lover of Dave Zirin's books so I come to this book with a certain degree of ideological and literary prejudice. The thing is, I don't even like sports all that much. I haven't watched a series of anything with avid interest since the Chicago Bulls beat the Utah Jazz the last time those two teams were in a playoff series together (note, I can't even remember what year it was). But I am a fan of good writing and I am a fan of any writier willing to stand up and acknowledge the disturbing stranglehold that owners, big business, and evil American financiers(read: AIG, Citigroup, their politico pals, and all the big wigs that invest in such institutions of greed and avarice) have on every aspect of our society today, including sports. Not only do they rip our economy out from under us, they also want to destroy our fun, our games, our sources of pleasure. Well, they can't take this book from me.... As usual, Dave's deep knowledge of the history and business of sports, keen understanding of American society, and exceptional sense of humor make this book a must-read for sports fans, literature lovers, and anyone who considers themselves an aware and independent American citizen. Dave, you have done it again....
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jesse Zarley on July 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I'm an avid follower of Zirin's website, Edge of Sports, and a weekly listener to his radio show. For ANY sports fan OR political activist who likes what he has had to say on issues ranging from the Lebron saga, popularizing the fight against Arizona's anti-immigrant SB1070 to his on the ground coverage of resistance to the Olympics in Vancouver and his reporting from South Africa in the lead up to the World Cup - you will love Bad Sports!

The first ever sports editor for the Nation magazine steps up to the plate and delivers a real winner. This book is a must read! I am not personally the most hard core sports fan, but I've eagerly read all of Zirin's previous books and they make great gifts for the politico or sports fan in your family. Bad Sports does not disappoint.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By EastCoastingB on July 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover
A very enjoyable and informative read. Dave Zirin is the nation's best writer on the intersection of sports and politics. Sports fans will appreciate the shots Zirin takes at particular owners and the histories of their stadium swindles. Political wonks will appreciate Zirin's astute analyses of how rich owners use sports to basically fleece the poor. This book should serve as a seminal text for anyone hoping to change the way sports work in America -- in other words, for anyone who wants sports to be fun again.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Julia K. on July 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I've read all of Dave Zirin's books and am a fan of his historical writing about sports and politics. This book however is in a different category. It's a book about America, seen through the lens of sports. Zirin talks about modern sports ownerships as the template that has "socialized debt and privatized profit", a template that we've seen in the bank and real estate bailouts.

The book is also really, laugh out loud hilarious. The chapters about Clippers owner Donald Sterling (Slumlord Billionaire!) and Daniel Snyder, owner of the Washington Redskins (When Costanza got Hair!) split my sides. People should buy this book and also buy it for their sports loving friends they are trying to nudge in a more progressive direction.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By P.F.C. on July 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover
For anyone like me whose love of sports has waned due to money-grubbing owners and right-wing league marketing departments (yay for war!) this book is like medicine. It managed to remind me that the teams I love don't belong to turds in suits, they belong to the players and us. (And that the turds can't get away with any more than we let them, so we should stop letting them.)
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