As a long-time reader of Easterbrook's Tuesday Morning Quarterback (TMQ) column on ESPN, I was delighted to see this coming out. For those unfamiliar, TMQ comes out every Tuesday (natch) during the football season and in the column Easterbrook - the rare sportswriter who is also interested in, and knowledgeable about, the wider world (see the rest of his published output, for instance) - examines the world of the NFL and, quite often, it's impact on football at lower, non-professional levels, as well as certain not-clearly-related topics of his interest. Wrapped up together, the column is an interesting, often thoughtful and insightful, always entertaining read. Minus the off-football topics, the same can be said of King of Sports.
Easterbrook here shifts his focus around to the sport at various levels and the positives and negatives he sees within football (primarily) and the way it intersects with American culture. For good and/or ill, the book reads as an expanded and expounding version of his columns. Virtually every topic he discusses here has been discussed in his columns over the years and in that sense, there is not a lot "new" here, though some topics are updated from the last time he may have dealt with it in the column. And while his column often focuses on strategy, game calling and execution, this does not factor into what he is doing here.
The extended column aspect is the reason for four stars rather than five. Easterbrook is, in addition to being thoughtful and reasonable about his football fandom, a very entertaining writer and I eagerly look forward to his column each week. Perhaps that is why I was very slightly disappointed here. As a regular reader, I am familiar with his take on most of these topics and, while this is NOT a cut and paste job, the expanding here is just that. For new readers, and I suspect there will be many, this will not be a problem. For his regulars, however, there isn't a great deal new here.
That being said, I still recommend this to those interested in football, and sport in general, in American society. And if you are, like me, someone who despairs of the business of professional and college sports, yet finds her/himself still watching, rooting and reading about it later, The King of Sports is likely right up your alley.