Bad Sports: How Owners Are Ruining the Games We Love (Hardcover)
Dave Zirin, author of A People’s History of Sports in the United States and national radio commentator, has taken the debate over privatization into the field of sports. Each chapter shines a light on the finances of a team, tracking how owners are spending money from fans and city coffers with no public accountability or benefit. Often the funds are used to advance conservative causes. Zirin argues that not only are owners ruining spectator sports for fans, they are also putting the general public at risk by siphoning funds from crucial city infrastructure (e.g., bridge in Minneapolis, Metro in D.C., and, of course, public schools) to fund multimillion-dollar stadiums. He concludes that sports fans should not be mere “scenery for television broadcasts,” but instead “have every right to try to reclaim sports from those who would make it alienating and unenjoyable.” Also check out Zirin’s new film, Not Just a Game: Power, Politics, & American Sports, distributed by the Media Education Foundation (www.mediaed.org). The website includes the film’s transcript and a full-length preview of the film. --Rethinking Schools
A THOUGHT-PROVOKING LOOK AT THE BIG BUSINESS AND IMMORAL PRACTICES BEHIND PROFESSIONAL SPORTS BY ACCLAIMED SPORTSWRITER DAVE ZIRIN, HAILED AS THE “CONSCIENCE OF AMERICAN SPORTSWRITING” (THE WASHINGTON POST )
The fastest-growing sector of today’s sports audience is the alienated fan. Complaints abound: from inflated ticket prices, $6 hot dogs, and $9 beers to owners endlessly demanding new multimillion-dollar stadiums funded by public tax dollars. Those sitting in the owners’ boxes are increasingly placing profit over players’ performances and fan loyalty. Bad Sports cuts through the hype and bombast to zero in on tales of abusive, dictatorial owners who move their teams thousands of miles away from their fan base, use their stadiums as religious and political platforms, or hold communities ransom for millions of dollars of taxpayer money to fund their gargantuan stadiums.
As the multibillion-dollar sports-industrial complex continues to lumber along, Dave Zirin is the voice in the wilderness, speaking out for the common fan with a tough, passionate, and intelligent voice that will remind readers that there is more to sportswriting than glowing athlete profiles.
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.
Praise for Bad Sports: How Owners Are Ruining the Games We Love…
"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