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Game Over: How Politics Has Turned the Sports World Upside Down
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Game Over: How Politics Has Turned the Sports World Upside Down

3.87  ·  Rating Details  ·  148 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
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 Teb ...more
ebook, 224 pages
Published January 1st 2013 by New Press
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Feb 01, 2013 Peter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you don't think that sports and politics are intertwined, then you DEFINITELY need to read this book and get your head right. Sports ARE politics, and this book shows you why. This is a whirlwind world tour, literally, of how politics are informed by sports, and sports are informed by politics. Zirin is firing on all cylinders, tackling the biggest social currents of the day and how they interplay with the sports world, and he does it with equal parts humor and passion. But you never lose sig ...more
Allen Adams

In today’s cultural landscape, sports are much more than what takes place on the field.

With “Game Over,” author Dave Zirin has laid out his case for a perhaps-unexpected truth: sports and politics are irrevocably intertwined. The political theater and the athletic arena share an undeniable overlap, and the sporting world can and does have a real effect on the realm of the political.

Whether he’s looking at the connection between pro athletes and the Occupy
Apr 11, 2013 Mike rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to like this book a lot more than I did. Dave Zirin is doing really groundbreaking work in sports journalism, bringing progressive issues into a genre in which these are normally taboo. This extremely well-sourced book makes the case that there is a revolution going on in sports with a mixing of athletics and progressive movements but I'm not sure he convinced me or if it wasn't something that I just kind of knew already.

There are a lot of interesting and disturbing facts in the
I would not have predicted I could read a whole book about sports and politics. But I did, and I liked it. I like that he talks about race. Here's a good segment:
page 176:
"Then there's the fact--not to shock anyone--that Jeremy Lin is Asian American. . . . There are . . . sportswriters who say primly that they don't notice color and just like Lin's game. . . . Hogwash. If they don't acknowledge it, then the discussion is ceded to those with a racist ax to grind. We then get to only talk about it
Mar 27, 2013 Josh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A VERY worthwhile read. At times, Zirin lets cheesy jokes and/or liberal reactionism get in the way of his excellent arguments. For a thinking sports fan, this book will bring up really important issues. A great book for asking questions, but not necessarily as good at answering them.
Apr 11, 2014 Miranda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Overall, I love Zirin's analysis and the perspective he brings to sports. Fair warning though, he errors on the side of hyperbolic, and will occasionally make leaps in logic that aren't totally sound. For example, Zirin uses Michael Vick as a platform to discuss the link between sports and racism. However, while Zirin excellently describes the racism inherent in the prison system, the link between Vick, racism, and sports is pretty tenuous. I would have preferred an analysis of the public's o
This is between a 3.5 and a 4 but I am choosing 4 as I think I learned a fair amount from this book. It is definitely written from a "leftist" perspective. Not extreme, though, as the writer uses factual information and then takes his spin on it. Fascinating chapter on the role of Egyptian soccer fans - the "ultras" - on the Arab spring, and the fate of athletes in other Arab countries who dared to speak out. The politics of the Olympics and World Cup, and the destruction of poor neighborhoods, ...more
Elizabeth K.
Feb 12, 2013 Elizabeth K. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Elizabeth by: Atlantic book review
Shelves: 2013-new-reads
For sports fan people, this is more like four stars. This is going to be one of those books that I enjoyed a lot, however my comments are going to sound like a long list of complaints. It's not so much complaining as it is a recognition of the fact that the book raises a lot of issues that make interesting conversational topics.

Each chapter of this book deals with a different aspect of the intersection of sports and society, with (as the title says) an emphasis on politics. A few quibbles on tha
Margaret Sankey
Linked essays on the intersection of sports and politics, including the role of soccer clubs in the Arab Spring, the Green Bay Packers and protests against Walker in Wisconsin, the burden of stadium construction, Olympic and World Cup locations turning everyday life into a police state in Vancouver, London, Rio and Johannesburg, pro-Paterno student riots at Penn State, discarded college athletes with injuries, the marketing of female athletes as sex objects and the very recent issue of athletes ...more
Jan 15, 2015 Paul rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sports-general
A very interesting read that makes you think about some of the political issues facing sports although it would be good if the author also wrote about other sports around the world as well (i.e. football / tennis). Definitely makes you reflect after reading this book.
Jay Satellite
Normally I really enjoy Zirin's take on this sort of thing but the writing here was exceptionally weak and filled the type of heavy-handed invective normally reserved for Internet comment sections. Pass on this, read "People's History of Sports" instead.
Sep 16, 2014 Katrina rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Did not finish this book. I couldn't even get through the first chapter. I tend to avoid authors whose political leanings are too far to the right or left and Zirin appears to fit this category. Nothing wrong with his writing style or his political leanings, I'm just not interested in reading sports essays that are not objective or show only one point of view.
Mar 25, 2013 Matthew rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes you pick up a book at the library on a whim, and it's short enough that it doesn't make sense to not finish it, even though it doesn't hold your interest. Zirin's work is disjointed, as though it is a collection of columns or essays that circle around the theme of sports in politics. I agree with many of his ideas--especially those about college athletics--but the treatment seems superficial. In particular, the chapter on the Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State, my main reason for pic ...more
Ben Phillip
Jun 26, 2013 Ben Phillip rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sports and politics are right in my wheelhouse as far as subjects I should like to read. However, I had a hard time getting into this book, particularly because there were some topics that I had no interest. How the NCAA treats their players is not a new story and I am not a fan of NCAA sports in general, so that section was glossed over. I could care less about Joe Paterno too. Zirin does make excellent points about how sports and politics still collide. I wish he would have spent more time on ...more
Sandy Anderson
Aug 17, 2013 Sandy Anderson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
A book of essays on how sports and politics come together in the modern world. I had to read this book one essay at a time because I got so riled up at the injustices done to athletes (and sometimes fans) in the name of the big business sport has become. But I wouldn't have missed reading it for the world. This is a book that made me (a lover of lots of different sports) think. Sports and finance, sports and racism, sports and sexism, sports and gender issues -- the book has it all.
Mason McCloskey
Jul 24, 2015 Mason McCloskey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely loved this book! Extremely eye-opening to many of the sporting events that realistically damage societies such as the Olympics and World Cup, while also mentioning how sports represent many common sentiments and divides in society today. The author has a very liberal view of political values, which creates a bias throughout the book, however I see it as a necessary bias to realizing the current issues in Sports. Very informative and keeps the reader entertained!
Jan 27, 2013 Christian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Dave Zirin's best book yet that I've read. He covers a wide range of sports and politics from around the world: Occupy movement and the support of athletes, Arab Spring and football fans leading the demonstrations, the vilification of the NBA Players Union, sexism in sports and more. The actions of Muhammad Ali and John Carlos and Tommie Smith have inspired athletes today to stand up for their beliefs. Hear their stories in "Game Over."
Mar 03, 2013 Eddie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book. It combines two of my preoccupations, sports and politics. I try to read everything by Dave Zirin because his politics are so good. He is also the author of The People's History of Sports in the United States. None of the essays in the book are discussed in the entertainment media.
Feb 02, 2013 Ryan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is Zirin at his best. It is hard hitting, honest, and really addresses some of the major social-political sports issues of the day. If I was a highschool teacher I would assign this to students, especially student atheletes, so they know being a jock is more than just the field.
Feb 16, 2013 Jen rated it really liked it
It's always great to read Dave Zirin and be reminded that the world of sports is more than just a game. For all of the bad, head shaking decisions by some athletes and owners, its nice to read about those who speak out and stand up for human rights.
Feb 14, 2013 Martin rated it really liked it
Read advanced readers' copy. Exceptional coverage of elements of sport and society. Sports fans should read this to gain an appreciation of the aspects of sport that are more important than mere games
Ron Davidson
Jul 03, 2013 Ron Davidson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A series of essays analyzing sports people and events from a progressive perspective. Worth a read for some interesting observations.
Jun 02, 2013 Gregg rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book, but was a little disappointed that he didn't make any connections with money in politics and money in sports.
Feb 05, 2013 Garrett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent, everyone should read at least some Dave Zirin. The chapter on gender in this book is especially great.
Aug 15, 2013 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book! It's important to be aware how sports and politics influence our lives and our society.
Francesca Ochoa
Jun 25, 2014 Francesca Ochoa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amanda Keck
Aug 15, 2013 Amanda Keck rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book. I'm by no means a hardcore sports fan, but Zirin presents his viewpoints in a way that I feel are accessible to almost everyone. Did I miss a reference here or there? Sure. But that was overshadowed by clear and concise writing that was able to remain entertaining while keeping a very serious focus on the issues. Or maybe I'm just biased because I'm from Wisconsin and a huge Packers fan.
Albert Mejia
Albert Mejia marked it as to-read
Feb 04, 2016
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Jan 31, 2016
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Named of the UTNE Reader’s “50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Our World”, Dave Zirin writes about the politics of sports for the Nation Magazine. He is their first sports writer in 150 years of existence. Zirin is also the host of Sirius XM Radio’s popular weekly show, Edge of Sports Radio. He has been called “the best sportswriter in the United States,” by Robert Lipsyte. Dave Zirin is, in addition ...more
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