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Welcome to the Terrordome: The Pain, Politics and Promise of Sports

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  227 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
“Dave Zirin is the best young sportswriter in America.”—Robert Lipsyte

This much-anticipated sequel to What’s My Name, Fool? by acclaimed commentator Dave Zirin breaks new ground in sports writing, looking at the controversies and trends now shaping sports in the United States—and abroad. Features chapters such as “Barry Bonds is Gonna Git Your Mama: The Last Word on Steroi
Paperback, 280 pages
Published June 1st 2007 by Haymarket Books (first published January 1st 2007)
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Sep 29, 2011 Ron rated it did not like it
Zirin is seen by many to be the savior of sportswriting and radicalism, but the fact is that he is as smug and sanctimonious in his leftist stance as Jim Rome is on the right. Zirin's main flaw is that he is far too reverent a fan, feeling that sports can be utilized to aid progressive causes and save the world (I could say the same about another useless and overpaid group of people who have largely sold out their skills to the corporate hierarchy: artists). As a writer, his flaws are far more g ...more
Apr 06, 2010 Dave rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone with an interest in sports
"...if we wish to reclaim sports, we must look at history, learn from the role sports play in our world, and listen to the athletic rebels of today who are so often ignored by the media."

Sure, this is another book about sports, but it doesn't discuss so much the games and the stats as much as what the important players did off the field and the politics and greed that corrupt the games. As Zirin writes in the intro, the athletes that were cultural icons of their time like Ali, Jackie Robinson an
Aug 06, 2012 Russ rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sports and politics can't be separated, and instead of trying to act like they can, it's important that we openly discuss the connections, support bold athletes who use their place appropriately to highlight their views, and speak up against the blind patriotism and racism that often gets spilled into the mix. Dave Zirin makes this point in these ten essays that look at the politics in basketball, baseball, soccer, and football. He's at his best when detailing important episodes that have become ...more
Sara Mulushewa
Nov 01, 2013 Sara Mulushewa rated it liked it
The novel that I chose to read was suggested to me by my boyfriend who is fascinated by the idea that sports in America has a much darker side to it than people believe. This novel is unconventional in that it doesn't have your average makings of a story. It’s more of an informative book that covers the corruption of sports in mainstream America. It is entitled “Welcome to the Terrordome”, written by Dave Zirin. Mr Zirin is a Sports columnist who writes for a magazine that covers culture and pol ...more
Nov 20, 2007 James rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sports
Sports are the world's great distraction, especially in the United States. To really understand American culture, and other cultures too, you have to understand sports to get why people get so very fanatical about them. In a sense, they are a form of reality TV, except they envelope so much more. It is very easy for radicals to dismiss sports as a distraction from more important things, like changing the world, but in a sense, by dismissing sports, they also dismiss sports fans, which is a great ...more
Dec 28, 2007 JFKW rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Those tired of big media's dangerous and socially irresonsible infantilization of US sports
This book articulated many of the thoughts I've been having about US sports culture for quite some time. I have always been bothered by the Disneyfication of sports and the singularity of the sports voice, but Zirin shows that more people are speaking than we hear. There are men and women in sports fighting for more diversity and freedom in very undemocratic institutions. And Zirin's writing is enjoyable, too. He's passionate and honest and opinionated, all characteristics that don't exist in bi ...more
Apr 25, 2008 D rated it liked it
The author exposes the golden caged slavery that exists in modern day sports world. Don't speak out - if you do - lose the contract. There has been a form of punishment going on for a long time in sports - if you dared to mix it with politics or your beliefs. There are many admirable people in this book and we find out what happend when they stood up to be counted for what they believed to be right. What are the chances of a protest of some sort in China this summer?

The Terrordome is the Superd
Devin Wallace
Jan 09, 2011 Devin Wallace rated it really liked it
Years ago, I was very skeptical when I heard claims of sports affecting politics. I thought that men hitting a ball was simply that and nothing more. But after reading Zirin's work, that illusion has been shattered. Discussing Roberto Clemente, the history of the Olympics, the NBA and rap culture, and many more, he illustrates, effortlessly I'll add, the ways in which sports figures (with their high levels of visibility and influence) can act as beacons of hope for many struggles.

The writing is
Brian Ayres
Jul 05, 2007 Brian Ayres rated it really liked it
This book should be read by all sports fans who desire a differing point of view from the bogus arguing they hear on talk radio or see on shows like PTI and Around the Horn on ESPN. Zirin pulls no punches in his critic of the corrupt and racist nature of the systems that maintain the sports landscape. Zirin's series of serious essays would never be found in mainstream newspapers, but these are things that need to be said. A great example is the rift between cementing Roberto Clemente's legacy by ...more
Apr 29, 2014 Ron rated it it was amazing
If you enjoyed Zirin's first book you'll definitely like this one.

More inspiring and fascinating stories of the political side of sports and the courageous athletes leading the struggle.
Sep 01, 2012 Adrienne rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
One of the most thought-provoking books I'd ever read. I still think about this book from time to time, and I read it nearly five years ago. Dave Zirin masterfully weaves together theories of how the larger political climate at any time can shape the way we view sports. He makes the reader realize that arguably the most unifying interest in the world, sports, isn't immune to injustice. Zirin is a writer for The Nation magazine, and is based in the Washington, DC area. I've had the pleasure of me ...more
Feb 21, 2012 Denali rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
Zirin focuses on the friction points between sports and social justice and provides wonderful counterpoint to a particular strain of blowhard sportswriting I find so troubling. However, Terrordome is ultimately a very uneven and periodically inconsistent collection. Zirin is at his best when he tracks down overlooked stories of individual courage and at his worst when he writes like a college freshman who just heard of this awesome new band Rage Against the Machine. Still, I wouldn't mind if thi ...more
Sep 13, 2010 Alexander rated it it was amazing
I've seen Zirin on TV and read his articles, so it was great to finally read one of his books...and I was not disappointed.

This not your typical rah-rah sports book; rather, it is an insightful, engrossing, and extremely well written documentation of the racial and political aspects of sports, both of which are largely ignored by the corporate sports media. This is an excellent read for anyone wishing to take a peek behind the curtain and better understand how sports is influenced by socioeconom
Jan 25, 2010 Eli rated it really liked it
An eye-opening piece of non-fiction that examines where sports and social responsibility meet. The chapter about Roberto Clemente really made me aware of how amazing of a human being he was. It also examines the injustice of public money being used to build ballparks for billionaires who could afford it on their own but still insist on taking money from the taxpayers to open a park that only benefits multi-billion dollar corporations. Essential reading for anyone who considers themselves a sport ...more
Aug 06, 2009 T.R. rated it it was ok
A few great essays about B. Bonds, the Dominican Republic, but I was also hoping for a long piece talking about the ideological and personal tragedy of New Orleans refugees seeking shelter from their dis-invested communities in a publicly financed Superdome. Zirin is a good sports writer as well as the political and social thinker, but I got to say his figurative language doesn't match the best to found on the sports page.
Jan 05, 2008 Wade rated it it was amazing
While not perfect (a friend recently pointed out how little attention he pays to women's sports--though I was introduced to Zirin by his analysis of the Kobe Bryant rape case), I like Zirin's way of looking at sports in their social context. I think his economic analyses are the sharpest, but I'm glad he also brings in issues of race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, and sexuality.
Dec 11, 2007 Jorge rated it liked it
This is sort of a companion to "What's My Name, Fool?" and it takes up where that book left of: the scope of international sports. Any book that takes you from Katrina to baseball's Roberto Clemente, to mentioning Uruguay's 1950 soccer World Cup captain Obdulio Varela and quoting Uruguayan wirter Eduardo Galeano on Maradona, to explaining hip-hop and the NBA, is a good read!
Dave Zirin is exactly what sports journalism needs – a fan who is politically aware, solidly on the left, and willing to challenge the corporate consensus on the things that matter. Surely there are more like him (and I'm just hanging out for the English writers who will do what he does). If you like sports but are uncomfortable with its cultures – read Zirin.
Apr 02, 2008 Martha rated it really liked it
Worth reading for anyone who follows sports. Once you get used to his sometimes jarringly casual tone and get over the suspicion that he's so focused on class and race only because he's a young white guy who wants publicity (that's not the reason), Zirin's writing is consistently thought-provoking, and sometimes very important.
Apr 27, 2008 Brett rated it did not like it
This book was terrible. The author started with his personal beliefs and then instead of trying to defend them or explain why they are correct or even better than an alternative, he simply applied them to a situation that is by no means morally clear and started yelling at the reader. Couldn't even finish it.
Mar 01, 2008 JulieK rated it really liked it
Shelves: sports
A refreshing look at the politics and business of sports from a progressive perspective. While I didn't agree with him 100% of the time (on occasion I felt he went a little too far with a point), just the mere fact that this kind of commentary and analysis exists makes me happy.
Nov 21, 2007 Ryan rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Yes
Written post Katrina this book is really interesting and provides a superb analysis of the insection between sports and politics. Particulary good are the chapters on the Olympic games and the steriods in sports.
Aug 03, 2010 Amanda rated it it was amazing
a must read. this is a highly engaging look at sports, politics, and race in the u.s. it's also quite inspirational, I know I for one walked away with at least ten new "heroes" to reflect upon.
Apr 07, 2011 Mike rated it did not like it
A sports book for someone oblivious to the world of sports. Meaning that Zirin belabours issues that are commonly known and discussed with presenting little new information.
Jan 30, 2008 Bird rated it it was ok
Man, I wanted to like this book. He writes about important issues, but in a voice so shrill and Berkeley I got a black eye.
Jun 29, 2008 Art rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2008
The author provides an alternative perspective on some of the major issues in sports. A very thought provoking read.
Jan 11, 2008 Ben rated it really liked it
This was a pretty good book and I learned somethings. I know I won't think about the Olympics the same way anymore.
Feb 06, 2008 Jasmin rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone interested in sports + politics + race
brilliantly written look at sports + politics + race, historically and present-day. a must read.
Oct 01, 2007 Dan rated it it was amazing
Great political sports book - somewhat of a Part II to "What's My Name Fool?" by the same author.
Apr 08, 2008 Trey rated it did not like it
Shockingly, one of the worst things Chuck D has been associated with.
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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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