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God Save the Fan: How Preening Sportscasters, Athletes Who Speak in the Third Person, and the Occasional Convicted Quarterback Have Taken the Fun Out of Sports (And How We Can Get It Back)
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God Save the Fan: How Preening Sportscasters, Athletes Who Speak in the Third Person, and the Occasional Convicted Quarterback Have Taken the Fun Out of Sports (And How We Can Get It Back)

3.7  ·  Rating details ·  1,529 Ratings  ·  81 Reviews
ESPN thinks its viewers are stupid. The Olympics claw at your inner sap. Barbaro, after all, was just a horse. So says Will Leitch, founding editor of, whose God Save the Fan is your new manifesto.

Arch and unrepentant, Leitch is the mouthpiece for all the frustrated fans who just want their games back from big money, bloated egos, and blathering sportscasters.
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published January 22nd 2008 by Harper
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(showing 1-30)
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Jan 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all sports fans
Will Leitch, the author of this book, is the editor of my favorite sports blog, DEADSPIN, which is also my second favorite site on the Internet, behind only Goodreads.

DEADSPIN is a site where fans of sports can comment and make fun of all the pomposity that is inherent is our experience of watching sports and being fans of the teams we root for.

At first I didn't care much for the idea of a website that mocked sports, but now I'm addicted. There IS a lot about sports that is just so absurd and f
Nov 25, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: sports
Pretentious and self-indulgent, even masturbatory, writing that is sewn together by the slenderest thread of sports content forms the bulk of this work by Deadspin (an alleged sports site) founder, Will Leitch. After reading this book which would have been much better published on a roll with perforations between each page, I think I know where his site got its name. A friend of mine used to refer to another editor as the kind of person who would stir up feces in a toilet bowl and raise the sten ...more
Mar 22, 2017 rated it liked it
I am not a hardcore pro sports fan, but in days of old it was favorite section of the newspaper, and once I decided to be a more rounded and worldy adult the I used the sports pages as my reward for actually reading through the news sections first.

This reads as if it was a pasteup of material written by a full time sports columnist. Others here claim it is not actually a pasteup, but it has plenty of weaknesses as if it was just that: over-repetition, a lot of filler, and an attitude of being wi
Amanda Raab
Jun 20, 2008 rated it liked it
First off, this is not a reproduction of blog posts. The essays within are fairly short, taking on in four parts players, owners, media, and the fans. There's plenty amusing and nothing too earth shattering, though now I know that about 2/3rds of the sports broadcasters (and print guys too!) are lecherous assholes. Some are even being prosecuted for sexual harassment. Lord knows, I'll never look at Mike Tirico the same again. What is it about proximity to testosterone and possession of minute ce ...more
Gary Braham
This book is basically a series of essays showing ways in which the corporate control of sports, has taken the game away from casual and passionate fans. He makes a good case for how professional atheltes are nothing like the normal human beings who cheer for them "If you knew them in real life, you wouldn't like them, they wouldn't like you" This chasm, which separates athletes from their fans, is attempted to be bridged by the sports media, in particular, ESPN. ESPN exerts a far greater influe ...more
Mar 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Sports fans, especially the angry ones like me
If Chuck Klosterman really wrapped his head around sports, this is what he'd write. It takes to task everyone involved in sports for their preceived overimportance in our world, but Leitch spends a lot of time ranting on the owners, players and media for taking sports away from the fan.

Leitch is the proprieter of, sort of "The Onion" for sports fans, and his wit certainly gets his point across. At his heart he is a sports fan, and the book does not lack his loyalties to the hapless
Jan 23, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Bitter old sports fans.
Does anyone remember The Miracle on Ice? The 1986 Penn State national championship over the unbeatable University of Miami? Kirk Gibson homering when he could barely walk? I do. I also remember Terrell Owens doing crunches in his front yard for TV cameras and Allen Iverson bitching and moaning about having to practice to TV cameras.

The premise of this book will appeal to anyone who grew up loving sports and believing that they were a pure, healthy, natural form of entertainment where anything wa
Aug 10, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: sports, nonfiction, laffs
Mixed feelings. For every hilariously astute observation on the absurdity of being a sports fan, there are a dozen cheap jokes that could be pulled right out of the Deadspin comments Will Leitch makes every effort to disown. From his writing and his appearance on Costas Now, I feel like Will Leitch has two sides as a writer. First: the clever, humble, self-effacing Cardinals (baseball, and, inexplicably, football) fan who accepts his lot as a sports addict and knows he ought to quit caring about ...more
Jun 11, 2008 rated it it was ok
There were several humorous anecdotes in this book that I enjoyed very much. However, the author spent way too much time complaining about ESPN and trying to convince me that the majority of people involved in sports are obnoxious jerks. He also tries to defend his position on fantasy sports, which I can't stand. Seriously, fantasy sport teams are just a more socially acceptable form of Dungeons and Dragons.

I did agree with him that Stephen A. Smith is the WORST thing to ever appear on ESPN sin
Jul 05, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a collection of essays by the primary writer/editor for Deadspin. I was not really impressed, except for two essays, which I would encourage every sports fan to read. The first was his explanation of why he roots for the Arizona Cardinals. They have traditionally been a horrible team, they moved away from his home state, and they have a truly obnoxious owner. But, Will Leitch remains loyal to them, and as he explains why, he encapsulated my feelings in remaining loyal to the Titans, and ...more
Aug 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Will Leitch, "editor" of the blog on sports, tells us how it is. And it's like this:

1. Professional sports are completely and utterly pointless.
2. You are not cheering for a team, you are a cheering for a corporation.
3. Fantasy sports are far more interesting and engaging than "real" sports.
4. Professional athletes are completely unlike you and I (well, you, anyway). They do not care about you, nor should you care about them.

That does about sum it up, doesn't it? On the more optimis
Jun 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
God Save the Fan is a quick and fun read. Will Leitch, who is the founder of Deadspin, one of the most critical sports blogs in the media (it is also on ESPN's "blacklist") . In this book, Leitch focuses on the little things in sports that no one (especially ESPN) takes notice of, for example a part of Michael Vick's past that does not involve Dogfighting, and why the so called "experts" on ESPN and other channels are just average people.

I really enjoyed reading this book as it opened up my eye
Jan 24, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommended to Yofish by: Post review Mar-08
Shelves: read-sports
A series of essays written by the founder of DeadSpin (a site devoted to sport-ish issues; seems to care a lot about Michael Vick's herpes and pictures of Peter King's daughter at college). He rants well, and is clearly a sports fan, and even writes well. But... Well, it gets to you after a while. He rails against ESPN's domination of news, how nothing they don't approve of can't get through, and things they want to hype (like Jon Amaechi--who had heard of him before his book?---which was publis ...more
Jun 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Readers unfamiliar with
As a Deadspin reader and commenter, I felt obliged to give Will Leitch a bit more of my time/money by something other than click-thru ad-revenue on his site. So I bought the book.

Great book by a funny and self-deprecating author. However, I think I would've enjoyed it much more had I been unfamiliar with Deadspin. I felt like it was a great primer for someone new to "the Underground." If the essays don't re-hash enough of the Deadspin posts, then the Glossary portions will surely drive the point
Feb 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sports, non-fiction
More irriverent fun from the editor of Deadspin. Always the fan boy, this review will be biased because I just met the author on Tuesday night.

The book of essays delves into the side of sports that we talk about with your buddies but, are never seen on ESPN or in SI. It read's like Simmons if he had an axe to grind after being shoved out the door from ESPN. You get a fan's perspective (from the couch) on ESPN, how sports are covered, owners, fantasy leagues, and athletes themselves.

I enjoyed jus
Mar 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people who think "they just don't just cover sports the way they used to" and not in a good way
If you think the mainstream sports media (ESPN in particular) is doing a great job at covering your favorite sports, then this book is so not for you. If, however, you, like some personal warmth and a healthy dose of cynicism at your more corporate tendencies of sports journalism, this book is a great read. A healthy and not-so-subtle remainder that the games are for OUR enjoyment and maybe that's been lost somewhere along the way.

My only real complaint is that there was almost NOTHING about th
Kelly Bolin
Nov 09, 2013 rated it liked it
Contains some interesting and thoughtful essays on sports, however (and I know this is the author's "schtick", which, incidentally he seems to have issues with a lot of other sports journalists that have one!) it was really quite the negative and cyclical book. I was left confused on some of the points he was trying to make about sports journalists - particularly when he kept saying that we don't need them since the information is all out there for us to get on our own - well, doesn't someone ha ...more
Jul 26, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: sports, entertainment
I enjoyed the book and I agree with Alex that is was a quick read. The author has a unique perspective and there are some very humorous insights in this book -- especially essays that taint views on the athletes, journalism, and sports in general. Also very brutal on much of ESPN Network and its talent, although he was professional enough to credit the contributions of Washington Post personalities Wilbon and Kornheiser, and repect for Bob Ley and the late Tom Mees. We've all complained about ES ...more
Steve Nelson
May 07, 2014 rated it liked it
This book seems primarily written for those in the "bro" culture of sports fandom (fans from 18-25 or those who simply refuse to mature). Most of the humor is sophomoric and many of the articles make some serious logical leaps, but some are solid and fun to read. It's also interesting to read this several years after it was written as the sports world changes so rapidly and many of the articles in the book are now somewhat irrelevant. I also don't know if it was intended or not, but Leitch makes ...more
Feb 20, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, sport, comedy
I enjoy the authors writing purpose. I don't really enjoy the sports he writes about; thus, this book made for some difficult reading at times. I did really enjoy the chapter on Owners. There was quite a bit of data in there that i had no idea about previously. I couln't finish the last chapter as the negativity was starting to wear me down. I don't mind the negativity of the writing (what most sports writers seem to focus on) but it's negativity against athletes and sports that I just don't giv ...more
Lee Fritz
Dec 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
While at U of I we would catch PTI every once in a while, and I used to watch sportscenter in the mornings during breakfast. That phase has passed and maybe its due to that change that this book resonated so well. The style of short essay collections works to segment the book and the length is appropriate to cover broad bases but not run out of fun.

The author captures the blog style with friendly yet acerbic barbs mainly toward ESPN personalities and sports journalism in general. It's not a boo
Sep 13, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
I bought this book because it showed up on Amazon for $6 when I bought The Postmortal, thinking it was Will Leitch's most recent book for whatever reason; I forgot about the son-dad vehicle that is "Are We Winning?" Anyway, this is so much of the same stuff I used to read on Deadspin. Not republished material at least, but this book already feels extremely dated. I would have maybe given it another star or two, but then there was an essay about finding a bar in Manhattan to watch Game 7 of the 2 ...more
Sep 15, 2012 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Nobody
Shelves: sports
This book has good parts, but it is certainly not a good book. First of all, a warning: parents - don't let your children near this book. It is full of vulgar and disgusting language. I had to skip whole chapters, it was so bad. By the time your kids are old enough to read this, you problem can't tell them what to do anymore, anyways.

There are some nice chapters, like the interview with John Rocker and the story about watching NLCS Game 7 in NY in a bar of away fans, but it's really not worth it
Apr 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sports
Will Leitch is not a member of the sports press. He is a guy who loves sports, but is not in love with sports. As a fellow Illinoisan, I love where he comes from on a lot of subjects, and his rehashing of the absurdity of sports in the American consciousness in the 21st century falls somewhere between cynical and wan. I'm just happy that, unlike Bill Simmons, he doesn't aim for the cheap joke - it comes naturally, and he just leaves it in.
Feb 02, 2008 rated it liked it
I was afraid this might be rehashed posts from Leitch's sports blog, Deadspin, but this is almost entirely original material. However, if you're a regular Deadspin reader or general follower of Leitch, this book is generally preaching to the choir. Even so, it's an enjoyable read. There are plenty of sharp, funny takedowns of the many tenets athletes and sports media have fed fans over the years, and Leitch is really good at popping those balloons.
Jan 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
Deadspin's one of the few blogs I read each and every day, and while this book by Deadspin's editor Will Leitch says that it's completely original material, it does borrow heavily from the best posts in the past few years on Deadspin. That said, I think he has a lot of interesting points to make about what being a sports fan should mean, and the excesses of the sports behemoth that is ESPN.
Jan 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: the educated sports fan
Shelves: sports
Written by Will Leitch, the editor of Deadspin, it's for everyone who hates ESPN and loves intelligent, witty sports talk. Enlighten yourself.

If you've never read Deadspin - the best sports blog out there - Will explains the inside jokes and what happenings in the sports world made Deadspin become so popular.

The book is comprised of short essays on the sports world and culture, including many on the behind-the-scenes stuff at ESPN.
Sep 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Especially for a $1 pickup at Dollar General, this was good. An amusing series of columons While you will be much more interested if you enjoy sport, Leitch does have a pretty good sense of humor and is at his best pointing all the Maarketing BS that has become associated with sport in the U.S, in particular. You could enjoy some of his mocking ESPN personalities even if you aren't a sports fan.
Jun 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
God Save The Fan, by Will Leitch is maybe the funniest book I have ever read. Every chapter is a new and hilarious take on the world of sports. He writes about things from sports broadcaster like ESPN, to vague pop culture references that make it hilarious and fun to read.

This book doesn't need to be read by a sports fan. Anyone who knows a lot about Pop Culture would appreciate the references, and because of that, I recommend this book to everybody.
Nov 29, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: sports fans, those whom doth thy beer chapeau
Shelves: sports
The books is split into four sections: players, owners, media, and the fans. Besides football, I'm not a huge sports fan so I didn't know whom a lot of the players and owners the author was ragging on. The chapters about ESPN were entertaining but man, he sounds like he has an axe to grind against that station. The writing was a little crude for my tastes but it shows that he's keepin' it real dawg.
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