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The Sinful Seven: Sci-fi Western Legends of the NCAA

4.52  ·  Rating details ·  159 ratings  ·  25 reviews
A collaborative book, written and edited in just 11 weeks, that examines college sports through the lens of an Old West that never existed, but feels very familiar.
Kindle Edition, 650 pages
Published August 1st 2020 by www.SinfulSeven.com
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Average rating 4.52  · 
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 ·  159 ratings  ·  25 reviews

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Agatha Lund
The NCAA is awful. This book is great. Both these things are true.
Andy Tabeling
Aug 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It was always bound to collapse.

A good book about football is almost never about football. This is no exception. What can be read as a network of deep college football lore combined with interesting historical takes is so much more. It's an examination of American mythos and myth-making, a well-synthesized thesis on how money and power works in some of the oldest American institutions, a historical deep-dive that breaks down popular perceptions, and a deeply deeply fun read. I can't go on enoug
Kit Wren
Aug 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-books
it's going to be hard to explain this book to an outsider. but what outsiders do and like, that's none of my concern. This is a mix of history and allegory about the growth of college sports, it celebrates the ways that sports are beautiful and diagnoses what makes college sports dangerous and a contributor to systemic inequality. My favorite chapter was definitely the one where Jason Kirk turned Bear Bryant's time at Texas A&M into an anime written by Charles Portis. ...more
Jarrod S
Aug 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The most dangerous thieves are the ones who rob via the law, not against it.
Aug 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It does help to know some of the background of the events described when encountering the symbolism used in the fictional parts, as well as a familiarity with a few of the running gags used on the website Every Day Should be Saturday and the Shutdown Fullcast college football podcast. However, it does hold up as an entertaining tale even if one is not a college football fan, or at least it's a combination of storytelling and information about how the decades-long issues surrounding the NCAA and ...more
Aug 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It's an allegory, it's a roman a clef, it's a bit inside baseball, but you probably aren't picking up it up if you don't already know where it's headed. The fiction sections are rollicking fun but made moreso by the stark beauty of the non fiction pieces. The two mesh together in a way where each rewards the other. ...more
Sep 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Huge fan of The Shutdown Fullcast, SBNation, EDSBS, Banner Society, ... basically anything this group has ever written.

Half history lesson about the NCAA, half western. Any writing that portrays Bear Bryant as an actual Bear and Texas as Big Cow, gets 5 stars from me!
Andrew Elsass
Aug 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book isn't for every college football fan.

But for those that it is, it is everything you could ever want: a perfect blend of history, I-did-not-know-thats, and subtle in-jokes, all tied together with beautiful prose into one allegorical masterpiece.
This was a truly enjoyable read. It is the Moon Crew at its best providing absurdist college football satire. Both of the main legend stories were well-written, had good endings, and made me laugh out loud at several points. I also enjoyed that the fiction chapters alternated with non-fiction stories that tell the true stories behind the fantasy stories.

The only reason I am not giving it a full 5 stars is that I am not sure that it is as accessible for readers who are not closely familiar with
Andrew Fleer
Mar 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Great if you love college football and westerns. If you don't like those things, it's still probably pretty good. A nice blend of fiction and nonfiction. ...more
Sep 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If the sportswriting world continues to collape, these guys should try out sci-fi and western fiction.
Dec 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic and amazing way to tell a story about college football!
Jan 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Very fun, enjoyable read. I recommend any college football fan read this.
Jason Kirk
Aug 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Frankly I think this is the best college football book ever
Kevin A
Aug 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most creative and inspiring ventures I've ever witnessed. A bunch of super talented sports writers got laid off by Vox media and five of them put in a 400+ page book in three months. It's a beautiful marriage between, first, the history of college football and NCAA amateurism, and, second, an intriguing allegory of that history set in the mythical Old West territory of La Cademia. There's incisive analysis, juicy anecdotes, brilliant turns of phrase, great wit and fantastic st ...more
Nov 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just like every other college football sci-fi western I’ve ever read...
Dec 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Bizarre, absurd and funny in the way only the fullcast crew can be. Wonderful way to pillory the NCAA over its history. The fiction sections lost me sometimes with the in-jokes and allusions but the non-fiction portions - magnificent. Don't skip the endnotes. ...more
Sep 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I like to imagine Spencer playing Red Dead Redemption 2 last fall, finding Marko Dragic's lab up in the northeast and thinking "How can I turn this into a college football book?"

If you are already familiar with the work of the EDSBS/Shutdown Fullcast/Moon Crew folks, then you will probably love this book. If you have never heard of those guys, it is still possible that you will love this book but more likely that you will recede into the bushes Homer Simpson-style.

It almost seems silly to write
Jul 06, 2022 rated it it was amazing
This is fantastic in the way that all things EDSBS and EDSBS adjacent are, taking things simultaneously very seriously and not seriously at all. Is that a cryptic description bordering on useless? Yes and I apologize for it, but it's the best way I know how to describe these tales of the NCAA just NCAAing all over the place. The only real shame of this book is that it came to fruition before we knew about Antioch, the Birthday Spider. ...more
Jul 23, 2022 rated it really liked it
A fun little mixed allegory and history of the NCAA and its transformation through the 20th century. I enjoyed in equal parts learning how the organization worked and became Evil and the heavy-handed fiction that intersperses it. It's not the sharpest piece of writing I've ever come across, but it did make me tear up after a character said "Roll Tide", so, there's that. ...more
Jul 06, 2022 rated it it was amazing
I love this book! It's the perfect mix of informative and fantastical, and it was SUCH a fun read. These guys know their stuff, and the way they share stories of NCAA history through the lens of a sci-fi western is truly masterful. ...more
Megan Mitchell
Jul 13, 2022 rated it it was amazing
If you want to understand how 2 schools from California ended up in the Big10, helps to have some understanding of how we got here, including why amateurism is such a lie and has been from the get go.
Matthew Jackson
Jul 08, 2022 rated it it was amazing
This book describes the NCAA the way that the Moon Crew and Friends think: absorb, twisty turny, and true.
Jul 07, 2022 rated it it was amazing
best book of all time
Jul 09, 2022 rated it it was amazing
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Jason edited, co-wrote, and self-published 2020’s mixed-genre novel The Sinful Seven. His upcoming work includes an Exvangelical coming-of-age novel. As a sports journalist, he's written for Slate, Penguin Random House's Hazlitt, USA Today, and Vox Media, and his audio appearances include NPR's This American Life. He's the co-host of the Shutdown Fullcast, a college football podcast, and Vacation ...more

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