[ Free Reading ] Big Game: The NFL in Dangerous Times (Audio Download): Amazon.co.uk: Mark Leibovich, Joe Barrett, HarperCollins Publishers Limited: Audible AudiobooksAuthor Mark Leibovich – Circuitwiringdiagram.co
From the number one best selling author of This Town comes a thrillingly raw and hysterical account of the billionaires, crooks, charlatans and scoundrels that own and run the NFL American Football with its celebrity players, billionaire owners, and cheerleaders with flawless teeth is American than apple pie Which is why celebrated New York Times journalist Mark Leibovich has chosen football as the vehicle through which to examine the troubled state of Trump s America Big Game chronicles a four year odyssey that has taken Leibovich deeper inside the NFL than anyone has gone before From the owners meeting to the draft to the sidelines of crucial games, he takes in the show at the elbow of everyone from Tom Brady to big name owners to the cordially despised NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell Ultimately, this is a story of what may come to be seen as peak football the high point of the sport s economic success and cultural dominance, but also the moment when the dark side began to show It is an era of explosive revenue growth, as deluxe new stadiums spring up all over the country, but also one of creeping existential fear Football was never thought to be easy on the body players joke darkly that the NFL stands for not for long for good reason but as the true impact of concussions become inescapable background noise, it s become increasingly difficult to enjoy the simple glory of football without the buzzkill of its obvious consequences And that was before Donald Trump In , the NFL slammed headlong into America s culture wars Big Game is a journey through an epic storm Through it all, Leibovich always keeps one eye on Tom Brady and his beloved Patriots, through to theSuper Bowl Pro football, this hilarious and enthralling book proves, may not be the sport America needs, but it is most definitely the sport it deserves I was excited to read this book and see how it addresses the problems the NFL faces from social issues kneeling for the anthem to how the NFL is a big business Instead, you get the author s long time love affair with the Patriots The digs at the Eagles Philadelphia get old by the end of the preface and the author consistently interjects how he s a Pats fan into everything He barely addressed any of the issues or problems the NFL faces It s a good read of you are a Pats fan but if you re a fan of any of the other 31 teams, it gets old very fast There s too much space devoted to Deflategate and is anyone really talking about Deflategate in 2018 and virtually nothing on the domestic abuse problem the league has Ray Rice and Ezekiel Elliot are mentioned very briefly but nothing like Deflategate The concussion problem and life after football chapters could have been expanded, instead old players are trotted out like show horses There is nothing on the inconsistency of officiating, which was a top complaint in the 2017 season.I enjoy Mark Leobvich s column for the New York Times but he fails to establish credibility as anything but a Pats fanboy in this book He fails to establish a credible argument that the NFL is in a dangerous time and what, if anything, the NFL can do. This had far to do with the New England Patiots Tom Brady, than anticipated Its a well written book and an enjoyable read but the expectation was that there would be information shared regarding the entire league than 1 team specifically. Bon livre I eagerly waited to read this book as I assumed that Mark Leibovich was going really draw back the curtain on the NFL, the concussion issues, the anthem debate, the players union, the coaches of the various teams and the owners and their ways of keeping the union from gaining power.Sadly It only briefly touches on some of those issues, but if you are a Patriots fan Well, you get a lot of Patriots information that is not that shocking or revealing who knew that Belichick doesn t have much personality Go figure, huh The author was at meetings with owners and players and sports writers and yet the book does not reveal much that I did not already know or figure out I would have liked the book to be hard hitting it is well written with some funny comments at times, but the book never really goes anywhere I would have liked to really hit the issue of the Players Union and why it is so weak and how the owners have hoodwinked the sports fan with the denial of concussion issues and its impact on the players Sure, Tex Schramm called players Cattle but I hoped the book would show that the players are fed up Instead it was just a book about deflate gate, The Patriots winning ways, the billionaire owners club and their trophy girlfriends and a drunken episode with Jerry Jones.I wanted this to be a great book It is a 3 out of 5 star book at best It is a book that just breezes along about Roger Goodell and his absurd salary as he works all the time to protect The Shield The NFL.3 stars Maybe even 2 stars. I read this over the weekend on the there and back again plane rides.I ll address the criticisms by others first 1 Leibovich is a Patriots fan, and he mentions it a bunch.2 The book started off from a long Tom Brady profile piece He has lots of conversations with Brady and Kraft.3 There is a bit of gonzo journalism so purists who are looking for a 3rd person account of the NFL will be rightfully miffed.The good 1 It is an easy read Leibovich has a conversational writing style.2 He has fantastic access He had multiple interviews with Tom Brady, Robert Kraft, Jerry Jones, Arthur Blank, Mark Davis, Woody Johnson, Roger Goodell and Donald Trump Leibovich interviewed him years earlier and then again on the campaign trail.3 He fully admits how Tom Brady is, outside of quarterbacking, vapid and much too much like Gwyneth Paltrow in selling a lifestyle Tom Brady gets upset with his Dad for drinking soda and eating ice cream I d rather be dead than not eat ice cream his Dad replied An overlooked element of Brady is that, outside of football and his family, he has nothing else.4 He easily admits how irksome Pats fans are and pulls no punches on Kraft and Belichek.5 If you are pro Trump or anti Kapernick, you won t like this Leibovich does fairly address the kneeling issue and how football got dragged into the modern culture wars of the mid 2010s.6 He has great access to the owners and pulls no punches in reporting what they said and how they acted He does not hold back Because he is not a regular sports writer, he does not have to worry about alienating the owners His livelihood does not depend on keeping the relationships intact.It s very good It captures the modern NFL. I loved Big Game Read it in a weekend I found it to be wildly entertaining and informative.I am a fan of Leibovich s writing in his day job at the NYT I particularly like his profiles Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, etc , and his ability to give you a real sense of that person, beyond the spin that their PR machines pull out This book is not a deep dive on any one of the specific issues facing the NFL concussions, domestic abuse, anthem controversy, owner player relations, etc Nor does it attempt to prescribe solutions for those problems Rather, I think it extremely effectively paints a picture of today s NFL and all of its related issues by shining an intense spotlight on many of the people involved Goodell, the owners, etc Leibovich is particularly adept at using specific anecdotes to tell a much bigger story How does Roger Goodell think about concussions and CTE issues Well, in Goodell s own words, it s a serious issue, he understands that there are serious risks Then again, he states, there are risks sitting on the couch The book has a lot of great stories Many are new to me I didn t know that Stan Kroenke, the owner of the Rams who broke the hearts of St Louis fans by moving the franchise to LA, is a native Missouran And, oh yes, he s named after Stan Musial Some that I had forgotten about Trump s animosity to the NFL Perhaps it s rooted in feelings toward a boys club of owners that won t let him in as a member , dating back to Trump s involvement in the USFL in the 80s to his failed bid to buy the Buffalo Bills in 2014.The book is also wicked funny And Leibovich pulls no punches Stories of owners who need to be addressed as Mr Getting Jerry Jones to admit he wouldn t trade his Hall of Fame jacket for another Super Bowl And tough luck to the PR flak, who tries to get a mulligan on that statement He also skewers ESPN and sports media types who cover the NFL, who don t want their reporting to restrict their access.Leibovich inserts himself in the story, and is honest about his ambivalence about the NFL For all of the idiocies and hypocrisies he documents, he will still be watching come Sunday As a Patriots fan, he recognizes why the rest of the country hates his team and their fanbase, but that isn t going to change how hard he roots for the team Some readers might not like that style For me, who shares that same ambivalence, I found it refreshing. Right off the bat, Mark Leibovich admits the Patriots are a disease he contracted early That disease infests BIG GAME a bit too much Readers learn a great deal about the Patriots, Tom Brady and parents , the Patriots owner, several important Patriots games, Patriots feuds with Goodell and other owners, the Patriots coach, but far less about other NFL teams BIG GAME feels like a series of news stories about the Patriots and those who circle around that team than an insightful analysis of the NFL, where it is now and where it might be going.The prose is breezy and easy to read, sometimes funny Trees on the Brady home site had to be cut down, which broke Gisele s green heart Leibovich injects himself both sensibly as when he quotes his own e mail exchanges or interviews and gratuitously in salty asides to only his readers.For those expecting a new or insightful treatment hovering over the NFL crippling injuries, disrespect of fans, over arching owner greed, players treated worse than prize cattle, player rap sheets and drug abuse, Goodell s insane compensation THE BIG GAME provides anecdotes sometimes many but nothing ground breaking.For those wanting some insight into say the Eagles, the Seahawks, the Dolphins or quite a few other teams, a few lines here and there will have to do Overall, Patriots fans will read every page though leave with some regrets about what they learn Fans of other teams will flip through great chunks of this, and that s a shame. Cooler than thou political writer takes a look at the NFL the result is some incredibly soft details Brady is vacant owners are self serving The commissioner is a soulless corporate hack the whole thing is very dated, as someone new to football insists on telling the reader about how the Colts came to Indy and a fairly useless rehash of deflategate On top of it all the writing dreary and yo editor how about knock out some of the useless detail that liter this thing do we really care what Brady is wearing He even walks us through going to his first game, with predictably dull results and the tone quickly goes from insider to snotty condescension nothing to see here other than another watching a fairly pedestrian writer discover the game like he s the first guy to write about things even a mild football fan would know like the back of his her hand oh, and a brutally boring read. It is true that Leibovich is too much of a Patriots fan, but he is open about his fandom His book is a look behind the curtain of the NFL, and it is frightening The League is united in denying the facts concerning concussions, the problems with PED s and the physical abuse of partners by the players It has yet to understand the underlying reasons that the players take a knee during the National Anthem But, it is highly concerned with making another dollar, in any manner that it can And, it wants to tightly control all information coming out of the League Of course, it s main goal is to control all commercialization of the League This was an interesting, if too lengthy book.