30 January 2013

Root, Root, Root, But Don't Be Fooled

Dave Zirin, a self-described former "psychotic sorts fan in New York City in the 1980s" has decided to fight the power, writing the essays that have become his new book, Game Over. To be fair, while his book covers sports through an economic/political/socially progressive prism, the power he is fighting is that of most media — folks who cover sports under the cloud of relying upon it for both most of the readers who pay the bills via their advertiser allure as well as the pretty-standard human desire to sniff jocks (so to speak).

Zirin, sportswriter for The Nation took aim at owners in his last book, Bad Sports [see earlier: They're All Evil], airing the dirty laundry of sweetheart deals and abuse of public trust. Those sins continue to be discussed, but the field is opened up. Zirin considers sins worldwide, from Port Said, Egypt to University Park, Pennsylvania. Surprisingly, it turns out not all is bad (there was an outreach to [potential] Latino fans by the Phoenix Suns, for example, and players willing to stand up for the concerns of unionized workers or marginalized groups). However, most is... and, presumably, mostly because Zirin's is something of a journalist's laptop in the wilderness of no labor beat and few folks assigned to a people's beat: He says he is reporting on this because nobody else is (although there must be other reasons as well such as the reality that even a "psychotic fan" has to grow up someday and accept he is mainly rooting for laundry that doesn't love him back in the same way).

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