Written by a former college and professional basketball player, this text critically evaluates the impact of sports on American life. The author argues that the obsession with sports allows Americans to ignore more pressing issues. He further contends that our enormous financial investment in organized sports is unjustified and takes dollars away from where they are truly needed. Gerdy teaches sports administration at Ohio University. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
With the trial of hockey dad Thomas Junta fresh on our minds, this book couldn't be more timely. But the author, a former college basketball player and a visiting sports administration professor at Ohio University, doesn't break new ground in his evaluation of sports' effects on our lives. We know sports are big business; we know that many pro athletes make too much money and aren't very good role models; we know we watch too many games. Gerdy spends too much time lamenting the sorry state of sports often repeating entire phrases from chapter to chapter and too little time offering solutions. Virtually the entire world of sports (except the cheerleaders and beer man) gets dissected and critiqued, from owners to coaches to players to fans. Gerdy's writing is arid and his tone pedantic, at times even patronizing, such as when he suggests we read a book, learn a musical instrument or spend time with our children instead of watching sports. Nonetheless, his extensive research brings up some compelling points. The one-time associate commissioner of the NCAA's Southeastern Conference, Gerdy adroitly debunks the myths that collegiate sports earn money for their respective colleges and that new stadiums are beneficial to cities. His data on the shrinking physical stature of female gymnasts over the last few decades, not to mention the abusive conditions surrounding that sport, is certainly enlightening. Among Gerdy's suggestions for restructuring organized sports is a call for parents to stay out of youth activities; the recent court case in Boston certainly adds credence to that point. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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University Press of Mississippi
March 25, 2002
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