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Sociology Of Sports

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  1. 0 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5
    15.1 hrs • 2/16/2016 • Unabridged

    The New York Times columnist and bestselling coauthor of All The Devils Are Here offers a fresh analysis of what’s really wrong with the NCAA, and the legal push to bring down this morally corrupt and hypocritical organization. For more than half a century, the NCAA has been one of the most powerful, and impregnable, institutions in America, a cartel that acted to prevent the athletes from receiving any money from their labors, while enriching everyone else involved in college sports. The athletes had signed up for indentured servitude to chase their dreams of pro glory, with the NCAA as their overlords. Wrapping itself in the mantle of “amateurism,” the NCAA was ruthless in its application of its rules that prevented players from receiving anything for their talents aside from their scholarships. A scholarship that didn’t necessarily guarantee an education or a diploma. But in 2000, three West Coast economists decided to take on this cartel, and laid the groundwork for a major lawsuit. At around the same time, a former UCLA football player named Ramogi Huma began an organization to help and represent college athletes. A college quarterback decided to try to unionize his team. And a former sneaker marketer, Sonny Vaccaro, who was the first to pay college coaches to get their teams to wear his sneakers, quit his job and began to crusade against the NCAA. Indentured is the story of how this small band of renegades, working sometimes in concert and sometimes alone, took on the NCAA, nearly bringing it to its knees.

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    Indentured

    15.1 hrs • 2/16/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 8.8 hrs • 2/2/2016 • Unabridged

    This Is Your Brain on Sports is the book for sports fans searching for a deeper understanding of the games they watch and the people who play them. Sports Illustrated executive editor and bestselling author L. Jon Wertheim teams up with Tufts psychologist Sam Sommers to take readers on a wild ride into the inner world of sports. Through the prism of behavioral economics, neuroscience, and psychology, they reveal the hidden influences and surprising cues that inspire and derail us—on the field and in the stands—and by extension, in corporate board rooms, office settings, and our daily lives. In this irresistible narrative romp, Wertheim and Sommers usher us from professional football to the NBA to Grand Slam tennis, from the psychology of athletes self-handicapping their performance in the boxing ring or the World Series, to an explanation of why even the glimpse of a finish line can lift us beyond ordinary physical limits. They explore why Tom Brady and other starting NFL quarterbacks all seem to look like fashion models; why fans of teams like the Cubs, Mets, and any franchise from Cleveland love rooting for a loser; why the best players make the worst coaches; why hockey goons (and fans) would rather fight at home than on the road; and why the arena t-shirt cannon has something to teach us about human nature. This Is Your Brain on Sports is an entertaining and thought-provoking journey into how psychology and behavioral science collide with the universe of wins-and-losses, coaching changes, underdogs, and rivalry games.

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    This Is Your Brain on Sports

    8.8 hrs • 2/2/16 • Unabridged
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  3. 24.6 hrs • 8/1/2015 • Unabridged

    Originally published in 1976, James A. Michener’s explosive, spectacular Sports in America is a prescient examination of the crisis in American sports that is still unfolding to this day. Pro basketball players are banned for narcotics use, while a Major League pitcher is arrested for smuggling drugs across the Mexican border. The NFL’s “injury report” grows longer every Sunday. Corruption and recruiting violations plague collegiate sports as the “winning is everything” mentality trickles down to the little league level. With his lifelong enthusiasm for sports in evidence, the incomparable Michener tackles this subject thoroughly and leaves us amazed and appalled by what we’ve learned, yet still loving the games we grew up on.

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    Sports in America

    24.6 hrs • 8/1/15 • Unabridged
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  4. 1 reviews 0 5 3 3 out of 5 stars 3/5 (1)
    7.8 hrs • 4/14/2015 • Unabridged

    An English professor begins training in the sport of mixed martial arts and explores the science and history behind the violence of men. When a mixed martial arts (MMA) gym moves in across the street from his office, Jonathan Gottschall sees a challenge—and an opportunity. Pushing forty, out of shape, and disenchanted with his job as an adjunct English professor, part of him yearns to cross the street and join up. The other part is terrified. Gottschall eventually works up his nerve and starts training for a real cage fight. He’s fighting not only as a personal test but also to answer questions that have intrigued him for years: Why do men fight? And why do so many seemingly decent people like to watch? In The Professor in the Cage, Gottschall’s unlikely journey from the college classroom to the fighting cage drives an important new investigation into the science and history of violence. Mixed martial arts is a full-contact hybrid sport in which fighters punch, choke, and kick each other into submission. MMA requires intense strength, endurance, and skill; the fights are bloody, brutal, and dangerous. Yet throughout the last decade, cage fighting has evolved from a small-time fringe spectacle banned in many states to the fastest-growing spectator sport in America. But the surging popularity of MMA, far from being new, is just one more example of our species’ insatiable interest, not just in violence but in the rituals that keep violence contained. From duels to football to the roughhousing of children, humans are masters of what Gottschall calls the monkey dance: a dizzying variety of rule-bound contests that establish hierarchies while minimizing risk and social disorder. In short, Gottschall entered the cage to learn about the violence in men, but learned instead how men keep violence in check. Gottschall endures extremes of pain, occasional humiliation, and the incredulity of his wife to take us into the heart of fighting culture—culminating, after almost two years of grueling training, in his own cage fight. Gottschall’s unsparing personal journey crystallizes in his epiphany, and ours, that taming male violence through ritualized combat has been a hidden key to the success of the human race. Without the restraining codes of the monkey dance, the world would be a much more chaotic and dangerous place.

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    The Professor in the Cage

    7.8 hrs • 4/14/15 • Unabridged
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  5. 11.5 hrs • 3/18/2014 • Unabridged

    Cycle of Lies by New York Times reporter Juliet Macur is the definitive account of the rise and fall of the most famous athlete of our generation, Lance Armstrong, through unprecedented access to the key players in his life and the investigation into the allegations of systemic doping. Relying on previously unpublished documents, Cycle of Lies reveals how Armstrong managed to perpetuate his myth for so long, the fortress he built to protect his image and upend anyone who got in his way, and why he fell so quickly. Spanning fourteen critical years in Armstrong’s cycling career, Cycle of Lies: The Fall of Lance Armstrong covers his comeback from cancer to the business deals that would make him a millionaire many times over, right up until the moment he stepped down as the chairman of his Livestrong charity. The story features key characters such as disgraced Tour de France champion Floyd Landis; Armstrong teammate George Hincapie; and Kristin Richard, Armstrong’s first wife and possible doping accomplice. The history of one of the most precipitous and unceremonious falls in the history of sports, Cycle of Lies delves into exactly who was complicit in keeping Lance Armstrong’s doping a secret from his legion of fans.

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    Cycle of Lies

    11.5 hrs • 3/18/14 • Unabridged
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  6. 0 reviews 0 5 4 4 out of 5 stars 4/5
    14.7 hrs • 10/8/2013 • Unabridged

    “Professional football players do not sustain frequent repetitive blows to the brain on a regular basis.” So concluded the National Football League in a December 2005 scientific paper on concussions in America’s most popular sport. That judgment, implausible even to a casual fan, also contradicted the opinion of a growing cadre of neuroscientists who worked in vain to convince the NFL that it was facing a deadly new scourge: A chronic brain disease that was driving an alarming number of players—including some of the all-time greats—to madness. League of Denial reveals how the NFL, over a period of nearly two decades, sought to cover up and deny mounting evidence of the connection between football and brain damage. Comprehensively, and for the first time, award-winning ESPN investigative reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru tell the story of a public health crisis that emerged from the playing fields of our twenty-first century pastime. Everyone knew that football is violent and dangerous. But what the players who built the NFL into a $10 billion industry didn’t know—and what the league sought to shield from them—is that no amount of padding could protect the human brain from the force generated by modern football; that the very essence of the game could be exposing these players to brain damage. In a fast-paced narrative that moves between the NFL trenches, America’s research labs, and the boardrooms where the NFL went to war against science, League of Denial examines how the league used its power and resources to attack independent scientists and elevate its own flawed research—a campaign with echoes of Big Tobacco’s fight to deny the connection between smoking and lung cancer. It chronicles the tragic fates of players like Hall of Fame Pittsburgh Steelers center Mike Webster, who was so disturbed at the time of his death he fantasized about shooting NFL executives; and former Chargers great Junior Seau, whose diseased brain became the target of an unseemly scientific battle between researchers and the NFL. Based on exclusive interviews, previously undisclosed documents, and private emails, this is the story of what the NFL knew and when it knew it questions at the heart of crisis that threatens football, from the highest levels all the way down to Pop Warner.

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    League of Denial

    14.7 hrs • 10/8/13 • Unabridged
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  7. 15.5 hrs • 8/20/2013 • Unabridged

    The extraordinary story of how Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant and Joe Namath, his star quarterback at the University of Alabama, led the Crimson Tide to victory and transformed football into a truly national pastime During the bloodiest years of the civil rights movement, Bear Bryant and Joe Namath—two of the most iconic and controversial figures in American sports—changed the game of college football forever. Brilliantly and urgently drawn, this is the gripping account of how these two very different men—Bryant a legendary coach in the South who was facing a pair of ethics scandals that threatened his career; and Namath, a cocky Northerner from a steel mill town in Pennsylvania—led the Crimson Tide to a national championship. To Bryant and Namath, the game was everything. But no one could ignore the changes sweeping the nation between 1961 and 1965—from the Freedom Rides to the integration of colleges across the South and the assassination of President Kennedy. Against this explosive backdrop, Bryant and Namath changed the meaning of football. Their final contest together, the 1965 Orange Bowl, was the first football game broadcast nationally, in color, during prime time, signaling a new era for the sport and the nation. Award-winning biographer Randy Roberts and sports historian Ed Krzemienski showcase the moment when two thoroughly American traditions—football and Dixie—collided. A compelling story of race and politics, honor and the will to win, Rising Tide captures a singular time in American history. More than a history of college football, this is the story of the struggle and triumph of a nation in transition and the legacy of two of the greatest heroes the sport has ever seen.

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    Rising Tide

    15.5 hrs • 8/20/13 • Unabridged
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  8. 5.7 hrs • 7/1/2008 • Abridged

    Bestselling author David Maraniss weaves sports, politics, and history into a groundbreaking tour de force The athletes competing in the 1960 Rome Olympics included some of the most honored in Olympic history: decathlete Rafer Johnson, sprinter Wilma Rudolph, Ethiopian marathoner Abebe Bikila, and Louisville boxer Cassius Clay, who at eighteen seized the world stage for the first time, four years before he became Muhammad Ali. Along with these unforgettable characters and dramatic contests, there was a deeper meaning to those late-summer days at the dawn of the sixties. Change was apparent everywhere. The world as we know it was coming into view. Rome saw the first doping scandal, the first commercially televised Summer Games, the first athlete paid for wearing a certain brand of shoes. In the heat of the cold war, every move was judged for its propaganda value. East and west Germans competed as a unified team less than a year before the Berlin Wall. There was dispute over the two Chinas. An independence movement was sweeping sub-Saharan Africa, with fourteen nations in the process of being born. There was increasing pressure to provide equal rights for blacks and women as they emerged from generations of discrimination. Using the meticulous research and sweeping narrative style that have become his trademark, Maraniss reveals the rich palate of character, competition, and meaning that gave Rome 1960 its singular essence of theater, suspense, victory and defeat.

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    Rome 1960

    5.7 hrs • 7/1/08 • Abridged
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