football

  How can the NCAA blithely wreck careers without regard to due process or common fairness? How can it act so ruthlessly to enforce rules that are so petty? Why won’t anybody stand up to these outrageous violations of American values and American justice?

In the four years since Joe Nocera asked those questions in a controversial New York Times column, the National Collegiate Athletic Association has come under fire. Fans have begun to realize that the athletes involved in the two biggest college sports, men’s basketball and football, are little more than indentured servants. Millions of teenagers accept scholarships to chase their dreams of fame and fortune—at the price of absolute submission to the whims of an organization that puts their interests dead last.

Nocera's new book is Indentured: The Inside Story of the Rebellion Against the NCAA.

  Times Union Sports Editor Pete Iorizzo and Daily Gazette Executive Sports Editor Mark McGuire join us today to talk sports. 

  From the time he took up the game of football Joe Montana has been initially been overlooked, not blessed with the prototypical size for a quarter back his skill and understanding of the nuances of the game overcame any perceived shortcomings. In his new biography of the Hall of Famer, Montana: The Biography Of Football's Joe Cool author Keith Dunnavant follows the life and career of one the game's all time greats.

Joe Montana is one of the only three quarterbacks to win four Super Bowls and did so in less than a decade, a two time league MVP, he became the signature player of the NFL landscape throughout the 1980's.

  Endzone tells the story of how college football's most successful, richest and respected program almost lost all three in less than a decade - and entirely of its own doing. It is a story of hubris, greed, and betrayal - a tale more suited to Wall Street than the world's top public university.

Author John U. Bacon takes you inside the offices, the board rooms and the locker rooms of the University of Michigan to see what happened, and why - with countless eye-opening, head-shaking scenes of conflict and conquest.

  Recently the Washington Redskins have been synonymous with controversy but in the not-too-distant past, D.C.'s beloved team was considered a model franchise that put together one of the most unique and colorful dynasties in NFL history under the leadership of Coach Joe Gibbs.

Based on more than 90 original interviews with key sources, the new book Hail to the Redskins by sportswriter Adam Lazarus, gives readers access to the players and coaches who championed the extraordinary era from 1981 to 1992, charting the teams rise from mediocrity to its stretch of three Super Bowl titles in 10 years.

  In his new book Billion-Dollar Ball: A Journey Through the Big-Money Culture of College Football, journalist Gilbert Gaul examines how – he says - college football has come to dominate some of our best, most prestigious universities—reframing campus values, distorting academic missions, and transforming athletic departments into astonishingly rich entertainment factories, even as many university presidents look the other way.

Gaul argues these abuses are mere symbols of something much larger and problematic: the business model that schools have created using football to brand their schools, monetizing every aspect of the game.

Gilbert Gaul twice won the Pulitzer Prize and has been shortlisted for the Pulitzer four other times. For more than thirty-five years, he worked as an investigative journalist for The Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer and other newspapers.

Tom Newby / flickr

In New York, the Orange County district attorney says no criminal charges will be filed in connection with allegations made concerning a school district’s athletics team.

  In the summer of 1959, most of the town of Braddock, Pennsylvania---along with half a million steel workers around the country---went on strike in the longest labor stoppage in American history. With no paychecks coming in, the families of Braddock looked to its football team for inspiration.

Author and journalist Greg Nichols writes about it in his book, Striking Gridiron: A Town's Pride and a Team's Shot at Glory During the Biggest Strike in American History.

  One of the best sportswriters working today, Mike Lupica, joins us this morning to talk about his new book, Fantasy League and about the current state of the NFL.

Lupica will be at The Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley, MA on Thursday.

 

   In Against Football, Steve Almond details why, after forty years as a fan, he can no longer watch the game he still loves.

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