Book Review (Posted on 07-16-2012)
If I told you that I've grown tired of being lied to, tired of being cheated on and having my feelings played, what you say in response to my agony? You'd probably say, "hey Kris, don't worry; there are always plenty more fish in the sea." However, if I told you that it's not a woman that's causing this pain, but it's sports, would you think I'm crazy in letting such meaningless thing cause an impact in my life? I hope you said yes.
I've been a huge fan of NBA Basketball since I was about 9, and I wanted 'to be like Mike.' Fast forward about 15 years later—now—and I regret saying that. The man with six championships is a heavy gambler; that doesn't sound like something I'd live on, molding myself into. Jason Kidd, now an NBA champion won with the Dallas Mavericks, had a history of domestic abuse, the 1985 NBA Draft Lottery was rigged (telling me that if they've been fixing lotteries since, there's no excuse as to why they can't do it today; a case considered as the results were in during the 2012 NBA Draft Lottery), the 2002 playoff game between the Kings and Lakers being fixed to force a Game 7, referees working to get the final score to comply within the point spread in Las Vegas Sports Books, trades/sign-ins/drafts being made to protect big market teams, tanking and Tim Donaghy.
I never was into pro baseball, football and NASCAR, yet I slowly wanted to get into hockey, but nevertheless, those were just a good a read as well. That story about Rae Carruth was brutal, Pete Rose's gambling scandal was nuts, why Wayne Gretsky moved to LA, Michael Franzese and the NCAA, Jose Canseco and MLB's infamous steroid policy circus, why teams relocate and don't care about their loyal fans, the money pouring onto these sports leagues like Niagara Falls from television networks, why it's permissible to hide an athlete, coach or anyone working in the leagues, from negative spotlight regardless of his criminal history, realizing that an average NFL regular season game on ABC lasted just 16+ minutes of gameplay when they had a 3-hour broadcast (I believe this is still currently being done) and 140+ years of game fixes and corruption. The Oklahoma City bombing, the JFK Assassination, Princess Diana and the CIA and the Nazis are nothing compared to the amount of skepticism and questions floating about in the sports world, combined (including pro sports in other countries and the Olympics).
Since I believe Sports Conspiracies should be a genre (if it isn't yet), this book successfully falls under that genre and looks to decrypt the encrypted system running in this country, reasoning why sports leagues do what they do. Oh wait, I do know: money. Just rewrite the script in the new upcoming season, add some surprising trades and sign-ins, protect the big markets [teams] and the "special" athletes, assign key matchups for the sake of ratings, not who's the better team, and there you have it. Reality shows, anyone?
Even though it's conspiracies surrounding sports, you don't have to believe it. However, the dots provided in the book are fully detailed and sourced, so you can connect them yourself and see what the picture is trying to convey.
"Why would you leave a billion-dollar business up to just random chance, when you can, in fact, control it?"
—Brian Tuohy, from The Fan vs. Fan Show (03/17/2012) blog talk radio
If you have any doubts about the sport(s) you enjoy watching, why some teams never has and never will
win a championship, if your spouse can't get off the couch because of their sports addiction, what the big deal is with the involvement of gambling among athletes and/or what ties Las Vegas sports books and bookies have in relation with pro sports leagues, then GET THIS BOOK
. No matter how big a sports fan you are, this book, especially the first chapter, will put you back in your place with a slam of reality. Nevertheless, you learn the psychology of a sports fan, what kind of sports fans there are, why fans never stop lying to themselves and what happens to a sports fan's well-being when their favorite team loses. You then learn about the athletes, television, gambling and, my favorite, The Great Hippodrome.
I learned a lot. I even emailed author Brian Tuohy praising him on the book, and what wonders it did for me. My critique was I wanted the book to be longer because I couldn't put it down and didn't want it to end. He kindly replied sending his thanks (he mentioned that he had to slice off 100+ pages off the finalized book, due to the publisher's request to edit for space). Other than that, I feel revitalized with a new sense of freedom. This is so because I occasionally hang out with an old friend of mine, whom I've known since grammar school, and he's a huge sports addict—huge Laker, Patriots, Dodgers, Manny Pacquiao and Dale Earnhardt Jr. fan. That disease left a big rash on my skin and couldn't get rid of it, and this book cured me of all that. I also read that some sports teams were originally founded by members of the mafia. I can't imagine anyone not wanting to leave sports having known that. In that case, every time I see someone wearing a jersey of their favorite team(s), or decorate their house/room/car with their favorite team's logo and colors, I laugh at them; what they're saying to the open public is they're proud of living a lie.
Often times, authors would say in the introduction how "this book will change the way you view the world" or something of that sort. This book will make you see sports differently, and will point out what it is that pro sports leagues have been doing to their fans, and to you. Now that Sports Conspiracies is all the rave, and the fact that word spreads quickly on the internet, big sports events/leagues are now getting a taste of their own medicine from fans watching. They're now doing what Brian and fellow sports conspiracy theorists are doing, who are looking through the selfish souls of these sports leagues: asking questions. Nobody leaves until these questions get answered.
Lastly, Brian asks a 'philosophical' question that sports fans around the world, you and myself haven't answered: why do you care about sports? For me personally, I never arrived at a legitimate answer as to why; I've gotten no answer, so the only thought I have is "maybe I shouldn't [care about sports]."
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