Gregg Easterbrook writes the Tuesday Morning Quarterback column at the Times. And he has a new book: The Game's Not Over: In Defense of Football that I've had around the house for the last month. His title -- The Game's Not Over -- served as something of a mantra around here through end of the NFL regular season and the Armpit Bowls (more on those later.)
This isn't a deep book, but it's fun. Easterbrook's defense of football is essentially that, with all its faults, it is just the right sport for the nation we are.
Corporate greed, a willingness to injure in pursuit of wealth and dominance, sexism and racism are all there, but Easterbrook predicts the sport will survive.
Much of where he goes from those observations seems poorly argued to me. I find his speculation implausible that young U.S. males do worse in school than girls because they bang their heads routinely playing football from an early age. But his proposed remedy, banning the tackling game until kids are at least 13 as their pro-QB father did for Eli and Peyton Manning, seems a sensible idea that might even catch on among a slew of measures meant to reduce head trauma.
Sure, I enjoyed watching Stanford run rings around Iowa in the Rose Bowl, but this wasn't much of a game.
Yup -- our national game.