The System – A Review

Come, tailgate with us!  Virtual tailgating, that is.
Our Mission: to bring you a diverse group of projects and recipes to help you better enjoy the party that is tailgating!
Here’s a quick preview of what’s to come:
 
Here’s what I got for ya:
I stepped out of the box for this one, my preciousess.  Way, way out.  Welcome to the wonderful world of non-fiction and football!

The Future of College Football

Title:  The System: The Glory and Scandal of Big-Time College Football
Author(s):  Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian 
Genre:  Non-Fiction

Synopsis:  COLLEGE FOOTBALL has never been more popular—or more chaotic. Millions fill 100,000-seat stadiums every Saturday; tens of millions more watch on television every weekend. The 2013 Discover BCS National Championship game between Notre Dame and Alabama had a viewership of 26.4 million people, second only to the Super Bowl. Billions of dollars from television deals now flow into the game; the average budget for a top-ten team is $80 million; top coaches make more than $3 million a year; the highest paid, more than $5 million.
But behind this glittering success are darker truths: “athlete-students” working essentially full-time jobs with no share in the oceans of money; players who often don’t graduate and end their careers with broken bodies; “janitors” who clean up player misconduct; football “hostesses” willing to do whatever it takes to land a top recruit; seven-figure black box recruiting slush funds. And this: Despite the millions of dollars pouring into the game, 90 percent of major athletic departments still lose money. Yet schools remain caught up in an ever-escalating “arms race”—at the expense of academic scholarships, facilities and faculty.
Celebrated investigative journalists Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian were granted unprecedented access during the 2012 season to programs at the highest levels across the country at a time of convulsive change in college football. Through dogged reporting, they explored every nook and cranny of this high-powered machine, and reveal how it operates from the inside out. The result: the system through the eyes of athletic directors and coaches, high-flying boosters and high-profile TV stars, five-star recruits and tireless NCAA investigators and the kids on whom the whole vast enterprise depends.
Both a celebration of the power and pageantry of NCAA football and a groundbreaking, thought-provoking critique of its excesses, The System is the definitive book on the college game. 

(synopsis found on book page at Amazon.com here)

About the Author(s):  Jeff Benedict is an author with a law degree.  He has written many non-fiction books, on top of being a regular contributor to Sports Illustrated online and a professor of English at Southern Virginia University.  For his full bio and bibliography, visit Amazon here.
Armen Keteyian is a television journalist as well as an author.  He’s won 8 Emmy’s for his work on the sports beat on several major networks, including CBS.  For his bio, please visit CBS News here.

First Impression:  I’m always up to try something new – this time, non-fiction is it!

Confession time: I didn’t finish this book.  In fact, I only made it about 30% through before throwing in the towel.
Why, you ask?  Because I was effing bored!  That’s all there was to it.  I did my best; I tried and was able to power through that 30 percent, but no more.  I can’t take it.
It’s no secret that I’m not a huge football sports fan.  I have my team (Green Bay Packers), whom I cheer for, mostly in silence or on Twitter, but I hate dislike watching the games.  Unfortunately for me, TBG is a huge sports guy: baseball, basketball, football – I am subjected to it all (Go Rockies and Utah Jazz).  If you know how the sports seasons work, you’ll realize there is no down time, at all.  It’s all sports, all year.
With that out of the way, from what I read, it’s incredibly well written.  Given the background of the authors, it’s not surprising.  It covers everything: the good, the bad, and the really ugly aspects of the system of college football.  A lot of information gets thrown at you – statistics, names, colleges – most of which I couldn’t care less about, as I didn’t attend a major college/university.
The only interesting parts I found in my 30 percent were when I recognized a name or remembered a breaking story when TBG reigned over the remote and I got stuck watching listening to SportsCenter. With the amount of hours that has added up to over the 13 years we’ve been together… well, something was bound to stick, despite my best efforts.
I will say this: if my sons ever come to the point where there are colleges scouting them for an athletic scholarship – or just scouting them in general, I will be extra vigilant.  There is no telling what lengths a college [recruiter] will go to in order to ensure the students they want commit to attend their school.  The process seems to have the tendency to get intense and not completely honest.

Final Thoughts:  Although I did not appreciate this book, it doesn’t mean that you won’t.  It’s had great reviews across the board.  But, in my opinion, you really have to love and understand college football for this book to be worth reading.

My Suggestion:  If football isn’t your thing, avoid this.  If it might be, get it from the library.  If you’re a fanatic, add it to your collection.

Star Rating: (which reflects only my opinion on the book)

 

While my contribution may not be fun, the rest of these projects are amazing!  Check ’em out:
Diane from Canning and Cooking at Home brought her Spicy Mustard Relish:
Eileen at Eileen’s Perpetually Busy brought a handmade Team Color Cushion with Handle, a major step up from the uncomfortable bleachers we’re all used to:
Karen from Baking in a Tornado has this tasty Glazed Kielbasa Sandwich:
Lydia from Cluttered Genius made this awesome DIY Tailgating Garland, sporting team colors and using stuff you probably already have on hand:
Melissa from Home on Deranged is bringing us to the techno-age with Technology and Tailgating:

 

Shawn at Literary Litter made this adorable crocheted Snap Caps:
Shellybean over at Follow Me Home made these handy Busy Bags:
Stacy from Stacy Sews and Schools is keeping us warm with DIY Team Color Headband Earmuffs:
Happy Tailgating!!
Disclaimer: I have not been compensated in any way for this review and all opinions contained herein are my own and in no way reflect the ideas or opinions of people or sites I may reference.  This is intended for entertainment purposes only
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