Master of the sports world's most influential and snarkiest blog, Will Leitch of Deadspin.com fame muses over the idiocy of being a sports fan in "God Save the Fan," a collection of clever, smirking essays. From the dreck served up by ESPN and its team of overexposed commentators to the antiquated notion of actually caring about the Olympics, Leitch (mostly) hits his subjects out of the park.
As he acknowledges, what makes Deadspin such a hit is that it is of the fans, by the fans and – surprise! – covers the topics fans actually want to hear about. Leitch's observations of the sports media, from the blathering say-nothings crowding the network booths to the buffet-addicted schlubs in the press box, nail the superfluous nature of almost every gauzy soft-focus feature, insider column, and game story you've ever seen or read.
Even better is Leitch's assessment of fans cutting owners too much slack compared with the resentful judgments cast upon players. "We think players earn the money the easy way, while owners somehow worked their way up the corporate food chain, like real Americans, compiling their billions through blood, sweat, and hedge funds," he writes. Assertions about athletes and fans having nothing in common beyond their existing superficial relationship (hit the ball or make the tackle and we'll cheer, anything else and we won't) clarifies what denizens in both camps believe, but never say. Grade: A – Erik Spanberg