Big Game by Mark Leibovich

Big Game

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of This Town, an equally merciless probing of America's biggest cultural force, pro football, at a moment of peak success and high anxiety.Like millions of Americans, Mark Leibovich has spent more of his life than he'd care to admit tuned into pro football. Being a lifelong New England Patriots fan meant growing up with a steady diet of lovable loserdom. That is until the Tom Brady/Bill Belichick era ...

Details Big Game

TitleBig Game
Release DateSep 4th, 2018
PublisherPenguin Press
GenreSports and Games, Sports, Nonfiction, Football, Audiobook, Politics, Business

Reviews Big Game

  • Richard de Villiers
    Let's start with the good stuff. Leibovich is an engaging writer, even when his subjects have little to say he still makes it interesting. The last four years, the time he dedicated to writing this book, have been chock filled with controversy in the NFL so there are no shortage of issues or stories to cover. Finally, the book is filled with characters that even the casual fan knows. Overall it's a book that goes down easy and serves as a rather ...
  • Kristina
    You don’t have to be a rabid fan of football to enjoy Mark Leibovich’s Big Game: The NFL in Dangerous Times. A passing acquaintance with the game is all that is required to be drawn into this book, as long as you enjoy Leibovich’s prose. He is funny, snarky but never cruel, goofy, and manages to sneak a lot of facts into your brain by disguising them as well-written and entertaining writing. After reading This Town: Two Parties and a Funera...
  • Jim Cooper
    This book gets 5 stars from me because it's so well-written. This really isn't a book about the NFL, so much as it is a peek behind the curtain of the people who run it (the commissioner and the owners), and it's also about Tom Brady. So it's a weird setup but the stories are all great and it's interesting to get an insider view into some of the big news stories the NFL has had over the last couple of years. Leibovich is a great writer.
  • Bobby Frederick
    Seemed disjointed and repetitive in some parts. Enjoyed some of Leibovich's roasting, but a lot of it felt forced and too snarky. Second half of the book was much better than the first.
  • Alex Hairston
    Thought the sound bites or excerpts I read in the press were all I really needed to know. I also didn't realize how New England centric this book was before I read it.
  • Jolene
    Rich people suck. Jerry Jones is a cartoon. The Lambeau Leap is one of the greatest traditions of human achievement. Ultimately, this book didn't really SAY anything, but I was endlessly entertained.
  • Brian Calandra
    For a guy who spent four years embedded with NFL owners and athletes, Leibovitch came out with very little in the way of anecdotes except for getting wasted on Jerry Jones's bus and seeing Giselle Bundchen congratulating the Eagles. Almost all of this is stuff that anyone could have written after reading ESPN NFL coverage for a few years and then summarizing. And he's got nothing but loathing for the beat writers who cover the game.Most irritatin...
  • Mark Miano
    Around the dinner table one night we got into a discussion about Thomas Jefferson and whether it was fair to judge him today as a hypocrite for penning the phrase “all men are created equal” while being the owner of slaves. (I believe it is fair to make this judgment) I asked my sons if they could think of anything that we were doing today that people 200 years from now might similarly brand us as hypocrites for continuing to do, even though ...
  • Becky
    If you are interested in professional football, you will find, Big Game: the NFL in Danferous Times an interesting read. One caution, I did not realize it centered so much on Tom Brady & the Boston Patriots. The author’s adoration of Tom Brady does become repetitive and overstated. For a look into how professional football operates this book is informative.
  • Dylan Scott
    The same biting sense of humor and keen judgment of character that made THIS TOWN such a delight is back — and the subject might be even better suited to Leibovich’s talents. You walk away feeling like you really do understand the NFL better but all the more baffled that these yahoos run the biggest entertainment brand in sports.
  • David
    Could not have enjoyed reading a book anymore than I did this oneLeibovich has a keen eye at studying other humans. Fortunately he is able to share these keen and witty observations with us mere mortals. I loved this book and can hardly wait for his next offering.
  • Emily
    I enjoyed how this book explores the moment in time in the NFL. It was an almost outsiders look into how the NFL functions as an organization and on a team level. He shares his time interacting with executives and with players. It kept me engaged the entire time.
  • Chris Jaffe
    This was a disappointment. Leibovich is a good writer, but he really doesn't have much to say. It's supposed to be an examination of the NFL, but this is a series of bits and pieces where the whole is less than the sum of its parts. This comes off less like analysis and more like tourism. Leibovich recounts the conversations he has with various NFL people - Jerry Jones, Tom Brady, Robert Kraft, etc - but the focus of the book is who would talk to...
  • Mark
    I expected to enjoy this book more. I have both a professional and personal interest in sports business and I find Leibovich an entertaining and engaging writer so I figured this book was bound to be right for me. But it missed somehow. Maybe it was his subject matter; ultra rich people just aren’t that interesting I suppose. The book became very repetitious - the stories may have been slightly different but the characters were the same , the i...
  • Sabra
    As someone who is not a fan of football, I found this surprisingly enjoyable
  • Kyle
    Gets a little too one-note as it goes on, but it is a good reminder that rich people are the absolute worst.
  • Jose Vitela
    Occasionally you come across a book (show or movie) that is bad but for some reason you're able to power through only to wonder why you didn't cut your losses early. I felt this way with this book. No offense to the author, I haven't written a book (yet) and have respect for the process but this should have been a much shorter article (or series of articles) and not a book. It might have been more beneficial to write exclusively about Jerry Jones...
  • Chris Pippin
    I heard Leibovich discuss his book on a podcast and was really looking forward to reading it. Unfortunately, as you'll discover very early on, Leibovich is a Pats fan. This wouldn't be a problem on its own, but he spends a good third of the book relitigating Deflategate, and spends the remainder of the book coming to grips with his own feelings about Tom Brady and Bob Kraft. The best parts of the book are the nuggets about Arthur Blank, Woody Joh...
  • Aidan Renaghan
    Meh. I loved his last book "This Town," but I found this very underwhelming. Not a lot of new information about the NFL. Just reinforces the idea that the owners are greedy madmen who are destroying the league for their own self interest, that the league has no interest or ability to deal with the existential threat of head trauma, and the race politics of football are problematic and a huge rift between players and fans. If you watch football an...
  • Jack Goodstein
    Disappointing..a little snark, and little that's new.
  • Darrell
    Some interesting nuggets about what the "Membership" (NFL Owners) are like, but mostly this book is just a dreary march through tailgates, stadiums, owners meetings, and parties.
  • Jim
    This book was a mostly interesting but not really too surprising series of anecdotes about the NFL.The two parts of the NFL that have more mostly turned off from it - a) Their lack of grace and caring about the concussion issue, and b) whiny bitches of owners who just want corporate welfare to build new stadiums, were both highlighted in bold relief.Goodell on the risk of the game: "There is risk in life,” Goodell concluded. “There is risk in...
  • Jake
    I am a lifelong football fan and a Baltimore Ravens supporter. When the Ray Rice scandal hit, I swore off the sport for a year because of how poorly the NFL and the Ravens organizations respectively handled the situation.The Rice situation provided me with an excuse to do something I had wanted to do for awhile: watch less football. It’s tough to overstate what a hold the NFL had on my life in my 20s. I’d plan work, break dates, check my phon...
  • Mac
    I like reading Mark Leibovich, and having read This Town and Citizens of the Green Room, I found Big Game to have all of the author's signature moves...and his signature flaw as well. Leibovich's take on the NFL (really his takedown of the NFL) is full of his trademark snark, criticism, irreverence, and hostility. As examples, in the author's eyes, Roger Goodell, the Commissioner, is an inept bumbler (though good at generating revenue), and Jerry...
  • Richard
    This wasn't the book I was expecting, but that's probably my fault. I was unfamiliar with the author, and I assumed, based on the title and subtitle, that this would be a discussion of the issues the NFL faces "in dangerous (for the NFL) times"and possible solutions. Actually, it kind of was that in a way, like The View might discuss an issue: shallow and catty.Yeah, depending on one's perspective, there are a lot of crappy people in the world. R...
  • Scott Martin
    A solid read that offers, or tries to offer, a different perspective on the NFL. Written by a long-time political pundit (and a longer-time New England Patriot fan), Leibovich looks to analyze the NFL, especially in the past few years, looking at the issues the game faces on and off the field. Given the recent intersection of the NFL and the American political scene, perhaps it is just as well that a political writer is trying to analyze the leag...
  • Joshua
    Mark Leibovich is just a pleasure. This book is basically a long, romping magazine story about the NFL. You learn little that did you didn't already know, but it's a pleasure to be reminded about things you read about in less entertaining forms elsewhere, and what you do learn (like what Jerry Jones talks about while piss drunk in his trailer, or what it sounds like to hear Tom Brady and Gisele bicker) is just the best. Leibovich refers to the ti...
  • Elizabeth C
    I did not expect to love this book. In fact, my 5 star rating probably incorporates the low bar I had.I picked up this book for a crash course on football. I immediately disengage when conversations turn to sports, and I was hoping this would change that—as reading Elon Musk’s bio changed the way I felt about being dragged into a Tesla store.Spoiler alert: I did not really learn anything about football... I learned about the League.I’m not ...
  • Tim Niland
    This was an insightful and entertaining book about the modern NFL and state of pro football in America. The author is primarily a political reporter, but lifelong football fan: he's from Boston and roots for the hated Patriots, but don't hold that against him. He takes a bifurcated approach to reviewing the current league: with many interviews with owners and league office office personnel he provides a behind the scenes look at the big money men...
  • Tom
    This was a breezy little read. Leibovich is a political reporter, but more of a political gossip reporter, used to frequenting D.C. cocktail parties and making blowhards comfortable talking to him. This background makes the NFL is a perfect pasture for him to graze in.*The book centers around numerous key dates in the NFL calendar from 2014 through early 2018. With this, there is a lot on Deflategate, Ray Rice, Tom Brady, the Rams/Chargers/Raider...