Will Leitch’s God Save the Fan is a great summer read whether you’re a sports fan or not. The book examines the over saturation and effect of media, most notably ESPN, on today’s sports fan while being extremely funny in the process. The chapters go by fast and the tone is light and conversational, taking on many topics that you and your friends might cover at your local bar over a round of beers. I particularly enjoyed the chapters on fantasy football and stories of behind the scenes action at ESPN that the worldwide leader doesn’t want you to know about.
Leitch, a seasoned writer who has spent the last three years as Editor of the excellent sports blog Deadspin.com, doesn’t aim to educate or even inform with his novel. I believe the point is to snap sports fans out of there ESPN-induced coma and prove that we don’t need 24 hour coverage of games, fantasy leagues are more fun than the majors and that sports are only meant to be an escape from life, not what your entire life revolves around. While Leitch is leaving Deadspin at the end of June to take a gig at New York Magazine, he has been one of the most vocal leaders in the young sports bloggers versus crotchety old newspaper columnists war that has recently exploded. (See the Buzz Bissenger video from Costas Now below). I don’t think Leitch has all the answers or is right about everything in God Save the Fan but it is a quick read that will make you laugh out loud and question the next time you watch the same Sportscenter for three hours in a row.