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EP 309: Mark Leibovich Exposes the NFL's Excess and Anxiety

Mark Leibovich, Chief National Correspondent for the New York Times Magazine, follows up his #1 bestseller THIS TOWN with a probing examination of pro-football at a moment of peak success and high anxiety in BIG GAME: THE NFL IN DANGEROUS TIMES. Today this native Bostonian apologizes for those famously annoying Patriots fans and discusses the Patriots superfan in the White House and Trump’s weird obsession with Tom Brady. He offers an unprecedented glimpse inside the one club that Donald Trump could never join…the exclusive group of 32 billionaire NFL owners known as “The Membership.” He reveals how Patriots owner Robert Kraft whines about not getting credit for the team’s success and some comments about Kraft’s love of New York that that have riled fans in Beantown. We talk about the rivalry between Kraft and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, and Mark recalls losing a drinking contest with Jones on the notoriously raucous Cowboys bus. He discusses fans' hatred of Roger Goodell’s astronomical salary and why the “Membership” still protects the much maligned NFL Commissioner. He reveals just how worried owners were about the national anthem controversy and how it shined a light on the startling racial disparities in pro-football. Plus we talk about deflategate, Superbowl excess, concussions, and ask “has America has reached peak football?”

Order Mark Leibovich's book BIG GAME: THE NFL IN DANGEROUS TIMES on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold. Keep up with Mark at or on twitter at @MarkLeibovich. Today's podcast is sponsored by Heineken, GooglePlay Audiobooks, The Dave Dameshek Football Program, and Espresso Monster.

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