Saturday, January 12, 2019

Book Review: 'Empowered: The Fan ReVOLution That Changed College Football' by Tom Mattingly and Celina Summers

Empowered: The Fan ReVOLution That Changed College Football by [Summers, Celina, Mattingly, Tom]
How does a college football program that has fallen on hard times reclaim its past glory?

Tennessee author Celina Summers became fascinated with languages and history while a high school student in the top Latin program in the nation. She continued her education in Tennessee, pursuing degrees in political science and communications. While a top collegiate debater and public speaker, she and also began her lifelong love of theater. She went into professional theater, racking up credits as an actor, scenic designer, and director along the eastern seaboard. But theater rarely pays the bills so she returned to her first love, writing. A prolific writer Celina has also been an editor, the managing editor at two publishing houses, and the founder/editor of the speculative fiction magazine Penumbra. She is also a sportswriter and a columnist at the Orange & White Report and Gameday on Rocky Top is a regular caller on the Paul Finebaum sports television show. In this book she co-authors with sports expert Tom Mattingly.

Big money versus volunteers – a powerful journey back to greatness is reported in this timely book about not only athletics but also about returning the power of the people over the corruption of the money incentivized government of the country.

EMPOWERED addresses the following - When the Tennessee Volunteers (Vols) athletic director made an unpopular decision to hire a new head football coach associated with a controversial figure, the fans were having none of it. Fed up with the university’s unwillingness to consider fan input for more than two decades, the fan base spontaneously rose up in protest. Not only did they take to the Internet with a tidal wave of tweets, but also to the streets, marching around Neyland Stadium to share their frustration with the Vols organization. This landmark event and the actions of these empowered fans began to reverse the trend of university donors and high-ranking officials controlling the direction of college athletics. With the power back in the hands of the people, the Vols revolution offers a blueprint for organizations everywhere to follow.

EMPOWERED examines the beginnings and the impact of the Volunteers fan revolt, the disconnect between state universities and sports fans, and how key influencers play roles in college athletics. EMPOWERED is the incredible true story of how the Tennessee Volunteers fan revolution inspired and influenced positive change in collegiate sports and explains: How the fan revolt changed the course of decision-making in college sports, Why some members of the media supported the university’s controversial choice, and How the fan revolution compelled the university to employ greater oversight and accountability for the athletic programs.

This book is a must read on many levels. It is most timely! Grady Harp, January 19.

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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