How Loyal Are You to Your Sports Team?
—Book Review of Sins of the Tribe

Down here in the south, football is taken seriously. Perhaps more than it rightly should be. You declare allegiance to a college team at birth and stick with them through thick and thin.

Is this a good thing or bad? It depends. Some people love the rivalries; some people hate them. Some people enjoy the mania every fall yet take it in stride. But other people live or die by their team’s win or loss record.

That’s why I wanted to read this new novel by a former college football player Mark Salter, Sins of the Tribe.

Image: How loyal are you to your sports team?

Although Salter’s story is about the fictional Bastille University Tribe football team, you could easily substitute the University of Alabama or Auburn University. In Sins of the Tribe, Wally Hestia is recruited to play for Bastille University because he is the sole holder for his fellow teammate and mentally disabled brother Henry, a natural kicking all-star.

All goes well until the team’s coaching staff takes a turn for the worse, opening up Wally’s eyes to the underside of rabid sports fandom and the multimillion dollar industry that it supports.

The novel calls into question how far we’ll go to keep our team on top. At what point does morality draw a line? Or for some people, never come into play?

While the story is centered around sports tribalism, we could easily substitute other tribalisms as well: politics, country, religion, etc.

The novel’s theme of tribalism sounds a dire warning: We need to check who we’re giving our loyalty to.

It’s enough to keep me away from Facebook on game day.


How are the sports fans where you live? Share in the comments.

Read More:

My thanks to NetGalley
for the review copy of this book.

6 thoughts on “How Loyal Are You to Your Sports Team?
—Book Review of Sins of the Tribe

  1. Carol

    I’ve never joined a tribe of football nor any other sports. I’ve lived with tribes surrounding me my whole life. People often wanting me to choose sides, but I usually just make a joke. An excellent topic for discussion.

  2. Nancy Ruegg

    I agree with Martha, this book sounds intriguing. Why is it so easy to lose sight of the fact that football (baseball, basketball, etc.) is just a game? I suppose it comes down to the almighty dollar. An awful lot of money is at stake as teams vie for first place.

  3. Jean Wise

    I beat we could substitute The Ohio State Buckeyes for this fictional team too. Alabama and Ohio run deep with football don’t they?

  4. Barb Hegreberg

    I used to LOVE watching pro football, especially the Cincinnati Bengals but I have lost interest in watching any type of professional sports on TV. I do still enjoy the atmosphere of the occasional visit to the ballpark, stadium, or arena.

  5. Ashley

    The Lord convicted me of football a while ago. It was bad. I still love it, but it’s not an idol for me any longer, and I enjoy it more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.