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True Believers: The Tragic Inner Life of Sports Fans

Queenan, Joe

165 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1559278951 / ISBN 13: 9781559278959
Used Condition: Good
From Addis Books (Cheyenne, WY, U.S.A.)

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Former library audio book. Will have library markings and stickers and possibly no inserts. Plays perfectly. Bookseller Inventory # 012-5B6F-XX8D

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Title: True Believers: The Tragic Inner Life of ...

Binding: No binding

Book Condition:Good

Book Type: audio book

About this title


Bestselling author Queenan explores the world of sports fans in an attempt to understand the inexplicable: What does anyone get out of it?

For Yankee, Cowboy, and Laker fans the answer is fairly clear: the return on investment is relatively high. But why do people root so passionately for tragically inept squads like the Boston Red Sox, the Chicago Cubs, and the Philadelphia Phillies? Why do people organize their emotional lives around lackluster franchises such as the Cleveland Cavaliers, the San Diego Padres, and the Phoenix Suns, none of whom have ever won a single championship in their entire history? Is it pure tribalism? An attempt to maintain contact with one’s vanished childhood?

In True Believers, humorist and lifelong Philly fan Joe Queenan answers these and many other questions, shedding light on--and reveling in--the culture and psychology of his countless fellow fans. Making pilgrimages to such cradles of competition as Notre Dame Stadium, Fenway, and Wrigley Field, Queenan delves into every aspect of fandom in such illuminating chapters as Fans Who Love Too Much (men, like the author, who actually resort to psychotherapy to deal with their unhealthy addiction), Fans Who Run in Front (the dreaded front runners), and Fans Who Misbehave (of the beer-spilling, mooning, and food-throwing varieties).

True Believers is a hilarious but also heartfelt look into the world of those fans who realize that it is, in fact, more than just a game.


"To me, the Phillies and Eagles are exactly like nicotine:," writes Joe Queenan in his painful and deeply funny book True Believers: The Tragic Inner Life of Sports Fans, "a preposterously noxious semi-hallucinogenic substance capable of giving great pleasure for brief periods of time, but that will ultimately destroy your health." Targets of Queenan's blowtorch mockery in previous books have included Hollywood, chain restaurants, and baby boomers. But here, he shines the spotlight on himself in an extended examination on what it means to join in the unique self-flagellation that is sports fandom. That flagellation is made more painful when, as in Queenan's case, the fan has sacrificed their time, emotional well-being, and regard among family members to following teams that often suck real bad. But True Believers is less a work of psychological research than a ruminative and passionate explanation of the rules of conduct by which the author believes fans should live. These same rules, of course, are discussed all the time by fans on bleacher seats, bar stools, and living room couches around the world as they desperately hope that this will finally be the year the Cubs or Cardinals or Clippers finally get it together. But rarely have the rules been codified in one bound volume. Queenan shines when attacking the dreaded "bandwagon" fan and when describing his decision not to stop the young son of a family friend from ruining his life by rooting for the Mets. And he's poignant and refreshingly void of cynicism in relating the last days of his father and how they overlapped with a pivotal Eagles-Falcons game. This is a lively and entertaining read that should appeal to any sports fan except those incomprehensible jerks that root for the Lakers and Yankees. --John Moe

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