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True Believers

The Tragic Inner Life of Sports Fans

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


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 teams 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 (which meticulously delineates the differences between Retroactive, Municipal, and Vicarious Frontrunners), and Fans Who Misbehave (those who spill beer on women, moon other fans, or throw half-eaten sandwiches at innocent bystanders simply because they look like the current coach of the New York Jets). 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.

From Publishers Weekly

Apr 28, 2003 – Queenan's latest should be required reading not just for the folks of the sardonic subtitle but also for their wives, girlfriends and sports-phobic pals. The humorist spotlights something that's as peculiar as it is pedestrian: the schlub who roots for sorry teams. Why do some of us back losers, Queenan (Balsamic Dreams) asks, and why defend this foolishness so passionately? The recovering Philadelphia fan (of all the city's teams) would know. He groups admirers into categories "Fans Who Love Too Much," "Fans Who Misbehave," etc. and grounds his quips in droll situations such as his visit to a therapist who has the nerve to say the fate of the rain forest is graver than the fate of the 76ers. Queenan doesn't limit his premise to one club or sport, either; he covers everything from the Boston Red Sox to the "cataleptic" Wizards in Washington. Everywhere, stubborn followers like him hope for a turnaround in the standings. His enthusiasts remember times, usually before they were born, when "we" pulled out some miracle win. Queenan tallies the time he has spent watching sports and figures those years were not truly wasted: "It is my belief," he says, "that without sports, the average man would have no emotional life whatsoever." In this hilarious and strangely erudite book, Queenan doesn't overwrite his subject for a diehard fan knows what to do when the buzzer sounds: go home.
True Believers
View in iTunes
  • $7.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Sports & Outdoors
  • Published: Apr 01, 2004
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
  • Seller: Macmillan / Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC
  • Print Length: 256 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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