Queenan also doesn't like sports movies I consider this a strong indicator of a serious character defect. For example, he thought the Black Sox scandal took place in the nineteenth century and involved a franchise called the Black Sox. Joe Queenan is the epitome of this type of grumpy asshole. Likewise, you'd hardly know that his city now boasts Donovan McNabb of the Eagles and Allen Iverson of the Sixers. 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? Even if home was 3,500 miles away. But why do people root so passionately for tragically inept teams like the Boston Red Sox, the Chicago Cubs, and the Philadelphia Phillies? 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.
But why do people root so passionately for tragically inept teams like the Boston Red Sox, the Chicago Cubs, and the Philadelphia Phillies? 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. It was an appropriate place for a twenty-five-year-old baseball fan to spend the summer, because supporting the Phillies was exactly like worshiping the Albigensian god: no good would ever come of it, and before the ordeal had run its course, immense pain would be inflicted. An attempt to maintain contact with one's vanished childhood? I've attended a handful of games in Philly and, not once but twice, been forced by the management to accept a police escort to get me safely to my car -- simply for having the temerity to root for the visiting team. For the book, Queenan visit the hometowns of various sports teams and writes about the sports, the fans, and the sportscasters who have turned sports in a rabid, emotionally overwrought pursuit. Since many Yankee fans were occupants of the very lowest rungs of the New York social ladder, this derision was triply infuriating to the Mets faithful.
Going one entire century without winning their first pennant in their own stadium in front of their own fans. As Queenan puts it, ''Maybe people like me could only thrive in a euphoria-deficient atmosphere, the same way people who were euphoria-tolerant seemed perfectly happy rooting for the Yankees, even though they had to spend their entire lives experiencing the same emotion over and over and over again. The Eagles last won a championship in 1960, the Flyers in 1975, the Phillies in 1980, the 76ers in 1983. The home-field incompetence of the latter not being somehow sufficient, my parents strategically secured friendships with families in every other Big 10 city. If I was truly serious about remaining in France until the Great American Novel had been written, it was unlikely I would be home in time for the National League playoffs. His particular ire is held for various species of front-runners. Joe Queenan completely understands what sports fandom means, and this book is a must-read for anyone who has ever been told that sports are too important and for the people who told them.
Joe Queenan, a long suffering Philadelphia sports fan, tries to explain why so many people spend so much time loyally rooting for perennial losers, like the Philadelphia Phillies and Eagles, the Chicago Cubs, and others. That was a long, long time ago. Going, respectively, thirty-five, thirty-two, and thirty years at a time without even appearing in the World Series. Here was a chance for the Phillies to reaffirm one of those classic old sports clichés, that baseball is not just a game of inches but a game of redemption. There is no mystery as to why Veterans Stadium was the only arena in the National Football League probably in the world to have a functioning municipal court in its basement. 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. Adding to the abundant mythological flavor of the season was the fact that 1976 was the one hundredth anniversary of the National League, which had played its first game in Philadelphia on April 22, 1876.
For Yankee, Cowboy, and Laker fans the answer is fairly clear: the return on investment is relatively high. In the original Rocky, a plucky but maladroit underdog from the streets of Philadelphia gives the heavyweight champion of the world the fight of his life. Or is it simply proof that men would rather watch any sporting event than interact with their wives and children? Bestselling author Queenan explores the world of sports fans in an attempt to understand the inexplicable: What does anyone get out of it? Library Journal, April 1, 2001, A. The book I was working on dealt with a young college biology student who, through a series of dangerous skin grafts and appendage transplants involving a frog, succeeded in turning himself into the highest-leaping, greatest basketball player of all time. Booklist, January 1, 1994, Gilbert Taylor, review of If You're Talking to Me, Your Career Must Be in Trouble, p. But why do people root so passionately for tragically inept teams like the Boston Red Sox, the Chicago Cubs, and the Philadelphia Phillies? Instead, the book meanders, creating the impression that Queenan is unsure whether he is writing pop psychology, humor, or a quasi-autobiography. .
In the game I attended with my wife and friends, the Phillies carried a 2-0 lead into the sixth and were then dispatched 6-2. I'm crazy about baseball so I started listening expecting the best. Every sports fan in America will enjoy Joe Queenan's wild and wacky take on the world of sports. Prefacing my remarks with the caveat that I was not a native New Yorker, I told him that, based on twenty-five years of self-imposed, career-advancing exile in Manhattan and its northern suburbs, I felt it was safe to say that Mets fans hated Yankee fans with a pathological ferocity not unlike what the Palestinians feel for the Israelis, whereas Yankees fans merely viewed Mets fans as a nuisance. 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. I had scraped together the money to move to France.
He went on to explain that his antipathy toward the Cubs was typical of the South Chicago milieu in which he traveled. It's not all bad, but it is mostly bad. And if it weren't for Joe Queenan, I'd be clueless on exactly what makes fans tick. A lifelong Phillies fan, Queenan addresses these other questions, shedding light on the culture and psychology of his fellow fans. Not only is his knowledge of movies encyclopedic, his visual sense highly refined, his nose for cant and sham unerring. As well, while I'm a huge sports fan, I had somewhat the same reaction to this book as I did to Nick Hornby's Fever Pitch--that I'm not quite so devoted a fan as to encounter the same emotions the author does.
Queenan takes great offense at bad fans, but he seems intent on furthering the image of the Philadelphia fans as bad sports. Why do fans live and die with their teams? He speaks in a monotone and lacks the passion and frustration that are the trademarks of Philadelphia fans. Every sports fan in America will enjoy Joe Queenan's wild and wacky take on the world of sports. The right way to choose a team is through birthright, whether by primogeniture or natal city. Blowing a 5-2 ninth-inning lead to the Dodgers and losing game 3 of the 1977 National League playoffs because the manager forgot to put a defensive substitute into left field. This was hardly a healthy frame of mind to be in. When you read True Believers you can't help but think back to those moments when a ball game, a player, or a telecast had a lifelong impact.