American Fan by Dennis Perrin
Sports Mania and the Culture That Feeds It

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There exists in America a peculiar, fascinating subculture. Its exotic rituals include withstanding subzero temperatures with an upper body clad only in brightly colored paint, shouting arcane statistics at talk-show broadcasters, adopting the graphic images of lucrative businesses in bursts of patriotic fervor, and finding a curious but tangible form of self-esteem in the spectacle of overgrown armored men banging each other into unconsciousness. Hello, sports fans, this is a book about you. In fact, about us!

For true fans, sports are close to religion, a substitute for politics, an outlet for the most violent tendencies, and an excuse to vent primal instincts--in other words, to act like the maniacs we are. But for the professional leagues and the megacorporations that exploit them, sports is a lot more important than any number of brew-soaked stadium seats. It's a serious business with rules you don't break and customers you don't serve, and it makes a small group of talented and/or connected people very, very, very rich, often at the expense of "home team" taxpayers who never hear the crack of a bat or the swish of a net.

In this scathing, passionate, hilarious book, Dennis Perrin, the acclaimed author of Mr. Mike, examines the species Sportus fannus from the point of view of a life-long member. But his love of America's great games does not blind him to their routine, often cynical misuse by a sports marketing establishment that goes to absurd lengths to glorify, even deify, professional athletes, just to sell a few more pairs of sneakers to awestruck fans at home.


About Dennis Perrin

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Dennis Perrin is the author of "Mr. Mike: The Life and Work of Michael O'Donoghue, The Man Who Made Comedy Dangerous" and "American Fan: Sports Mania and the Culture That Feeds It". His work has appeared in the "Chicago Tribune, The Realist, Huffington Post, Mother Jones", at MSNBC, and in numerous independent weeklies and newspapers. He was a jokewriter for Bill Maher, and has blogged under the name Red State Son.
Published January 1, 2000 by Spike. 230 pages
Genres: Sports & Outdoors, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction