True Believers by Joe Queenan
The Tragic Inner Life of Sports Fans

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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.


About Joe Queenan

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JOE QUEENAN has been a columnist for The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, GQ, and Spy. He has written for Time, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Playboy, Golf Digest, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and The New Republic, and contributes to The New York Times, and The Guardian. He has appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman, Good Morning America, Today, and The Daily Show. His books include The New York Times bestseller and Notable Book Closing Time: A Memoir.
Published April 1, 2004 by Henry Holt and Co.. 256 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction

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He goes on to discuss stadium etiquette—when mooned by a drunk fat lady “sporting a tattoo and wearing a microscopic thong,” he announces, “This is not what Abner Doubleday had envisioned”—to provide an analysis of sports movies, and to review incompetent team announcers.

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Publishers Weekly

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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.

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Book Reporter

They include: "Fans Who Love Too Much", "Fans Who Just Enjoy It", "Fans Who Are Short" (a chapter for the kids) and my personal favorite, the one that I have read verbatim to several formerly close friends, "Fans Who Misbehave."

Jan 23 2011 | Read Full Review of True Believers: The Tragic In...

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