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Now I Can Die in Peace: How The Sports Guy Found Salvation Thanks to the World Champion (Twice!) Red Sox

3.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,722 Ratings  ·  234 Reviews
ESPN's beloved Sports Guy replays the years leading up to the Boston Red Sox historic championship season and says goodbye to a lifetime of suffering. At least for now.""The Red Sox won the World Series.""To Citizen No. 1 of Red Sox Nation, those seven words meant "No more 1918 chants. No more smug glances from Yankee fans. No more worrying about living an entire life -- t ...more
Paperback, 464 pages
Published March 24th 2009 by Ballantine Books (first published 2005)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Gyoh80525
Jul 29, 2009 Gyoh80525 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a series of columns written by the author (who is currently a columnist for espn.com) about what it was like to see the Red Sox win the World Series for the first time in 86 years. It is that actual columns written at the time with commentary written a few years later. The book is at times brutally funny (like when the author describes the "Tom Cruise face". Basically he's trying to look sad when Goose dies in Top Gun but it really looks like he is trying to take a dump) and at othe ...more
Matt
Feb 10, 2009 Matt rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It's hard for anyone to write a book about the things they love, I think, and it's especially hard when that love borders on the masochistic and obsessive - what else can you do but vent, gush, and pontificate about the significance of your emotions? About the only way to make such an effort work is to gear it to your fellow sufferers as testament and therapy, which explains why Kahlil Gibran is featured in every crappy wedding vow, why Charles Bukowski has such godlike status in AA, and why fel ...more
Tyler
Nov 02, 2011 Tyler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tyler Succi
11/2/11

Plot Summary:
What this book is about is a guy named Bill Simmons being a HUGE sports fan. Particularly a Red Sox/ New England fan. He really focuses on the Red Sox most. He has a lot of interesting facts about them and talks about the "curse" a lot too. Bill himself is really the main character. Other characters he mentions is the "sports gal", he wedding buds, and his dad. He doesn't really bring names into the story at all. The book itself is more like a story of a period in
...more
Chelsea
Mar 14, 2008 Chelsea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm 11 pages in, and I've been a fan since page 1. Footnotes! Red Sox! Diehard fans!

There will be no objectivity here. BEST BOOK EVER. Bill Simmons, why haven't we gotten married and had babies yet?


Now that I've finished it, my review is pretty much the same. (Footnotes!) And, really, Red Sox fans will love the book, anyone who hates the Yankees will like the book, and anyone who thinks Shawshank Redemption is the best movie of all time will adore the book.

Really, though - Simmons references eit
...more
Tara
Aug 26, 2009 Tara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
I don't like the Red Sox OR the Yankees, but I appreciate Simmons' humor and the fact that he's a true Sox fan and not a bandwagoner. I almost died reading pages 265-273, being an Angels fan myself (when you cut us, we bleed too, Bill! We bleed too!)* Incidentally, the season this book highlights marks the season I really, and I mean really, started to dislike the Red Sox. What I do like is Simmons' approach to being a fan. And I will give him this... he is more emotionally invested in his teams ...more
AJ Griffin
Jul 03, 2007 AJ Griffin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people that still hate jimy williams and roger clemens
When i was about 7, I used the money I was given for my dad's birthday gift to buy him a sweet baseball/hockey/football game for our computer; when my mother gently questioned the selflessness of this gift, I insisted that it was the kind of thing he would love and it definitely was not because i wanted it for myself.

Of course I was lying. I was 7.

Anyway, I did the same thing about 10 years later when I bought this for him. On the one hand, I used my own money, and it was something he would/di
...more
Kate Quinn
Nov 20, 2009 Kate Quinn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For a Red Sox fan, Bill Simmons is the ultimate: he is sharp, he is funny, he knows his team, and he makes absolutely no pretense at being fair. My own memories of the miraculous 2004 win over the Yankees and the Cardinals include the systematic destruction of my fingernails, a lot of agonized whimpering, and the consumption of enough straight rum to destroy my stomach lining. Bill Simmons recalls that hectic and marvelous time much more eloquently and humorously in this account of the Red Sox's ...more
Stefanie
Oct 10, 2008 Stefanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For real Red Sox fans only! Simmons is the funniest sports writer ever, this is the kind of book that made me laugh out loud on the T. It's taken me a while to get through, but I love it every time I pick it up.
Mary
Mar 26, 2016 Mary rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
You'd think a Red Sox fan would give this book at least three stars, maybe four. I mean, it goes through a lifetime of Red Sox fanhood and ends with the first WS in 86 years. What's not to love?!

As much as I'd like to think I can hang out with "the guys", it turns out I'm just a little too uptight or something. This book was like hanging out with the guys, no language or analogies barred. While I loved the baseball of it, I didn't need to see that much of the locker room, you know?

It's okay. A
...more
Ben Thompson
Mar 09, 2016 Ben Thompson rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sox
Unfortunately, I read this book a decade after its release. Had I read it shortly after the Sox won in 2004, perhaps the personal synopsis from Simmons would have been a more welcome sidebar with reality.

Instead, what you find is the continued self-promotion of Simmons stands out like a sore thumb. His bazillion different but the same footnotes that litter the pages come off as condescending and extremely self-absorbed throughout much of the book.

While I did enjoy reading some of the columns tha
...more
Aaron Sinner
Feb 05, 2016 Aaron Sinner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: baseball
2005 CASEY Award nominee (1st ed.)

Briefly: Couldn’t put it down

If someone was going to write about the fan experience and what it meant to be a fan, that book would have to be about being a Boston Red Sox fan over the last few decades—there’s simply no fandom with more ups and downs, more emotions and stomach butterflies at the heart of its very essence. This is that book. On its surface, it’s a short history of the Red Sox in the years leading up to their 2004 curse-destroying World Series vict
...more
Rachel Cohen
Jan 06, 2016 Rachel Cohen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
There are two favorite men in my life that I've never met and will most likely always adore: Bill Simmons and Jon Stewart. I've been reading "Bae Simmons" (as my boyfriend teases me about) and his articles from his pre-ESPN years when I would steal print outs as a child in the early 2000s. I grew up seeing the Brady streak (Brett Bales still owes me $50 from the Rams-Pats Super Bowl in elementary school) and remember wearing red socks for several years around 2004, while supplanted in Florida fr ...more
Jeff
Apr 20, 2014 Jeff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've had this book for a few years, and just finally got around to reading it. I recall having started it once before, but put it down for some reason. Certainly not because it wasn't interesting, that's for sure. Bill Simmons has a style that I enjoy immensely. And his recounting, column by column (by the way, he is a sports columnist for ESPN), of the seasons leading up to the first Red Sox World Series win in 86 years is captivating. To steal the old Wide World of Sports catch phrase, "The th ...more
Helen
Jul 28, 2013 Helen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
MEh...

I picked this book up because I got a little teary eyed during the homerun derby this year, with Nomar and Curt providing commentary. I wanted to relive some of what we went through in 2004, and I got that, but I also got old blog posts from 2000-2003 as well, plus distracting footnotes that weren't funny and tired old pop culture references that, again, weren't funny.

It wasn't all bad though. When Simmons is talking about how his heart was broken as a kid in '86, I remembered my son in 2
...more
Derek
Apr 16, 2013 Derek rated it really liked it
Bill Simmons, the originally self-proclaimed and now widely acknowledged "Sports Guy" is a ridiculous man. He's an unabashedly unashamed Boston homer who writes more about his teams (Celtics, Patriots, and Red Sox particulary) than every other team combined. He uses references to 70s pop culture, porn, and pro wrestling within sentences of one another, and he has a seemingly eidetic memory for the most inane of sports trivia. He writes as if he relives each and every moment of agonizing heartbre ...more
Kerry
Sep 02, 2012 Kerry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sports
Bill Simmons humor tends to be very self-absorbed. A sports commentator described Simmons as a writer who throws everything against the wall to see what sticks(he's very chatty about a lot) That's about right. In this case, too much Sports Guy, not enough Red Sox.

For example. September 1999. Pedro Martinez throws a historic one-hitter at Yankee Stadium striking out 17 Yankees. Pedro dominates. Bill missed the game so instead spends 9 pages (pp. 43-51) writing about what he did that weekend. He t
...more
Mike
May 24, 2011 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a collection of sports writer (and life-long Red Sox fan) Bill Simmons’s columns about the Red Sox over a ten year period. He follows his team from the dark, dark days of the late nineties, through the false promise of the early 2000s, and into the promised land of the 2004 and 2007 World Series wins. Obviously, this book is perfect for any Red Sox fan, but it is also great for any baseball or sports fan. Simmons is an extraordinarily insightful, clever, and hilarious writer. Severa ...more
Mike
Jul 06, 2010 Mike rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
This is a must-read book for the fan of the 1995–04 Red Sox. This was a special era in their history, when they went from a lovable cast of not-very-good players to a lovable cast of really, really good players (who were probably mostly juiced).

The rise of Bill Simmons, the Boston Sports Guy and subsequently simply The Sports Guy, has been chronicled before, but I will recount it briefly here. He began as a sort of underground blogger on the Boston sports scene, dedicated to giving the viewpoint
...more
Archie
Mar 24, 2009 Archie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When this book was published in 2005, I had already been reading Bill Simmons' column "The Sports Guy" for half a decade. I looked forward to it every day in college. His combination of wit, sports knowledge with fresh takes and opinions, and adding elements of pop culture made me a huge fan. It influenced me to take a stab at writing my own column in college that combined wit, relationship knowledge with fresh takes and opinions, and of course, elements of pop culture.

So with that said, clearly
...more
Dennis Koniecki
Ten years ago I loved almost everything Bill Simmons wrote. Even if I didn't care much about the teams or agree with the opinions, I appreciated the humor and the pop culture references and the general wordiness.

These days, I still enjoy some of his columns. But in many ways he's become the type of writer he used to complain about. And the jokes seem more like an attempt to be the same guy he once was. They just don't land nearly as often. The fact that he's over-exposed--a podcast, a Twitter a
...more
Mighty_k24
Jun 06, 2012 Mighty_k24 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
De auteur:
Bill Simmons is een columnist voor de Amerikaanse sportzender en -website ESPN, waar hij ook bekend staat als The Sports Guy. Hij is een Bostonian in hart en nieren, en de teams uit New England en Boston liggen hem dan ook na aan het hart.

In't kort:
De Boston Red Sox, het favoriete baseball-team van Simmons, draagt al sinds 1918 de Curse of the Bambino met zich mee: ze verkochten toen sterspeler Babe Ruth aan aartsvijand New York Yankees, waar die uitgroeide tot de beste speler aller ti
...more
Rob
Jan 01, 2011 Rob rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, sport
I'm pleased for Bill Simmons that his team won the world series. In an ideal world he would feel fulfilled and it would lead him to try and do more with fewer words and fewer footnotes and fewer tedious cultural references and fewer references to his friends and their interminable trips to "Vegas" that I can only assume are funnier if you are actually there.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that while I really enjoyed his writing at one time, he has plenty of tells that have come to really grate
...more
Maura
Jan 24, 2012 Maura rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fic, baseball
It's a book compiled of columns Bill Simmons wrote between 1997 and 2005 chronicling the path of the Red Sox to their World Series victory. What you need to know is:

(1) to really love this book, you need to care about baseball at the very least, but better yet, love the Red Sox.
(2) but even if you don't, you'll probably still find his writing style amusing (i've been known to read his columns on the NBA even tho i'm not sure i know any current players beyond Shaq. They're still funny - plenty of
...more
Amy Palmer
Apr 22, 2010 Amy Palmer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Red Sox fans, baseball fans
Shelves: to-buy, baseball
This book is a reprinting of articles the author wrote, with the addition of footnotes that sometimes explain a reference or express his feelings about writing a particular segment. It was worth reading for two reasons: 1) It's about the Boston Red Sox winning their first World Series after an 86 year drought in 2004 and 2)It's incredibly humorous.

If you're a Red Sox fan, you know the story of 2004 and what led up to it. The book goes back over the details starting in October 1998. It was fun to
...more
Jamie
Mar 27, 2009 Jamie rated it it was amazing
My favorite sports book by my favorite sports wrier. This is the newest edition, so I just read the last 100 pages or so, which is all the updated stuff post-2004. This book is a collection of all of his columns about the Red Sox from since 1998 on, all the ups and downs, and then the final big BIG up of winning the World Series in 2004. I read parts of this book at least once a year.

And there's the column about the Patriots winning their first Super Bowl, thrown in there because that was a low
...more
Sarah
Dec 29, 2009 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, the title says it all - a collection of Simmons' columns written from 1998-2004 as the Red Sox rebuild and win the World Series.

I've never read Simmons' columns before so everything here was new to me. He's a pretty good writer, very entertaining. One complaint is that he uses the same pop culture references over and over again - okay, we get, you love The Shawshank Redemption. These essays actually made me re-evaluate my opinion of some Sox players - I've never been a Nomar fan but the ad
...more
Josh
Jul 11, 2011 Josh rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, sports
It's an interesting read. Since it's a collection of columns (edited and reformatted, with footnotes) it a little disjointed...but it really does tell a pretty compelling narrative of what it was like for a die-hard Red Sox fan. What's especially interesting to me is how Simmons starts the narrative earlier than just the championship season, but doesn't really try to track back through the decades of pain. It's about how this team was built and what it meant to them. It works.

Simmons is well kno
...more
Gavin
Feb 21, 2013 Gavin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: funny, sports, bio
OK I'm a little late to the party reading this, but I'm glad I made it. I love Grantland, and Bill Simmons' presence on ESPN NBA coverage is enough to make me pay attention to the sport, which I can't say I have in a LONG time. This is a great story, even though it involves columns about not 1, but 2 Boston championships at the expense of my St. Louis teams...that being said, I don't think anyone else could make me read and enjoy a book where my team gets swept in the Series. Luckily it's not re ...more
Bil
Apr 24, 2015 Bil rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's funny to re-read these columns 10+ years after I first put the Sports Guy in my internet favorites. The writing is pretty bad (compared to 2015 Simmons), but being able to relive this period of excruciating fandom was a total pleasure, even if does remind me of how sad I am that Curt Schilling ended up being such a douche.
Chad Simons
May 08, 2014 Chad Simons rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was great. Bill Simmons is a great write. His bias towards the Boston teams do not bother me like it does others. I couldn't help but cheer for him in finally getting a World Series championship for the cursed Red Sox. Yes, I believe in the curse and am doing all in my power to bring it back!
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Bill Simmons is a sports columnist, author, and TV personality. He rose to prominence as a columnist for ESPN's online 'Page 3' forum, before becoming editor in chief for Grantland, a sports and pop culture website and ESPN affiliate.

After a dispute with ESPN in 2015, Simmons began working with HBO; both developing a television show and continuing his podcast.
More about Bill Simmons...

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