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Bury Me in My Jersey: A Memoir of My Father, Football, and Philly

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  104 ratings  ·  29 reviews
Born and raised in Eagles country, Tom McAllister learns from his father and brother the rules of being a football fan. Spending Sundays in the infamous 700 level of Veterans Stadium, or sitting in front of the TV with his father in a nearby recliner, Tom sees both the ugly and beautiful sides of Philadelphia football. Like all true Philadelphians, he connects with the pla ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published May 18th 2010 by Villard (first published January 1st 2010)
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3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  104 ratings  ·  29 reviews

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Oct 31, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
This is pretty much the best book I've ever written.
Nov 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dey-house
I finished this book a week ago and I'm still talking to people about it. I admit, I didn't know what to expect at first - honestly, I thought I wouldn't know enough about football to enjoy it. (Full disclosure: I come from a line of sports fanatics - female fanatics. Mom's week revolves around game day while Dad is in a corner somewhere reading Watership Down. Truthfully, I never felt I was obsessed enough to inherit the fandom.) Also, I haven't set foot in Philly in years, except for a layover ...more
Patrick Brown
Apr 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Patrick by: I interviewed Tom.
Disclosure: I know Tom, a bit, from when we were both living in beautiful Iowa City awhile back. In fact, when this book came out, I interviewed him for The Millions. You should go read that interview. I think it's a pretty good one, but of course, I'm biased.

I really enjoyed this book. I know that the word "football" will scare off many of you, but don't let it. This isn't a book that will spend pages describing what the Sam linebacker does. McAllister does a great job giving enough info about
Holly Cline
Oct 26, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads, sports
I won this book on first reads and was quite excited to win this particular giveaway. It’s no secret that I am a huge Philly sports fan. I don’t think any of my friends, colleagues or casual acquaintances aren’t aware of this fact. I could spend 10 pages writing a detailed review of this memoir, but I’ll spare everyone the huge word count for a slightly large one.

Where Tom excels with his book is his ability to describe how the eagles make him feel: equal parts pride, love and torture. There are
1st Confession: I am a faithful listener to the podcast Book Fight!, hosted by Tom McAllister and Mike Ingram. Because the podcast takes the form of an hour-long conversation between friends, one begins to assume that he is included in this conversation beyond his role as a passive listener. He focuses on the host’s congeniality instead of their inherent distance from his computer in Iowa. He begins to feel as though he would be welcomed to pal around had he a microphone with a 976-mile cord. Wh ...more
Jun 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Maybe certain things predispose me to liking this book. I've lived in Philly my entire life, I love the Eagles and have had awkward interactions with Eagles players, I drink a lot. But I find myself continually drawn to this book because of the things that aren't similar. I think it's unfortunate for potential readers that this gets labelled a football book. Bury Me in My Jersey is about sports in the same way that Slaughterhouse-Five is about time travel.

McAllister's relationships to his fathe
Jun 23, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: own
This book was an odd mix. The parts about his Dad and what he learned from him were great. The other parts read like an apology for being the kind of sports fan that being an ass is okay if you are being an ass to fans of other teams.
David Buhl
May 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Philly native, Tom McAllister, tells the tale of how football can connect us through the generations. His sudden tonal shifts from talking of football to speaking of the loss of his father provide for us what only a book about football can. He walks through the highs and lows of his fandom, and his life. He does not shy away from exposing some of the most regrettable moments in his life in a way that makes us reflect on our own failures. From the first moments with his dad to the last this b ...more
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
Any sports fanatic (especially those from Philly) should read this book. McAllister's accounts of his obsession are frequently hilarious and completely relatable (albeit sometimes cringe worthy). Come for the sports but stay for the family. The author's rendering of his loved ones (especially his father and wife) offers a completely different facet to the narrative that transforms entertaining anecdotes into a moving testimony to the power of wonderful people and relationships.
Dec 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-2019, memoir
Always a fan of memoirs, I was not let down by this book at all. There are many levels of nuance to the story told, just as there are many levels to nuance in finding oneself and overcoming grief.

If you are a fan of football, especially Philly football, definitely consider giving McAllister's memoir a chance.
Karl Schaeffer
Apr 13, 2015 rated it liked it
I'm an Eagles fan. Like the author, I didn't choose to be an Eagles fan. I was born into it. Philly born & bred. Even though they didn't grow up in Philly, my kids are Eagles fans. I don't understand picking a team to root for and then discarding them. I was amazed the first time I met a real Yankees fan. I was in college, not very worldly, and I worked with this guy who lived north of Trenton. He grew up a Yankees fan. Root for the Yankees? Root for an American League team? Blew my mind. La ...more
Mar 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Sarah by: Book Fight
I'm a fan of the author's Book Fight! podcast. He has discussed the story of this book. It was published by Random House, he got a decent price for it--essentially everything hopeful authors want. Then, it got no promotion, is now out of print, and apparently The Silver Linings Playbook is the Eagles fans' book of choice.

So what is this book that came so close to success? It's the story of author's attempt to fill emptiness in his life. He swings wildly between being a decent human being and be
Doug Borchert
Mar 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This memoir is pitch perfect. Tom captures his relationship with his dying father through their mutual relationship with the Philadelphia Eagles in a moving and effective way. Among the characters in the book are the City of Philadelphia and a world famous Philly cheese steak shop.

His description of a mob of Eagle fans waiting to buy tickets for a playoff game captures the mood of a city and the mindset of the true sports fan. He notes the small details, Wendell the teenager who camps out in a c
Terry Bolger
Oct 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I was a little skeptical of this one, because I'm not really a football fan. But it got good reviews and some authors I like blurbed it so I gave it a shot, and I'm so glad I did! First of all, the writing is really strong. You can tell this author has a lot of talent and that he's worked very hard on the language, which you unfortunately can't say about a lot of memoirs.

I also loved how honest and compelling the narration was. He doesn't make a lot of major confessions like you'd find in some
Nov 04, 2010 rated it liked it
As a diehard Eagles fan, I felt I had to buy this book. It is not long and is easy to read; I connected so much with so many of the Eagle stories/memories he has (that I myself have also) that I seriously felt like I grew up in the same house as him (or he was at least a cousin or something!). Tom describes his pain in vivid detail (that pain that all Eagle fans have had since probably 1960 now, the last Championship) and I found myself thinking, "yes, that is EXACTLY how I felt that day." Some ...more
Oct 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book from Goodreads First Reads. I hesitated about entering the giveaway for this book, because I am not a huge sports fan. However, something about the blurb intrigued me and I thought I might like this book. I'm so glad I did enter and win this book, because I liked it very much. It is a very touching memoir about an "extreme" Philadelphia Eagles fan who comes to grips with his Eagles obsession. In the process, he deals with the overwhelming loss of his beloved father from whom ...more
James Hill
Feb 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The most notable of this memoir’s many achievements is its thematic sprawl, covering manhood, romantic love, grief, writing life, the unique experience of living in Philadelphia, and being a sports fan without once feeling unwieldy. The author’s self-awareness, which often involves a lack of self-awareness in his younger days, is often moving, often funny, and wholly original for tackling the strange, rarely explored intersection between sports fandom and trying to live an examined life. Particu ...more
Erbower Bower
Jan 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Very good read; you do not have to be an Eagles or football fan to enjoy it (but it would probably help). The author's description of the interactions on the EMB (Eagles Message Board) is hilarious, the typical chauvinistic, false bravado, and ill-informed non-sense that can be found on most sports talk boards. But, mostly, it is a series of memories of watching football with his now-deceased father.
Jun 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
It's not so much about football as it is obsession, and using that obsession to get over a family tragedy. Football fans who've watched games with their dads will love it, but I think anyone who's gone a little overboard with their passion at one point in time in their life will empathize with this memoir.
Mike Ingram
Sep 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I thought about taking a star away for a completely superfluous and inaccurate description of a certain balding classmate, but ... well, I am a forgiving reader (and friend).

Seriously, though, you should probably read this. I care somewhat about sports, and not that much about the NFL, but I would have thoroughly enjoyed this even if I didn't know Tom.
Jan 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
Enjoyed it. I felt it ended kinda suddenly, but it's more of a "comes to terms with" story instead of having an epiphany or understanding to tie things off.

... It must be said that I picked it up because I'm a fan of the "Book Fight!" podcast. It's a relief to know that the author is, indeed, a good writer. But don't pick it up expecting the same sort of anecdotes as in the podcast.
Erin Miller
Oct 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I heard about this book from listening to a podcast that the author does called Bookfight. I really enjoy the bookfight podcast and had a great time learning more about the author's personal life. Thanks!
Jun 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
It was entertaining, but it defintely is meant dor men. But men who are Philadelphia Eagles fans.
Susan Ryan
Mar 28, 2011 rated it liked it
Loved the writing style. Met the author and found him to be very interesting and well-rounded young man.
Kimberly Ann
Sep 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
five stars, two thumbs up, and an E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES to boot.
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Tom McAllister is the author of the novels "How to Be Safe" and "The Young Widower's Handbook," as well as the memoir "Bury Me in My Jersey." He is the non-fiction editor of Barrelhouse magazine and the co-host of the weekly Book Fight! podcast. His shorter work has appeared in a number of places, including Best American Nonrequired Reading, The Collagist, Hobart, The Rumpus, and The Millions. He ...more