Must Read Sports Books discussion

Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer

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message 1: by Jason (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:20PM) (new)

Jason Herrington | 2 comments Does anyone want to read this book and discuss? We could read this & discuss for the month of November.

message 2: by Brooke (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:27PM) (new)

Brooke I'll skip this month...b/c I can't find the book for free. I don't like UofA football enough to go buy it...(Penn State Fan, for my entire life)
So, maybe next month. I have a few sports bios that I want to read.

message 3: by Tony (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:32PM) (new)

Tony | 6 comments I'll make you trade, I can start this book in a week or so and we can chat, but I'd like to read The GM next. Peter King said it was good and I'd like to believe him.

message 4: by Jason (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:33PM) (new)

Jason Herrington | 2 comments Done Deal. I should finish up the book I am currently reading this week and we can start on Rammer Jammer. I have heard an interview with the author of GM. I remember vaguely the content, but I trust Peter King as well. Im in!

message 5: by Tony (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:48PM) (new)

Tony | 6 comments All right, so I am underway with Rammer Jammer. Good choice. Us northeasterns know nothing about college football so this should be a learning experience.


message 6: by Tony (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:05PM) (new)

Tony | 6 comments If you like 'Bama football and RVs, this will be the perfect book for you. If you live in the northeast and don't understand the rest of the country's obsession with college football, this could also be a great book for you. Otherwise, there are better sports books on the market, like anything by David Halberstam or Roger Kahn to name a couple.

The framing device for this book is fairly standard, Warren St. John follows the Alabama football team through a season of ups and downs, hanging out with some of the team's most obsessive fans, the RV convoyers who arrive at the stadium days before kickoff. At first, he bums rides to the games, but midway through the book, he catches the fever, buys a "cheap" RV and parties like a man on a mission.

The frame up was enough to get him on NPR but not enough to keep my interest. My unhappiness with this book can be summed up in three simples bullets:
1) I wish that he had chosen more interesting people. After hearing about the tenth person who gave up some significant portion of their life to get to the 'Bama game to party by Wednesday, well enough. More people doesn't make the party more interesting, just filled with more obsessive types.

2) He's not that good of a writer. Pearls of wisdom don't drop off the page. To carry off this kind of a book, you have to transport the reader to another life. St. John didn't do that. Perhaps because he started off the book as an outsider, I too am kept at arm's length. Maybe his fandom isn't as infectious as all that.

3) I'll also go on record saying the obvious racism bothers me. In this exclusive group, the color of your skin matters. Being from the northeast, that seems so last century.

Somewhere in the book, even St. John admits that there is no rational reason to root for on team over another. Our choices are largely determined by geography or genes. We want to belong, to be a part of larger community, a member of the team. I wanted to love this book, but hey I can't recommend it to others. Punt.

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