Why do fans live and die with their teams? 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 onand reveling inthe culture and psychology of his countless fellow fans.
On its face True Believers is a Miss Manners-type guide to the best and worst of sports fandom, but in its heart it is a paean to the spirit of the author's hometown. Philadelphians may love their brothers, but what they really love is to hate their teams. Perhaps it's a case of using a thief to catch a thief, but Queenan aptly identifies, pathologizes and lampoons every form of loutish and insufferable behavior that plagues big-time athletics today. — Tobin Harshaw