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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Joe Queenan spent his first seven books skewering Hollywood's beautiful people, but he takes on a target much nearer to his heart in the frequently hilarious True Believers: The Tragic Inner Life of Sports Fans.
Queenan, a diehard fan of Philadelphia's usually unsuccessful professional sports teams, wonders what's wrong with people such as himself, who remain consumed by the objects of their derision. He has allowed the struggles of his favorite teams -- Philadelphia's four major professional franchises have won just seven championships in Queenan's lifetime -- to put him in "one continuous foul mood."
That overall grouchiness is exacerbated by the difficulties experienced by the modern sports fan, who has to tolerate lousy announcers, the unrealistic expectations created by underdog-loving sports movies, and the one-way love affair between fans and athletes. Yet Queenan's unyielding thirst for all sporting events -- not just those involving Philadelphia teams -- eventually leads him into a therapist's chair.
True Believers is loaded with laugh-out-loud moments, including Queenan's assertion that "front-runners" are the modern version of religious turncoats and his observation that the most annoying fans at sporting events are also the most physically intimidating.
As funny as True Believers is, though, it's also strangely poignant. For all the inherent heartbreak associated with rooting for a favorite team, diehards are infused with the belief the future will be better than the past and the knowledge that "the happiest moment in a man's life always involves sports." Hopefully, True Believers can tide you over until that moment arrives. Jerry Beach