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This Pats Year: A Trek Through a Season as a Football Fan Hardcover – August 20, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Following the New England Patriots and their fans for the entire 2002 season after their surprising victory in the Super Bowl the year before, Glennon hitches his cart to the Pats' bandwagon to find out what makes the team's fans tick. Glennon, who based this volume on a series of essays in the Boston Phoenix, is knowledgeable and understands the ins-and-outs of the NFL and its fans ("Jets fans embody the worst characteristics of New Yorkers"). Though a native New Englander, he is not exactly a Patriots fan, which means that he has little invested in the team. The book's strengths lie in Glennon's explorations of the thoughts and emotions of the general football fan. For instance, following through on the novel idea of watching a Pats' game in a gay bar, he gains an intriguing perspective on how homosexual football fans deal with the homophobic tendencies of many other fans and players. He also takes a look at the fans' and football's connections to superstitions, Thanksgiving and alcohol. Since Glennon admits to becoming a Raiders fan as a youngster because the Patriots were "aggressively awful," his passion for the team is fleeting and his understanding of Patriots fans appears skin-deep at times.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Football fans will definitely want to pick up 'This Pats Year.' The range of fans' emotions is greater during this roller coaster season and Glennon captures it with humor and honesty. (The Sunday Republican )

More than a rehash of the action on theh field, This Pats Year probes the funny, fanatical, fucked-up world of the Patriots faithful. (Easthampton Valley Advocate )

When Sean Glennon set out to document the New England Patriots 2002 season from a fan's perspective, he not only avoided contact with the team, but watched most of the games from half-filled barrooms, the couches of family and friends, and the nose-bleed sections of stadiums. In other words, the same way most of us partake in the religious tradition of watching football. (Brian Goslow, Worchester Magazine )

While there are many books on the market these days chronicaling the Patriots success of the past three seasons — capped by last season's second Super Bowl win in three years — Glennon's is the only one that deals with the part of the New England franchise that many don't know about: The fans that comprise the Patriots Nation. (Ken Powers, Telegram and Gazette )

Glennon writes with crisp humor. (Aram Goudsouzian, The Boston Sunday Globe )

Funny and enlightening sociological study, a plumbing of the psyche of the New England sports fan. (The Boston Phoenix )

Author Sean Glennon captures the experiences of New England Patriots fans...and he does a pretty good job of it. Lively and entertaining. (Keene Sentinel )

This isn't really a sports book. It is more than that. And a lot of it is funny. (Springfield Republican )

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Taylor Trade Publishing; 1 edition (August 20, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1589791193
  • ISBN-13: 978-1589791190
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,301,742 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sean Glennon lives in Florence, Massachusetts, a beautiful village within the City of Northampton, the only shortcoming of which is that it is entirely too far from Foxborough. Sean's written work, which has focused on sports and music, has appeared in such journals as The Boston Globe, the Boston Phoenix, and Salon. Sean is proud to serve as Director of Major Program Marketing at UMass Amherst.

Sean has been called the "unofficial secretary of state for Patriots Nation" by the Providence Journal. He is a member of the Professional Football Researchers Association and the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston.

Sean grew up in Milford, Massachusetts, which is considerably closer to Foxborough than is Florence. He holds a BA in English from Worcester State University.

Sean can be found on line at

Customer Reviews

2.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Don Fluckinger on October 4, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Full disclosure: I am one of the people Sean writes about in this book.

I'm not here to persuade you to purchase this book, you'll have to make that call yourself.

I do, however, want to say that this book celebrates Main Street Patriot Nation that most of us know well (sports bars, bus tours) but also goes into many areas of of our fan fiefdom that I never knew existed--or I supposed in theory had to exist, but I'd never been there before. Sean sees these fans with seasoned columnist's eye for unvarnished detail, yet also adds the color commentary of a lifer New England sports junkie who can't help but remind us of certain things (the hopelessness of the Pats' plight for most of his lifetime, the complete intolerable nature of Jets fans, the joy of seeing the home team win a Super Bowl after...twice...after a lifetime of watching the Hugh Millens and Tommy Hodsons of the world give away 10 games a year).

The book is an interesting ride, for that reason.

The book doesn't give locker-room insights, geeky statistics on the season, or gossip about the players. Or an oral history of the AFL days past. Readers looking for that stuff will have to look elsewhere. What it does give, however, is a slice of some pretty darn interesting Pats fans' lives--I mean, how many of us would have the brass to go to a sports bar in Manhattan to watch the Pats play the Jets? Yet, the Patriots Nation does claim a settlement in that hostile land--and Sean went there to get the story. Each week, he met a different, yet equally compelling group of fans. If you're a Pats fan, you can't help but to go along for the ride and have a great time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By George E. Lenker on October 1, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The review above by RC Sheehy seems to miss the point of the book. It's not about the Pat's history, it's about a trek through ONE year.

But never mind that, my review is this:

Baseball has lent itself to some great writing, while football usually hasn't. Oh, sure, there are interesting football books, but it's the story that moves things along in those books, not the writing.

Glennon changes that: He takes a great story and enlivens it with some pithy, humorous and compelling writing. His descriptions draw you in and make you feel you're rubbing elbows at the bar with him and his subjects, or give you the feeling you're in the brisk autumn air at Gillette Stadium.

The kicker is that you don't even need to be a football fan to enjoy it. While there is enough inside football stuff to satisfy the true fans, the book doesn't get bogged down in cumbersome descriptions of "nickel defenses" or other jargony crap that may alienate non-fans.

Not since Fred Exley's "A Fan's Notes" has football enjoyed the services of a real WRITER. While Exley's book was about a lot more that the Giants, the no-B.S., take no prisoners approach of Glennon reminds me of Fred's refreshing look at fandom. And while Ex's book was from the view of the fan himself (and a deranged one at that) Glennon's "passenger side" takes on fandom ring loud and true.

If this book sells well it would prove to the world that football fans aren't all face-painting knukleheads (which they aren't but...) and can appreciate literate, thoughtful narrative.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By W. Stearns on February 2, 2005
Format: Hardcover
If you are a Patriots fan - I assumed the target audience - you will not like this book. The author is a die-hard Raiders fan and is very negative towards the Patriots. There are repeated references to his opinion that they are not even trying to win football games. There is also a one page gripe about what a bad call the "tuck rule" was in the 2001 AFC Championship game. As bizarre and obscure as the rule is, it is still a rule and was called correctly. I can't believe either the author or the editor couldn't take the time to look it up in the NFL rule book before going to print. Two years later this book sounds even more bitter and ridiculous, but don't worry, the author is now a Pats fan!
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