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The Great Philadelphia Fan Book Paperback – November 1, 2003
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About the Author
Glen Macnow is a former reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer. He brings his vast knowledge of sports to listeners on SportsRadio 610 WIP. Glen lives in Havertown, Pennsylvania.
Anthony Gargano is a former writer for the New York Post and The Philadelphia Inquirer, writing in-depth athlete profiles. He hosts a midday program on SportsRadio 610 WIP. Anthony lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Forward by Pat Croce.
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Top customer reviews
The book is written by two of the most knowledgable Sports journalists in the Philadelphia region - Glen Macnow and Anthony Gargano. For several years these authors were co-hosts of a lunchtime radio show on the local sports radio station. Macnow and Gargano come from completely opposite backgrounds, but they have an incredible chemistry together. Glen Macnow is from Buffalo, NY and is a transplant to the Philadelphia region. He lives in the suburbs and sometimes has the nickname "The Professor" for his studius approach to Sports. Anthony Gargano is a native Philadelphian. He was born in South Philadelphia, moved out of town to cover Sports in Chicago and New York, then came back to Center City. Gargano is nicknamed "The Cuz" and is Philadelphia through and through. He has a less studius approach to sports and is much more from the fan perspective. The styles and backgrounds of Macnow and Gargano meshed beautifully on the radio and in this book the mesh just as well.
So this book attempts to explain a lot of those traditions that exist in Philadelphia as well as chronicle the Philadelphia fans' highs and lows. What is nice about this book is it is broken down into chapters that each read like a feature article. Therefore you can pick up this book and read it at your leisure. Each chapter is devoted to a topic related to Philadelphia sports. You don't have to read the chapters in order. It also is the kind of book where you might find a topic you like and wouldn't mind reading the chapter over again. It also can even serve as a quasi-reference book for Philadelphia sports.
There should be a topic for everyone in this book. Here are some of the highlights of what is covered:
-Origin of the Philadelphia "Boobirds"
-The real story behind Santa Claus getting pelted with snowballs
-The Broad Street Bullies - The Philadelphia Flyers
-Kate Smith - the celebrated vocalist who sang "God Bless America" at Flyers Games
-The rivalry of Philadelphia and the Dallas Cowboys
-A chapter of lists of such as "Tough Guys", "Classy Guys", "Ugly Guys", Famous Brothers who played here, etc
-The Love/Hate Relationship of Buddy Ryan
-The Origins behind "Wing Bowl" - a Philadelphia tradition
-Players who Philadelphia fans loved to hate
-An interesting chapter on the Eric Lindros, Charles Barkley, and Randall Cunningham era
-Embarrassing Moments in Philadelphia Sports (includes a bit on Rich Kotite's laminated playsheet getting wet)
-The Great Announcers of Philadelphia
-Ed Rendell (Former Mayor of Philadelphia and Current Governor of Pennsylvania) - huge sports fan
-Several Chapters on Great Philadelphia Sports Moments
There is lots more in this book, but I would use up my limit for this review. Many of the stories of the folklore of Philadelphia sports are also embedded in these chapters and can easily be found in the index.
I would have liked to have seen whole chapters dedicated to things such as the USPRO Cycling Championships (a huge Philadelphia tradition that is omitted), something on the Philadelphia phantoms (minor league hockey), and the love to hate relationship with Howard Eskin (not even mentioned). I would have liked to see chapters on Wilt Chamberlain and Joe Frazier, but these were before the author's time. In general Boxing isn't really covered much in the book, and I would have liked to see something on the 'Rocky' films. Despite these missing items, it doesn't hurt the book.
This book is a winner. Whether you are a native Philadelphian, transplanted Philadelphian, adopted Philadelphian, or non Philadelphian - this book will offer something for everybody. I enjoy having it on my shelf and never get tired of reading it.
I loved the book's humor, it's intensity, and its unflinching look at what it means to be a sports fan in Philadelphia. What it means to be a sports fan period.
From Buddy Ryan to Rich Kotite; from the Broad Street Bullies to the overblown snowballing of Santa Claus incident (Which I read over and over again and laugh aloud each time), this book covers it all.
This book is a Must-Have for anyone who has ever screamed their hearts out for their team.
This book has it all.
I write this (knowing full-well that at some point you'll both read it) to give you both a sincere 'thank you' for, finally, portraying the Philadelphia sports fan with the reverent nod that they deserve.
After close to a hundred years of national misunderstanding, at long last, you both have brought a sense of perspective and appreciation for what it truly means to be a sports fan in the city of brotherly love. It's terrific to see that two people who "get it" are (at long last) getting a national platform to tell the world why our city's fans are the best!
I wish you both continued success!
PS- Glenn - I will not sign this as Mr. Gargano