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Now I Can Die in Peace: How ESPN's Sports Guy Found Salvation, with a Little Help from Nomar, Pedro, Shawshank and the 2004 Paperback – September 5, 2006
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*Starred Review* Thirtysomething Simmons, author of the witty "Sports Guy" column on espn.com, tells of his life as a Red Sox fan in this hilarious, irreverent account. Simmons recalls reading the Boston Globe sports pages before he was in grade school, taking in as much Red Sox lore as he could garner. When he came across a copy of Al Hirschberg's What's the Matter with the Red Sox? in first grade, he didn't want to believe that his beloved team was cursed. But as owners and players made one bonehead move after another, he could only sit back and wallow in the collective suffering. The reversal of the curse began, according to Simmons, with the acquisition of Pedro Martinez, the first sign that the front office was after young players approaching their prime rather than looking back at it. From that fateful day in 1997, Simmons, blending his reprinted columns with new material, tracks the essential moves that brought the Sox to the 2004 World Series and made possible their sweep of the Cardinals in four games. (The last 100 pages or so are a diary of the season's final weeks, the play-offs, and the series). The footnotes, cleverly arranged like sidebars, make for fascinating reading in and of themselves. Whether familiar with "Sports Guy" or not, readers will enjoy this refreshing, funny take on Boston's reversal of fortune. Mary Frances Wilkens
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Bill Simmons is the funniest sportswriter of his generation." -- Chuck Klosterman, author of Killing Yourself to Live
"Destination reading for anyone who worships at the twin altars of pop culture and sports." -- Entertainment Weekly
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Top customer reviews
The book contains articles written between 1998 and 2006 (in the new paperback), and it covers those Red Sox teams pretty extensively, with a HUGE focus on the 2003-2004 teams. Even so, Simmons occaionally provides the readers with tales from earlier Red Sox seasons (and other Boston sport teams too).
He's not an objective columnist by any standard: he lives and dies with the Red Sox, and it makes his book both personal and entertaining. Through his writing, we get to know his friends, wife and most significantly, his father. He weaves in college anecdotes, family arguments, weddings, drunkalogues, and a myriad of pop-culture references into most of his articles. They fit in and add to his topics.
It's a fun book. A must for any Red Sox fan, and along with "Mind Game", it's the best book about the 2004 Red Sox.
One final note: I'm a Yankee fan.
I am a religious reader of his ESPN.com page 2 column and even though I had read almost all of his old columns, it was great to reread them, especially with the added footnotes.
There is something about his sense of humor, much like Chuck Klosterman, that just makes me laugh. In the book he details his life as a sports fan growing up in Boston and then his eventual move out to L.A. Excellent read especially in the restroom.