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Wicked Good Year: How the Red Sox, Patriots, and Celtics turned the Hub of the Universe into the Capital of Sports by [Buckley, Steve]
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Wicked Good Year: How the Red Sox, Patriots, and Celtics turned the Hub of the Universe into the Capital of Sports Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Wicked Good Year is more than wicked ... more than exceptional. It’s the perfect sports book on the perfect subject matter by the perfect writer for the job. Steve Buckley masterfully weaves the engrossing sagas of the Patriots, Red Sox and Celtics into a gripping page-turner. A true triumph.”

From the Back Cover

From the fall of 2007 through the spring of 2008, Boston sports fans enjoyed a run of good fortune that was unprecedented in sports history. The Red Sox won their second World Series championship in four years. The Celtics, with their newly assembled big three of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen, won their first NBA championship since 1986. And the Patriots, already hailed as the first sports dynasty of the twenty-first century, roared through an undefeated regular season before being derailed by the New York Giants in a shocking upset in Super Bowl XLII.

In Wicked Good Year, acclaimed Boston Herald sports columnist Steve Buckley tells the remarkable story of the dizzying, glorious seven months and twenty days when these three teams established Boston as the capital of the sports world. More than just a recitation of dates and games and stats, this book looks at that remarkable season through the eyes of the players, coaches, and team personnel, and explores how their lives created a fascinating backdrop to the action taking place on the field and the court.

It was a season when old-time motivational techniques were reintroduced with Celtics coach Doc Rivers taking his big three on a tour of the parade route that had been traveled by the Red Sox and Patriots—just to show them what it's like to win a championship in Boston. It was a season when veteran Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi, no longer happy just to be playing again after recovering from a stroke, wanted to take his game to a higher level. And it was a season when a rookie second baseman named Dustin Pedroia, seen as brash and confident from afar, actually suffered through sleepless nights as he tried to find his way in his first full season with the Red Sox.

Wicked Good Year also introduces an eclectic cast of devoted fans, ranging from sidewalk Red Sox autograph collector Andrew J. Urban II to internationally known singer/actor—and Celtics fanatic—Donnie Wahlberg. Buckley's tribute is a must-read not only for the Boston faithful but also for the legions of sports fans wondering exactly how these teams worked together to shed the city's "Loserville" image that had been in place at the dawn of the new century. It is a story not just about teams that ruled but about a city that rocked.


Product Details

  • File Size: 855 KB
  • Print Length: 362 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0061787396
  • Publisher: HarperCollins e-books; Reprint edition (October 14, 2009)
  • Publication Date: November 3, 2009
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002SVQCSI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,627,970 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I picked this up at the recommendation of a friend. I was a little hesitant since I'm a complete sports-dummy. Despite the awkwardly long sub-title Wicked Good Year is far more than a sports book! Buckley takes the 2007 season and follows it through three very uniqe fans: an obsessive autograph collector who survived a deadly car crash as a child, a trio of little old ladies from Nantucket and a boy-band celebrity obsessed with basketball (you couldnt make this up!). Anybody can spit back dry stats, but through these characters Buckley provides the sort of context that makes sports personal and interesting for the layperson.

In the end Buckely explores the cultural identity of a city through the lens of sporting history and personal narratives. He leads the reader through time to some of the greatest, the worst, and the most fascinating moments of Boston sports. He does so with a voice that is technical enough for seasoned fans, but easy enough for the sports dummy (like me)to follow.

A great read for sports fans in general. An absolute must-read for Bostonians - especially the non sports-fans - I finally understand just why the city went crazy in 2007.
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Format: Hardcover
A basic test of pretty much any non-fiction book: you know from the start how it's going to end but still can't stop reading to see how it gets there. That's the frankly addictive quality of WICKED GOOD YEAR -- we already know the Red Sox, Celtics and Patriots had amazing, overlapping seasons, we already know their high-profile stars. What we don't know are the unexpectedly touching stories of some of the fans, vendors, front-office secretaries, everyone who composes the tapestry of Boston pro sports.

Buckley does a skillful job of weaving the stories of an eclectic cast of characters -- and trust me, they're all characters. He's affectionate without being gushing, insightful without the usual tedious overload of arcane stats. The games are the threads that hold it all together but it's the behind-the-scenes stuff in the lockerrooms, on the road with the traveling circus of pro sports teams, and in the homes of the fans themselves that, for me, sets it apart enough to sit down and write an Amazon review recommending it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I liked the book, and it covered a period of time when I was in Iraq and getting a release from the day-to-day grind of war by finding out that all of my favorite sports teams from my beloved Boston were doing so well really helped my morale.

Buckley does a pretty good job capturing the runs of the Red Sox, Celtics and Patriots. The Bruins are briefly mentioned as well, although they didn't enjoy the same level of success, and don't have a dedicated focus.

I wasn't crazy about the segue into the different fans of the Sox, Patriots and Celtics in the context of the events of the time but to each his own. Wasn't a fan of Donnie Wahlberg at all when he was with the New Kids on the Block back in the 80's but he's a good actor who's grown on me over time. Still, the Nantucket ladies and Andrew Urban the autograph collector didn't do much for me. But, I credit Buckley for trying a slightly different approach beyond the simple re-hash of the sports teams and events.

I've not always agreed with Buckley's comments, but this isn't a bad book for someone like me who couldn't be there to experience the events in person and in Boston where they occurred. Enjoyable light read.
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Format: Paperback
From the middle of 2007 to the middle of 2008, the fans of Boston sports had an unbelievable run. The Red Sox won their second World Series in four years. The Patriots became the first team in NFL history to finish the regular season 16-0, and came within a hair (or helmet) of winning their fourth Super Bowl of the decade. The Celtics joined in the party by winning their first NBA championship since 1986-7. That clearly was a "wicked good year." This book looks to tell you how that all happened, and what exactly it all meant.

This was a nice book to read. If that seems like a less than enthusiastic endorsement, you're right. It's been a couple days since I finished reading it, and nothing is standing out to me. That certainly doesn't make it a bad book. It just means it wasn't riveting. I did find that the book spent a lot of time talking about things that didn't happen during the "wicked good year." That bothered me more than it should have, and I don't know why. When books focus on a single game, they often talk more about events outside the game than they do the game itself. Maybe it doesn't bother be as much because I know a book written solely about one game would be rather dull. But, with an entire year to work with, I assumed that the book could focus simply on the year. It didn't. The stories about the year, though, were great. It was especially nice for me since I didn't know as much about the Celtics and Patriots as I did the Sox. So, most of those stories and events were fresher for me. The combination made the book better than a book on any one of the teams alone would be. This is certainly a book that any Boston sports fan should enjoy reading.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Entertaining retrospect on Boston's championship year (except for that one hiccup against the Giants-later redeemed this February). Wonderful read.
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