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Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer: A Road Trip Into the Heart of Fan Mania

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Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer: A Road Trip Into the Heart of Fan Mania Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Please note that used books may not include additional media (study guides, CDs, DVDs, solutions manuals, etc.) as described in the publisher comments.

Publisher Comments:

What is it about sports that turns otherwise sane people into raving lunatics? Why does winning compel people to tear down goal posts, and losing, to drown themselves in bad keg beer? In short, why do fans care?

In search of answers, Warren St. John seeks out the roving community of RVers who follow the Alabama Crimson Tide from game to game. A movable feast of Weber grills and Igloo coolers, these are hard-core football fans who arrive on Wednesday for Saturday's game: The Reeses, who skipped their own daughter's wedding because it coincided with a Bama game; Ray Pradat, the Episcopal minister who watches the games on a television beside his altar while performing weddings; and John Ed, the wheeling and dealing ticket scalper whose access to good seats gives him power on par with the governor. In no time at all, St. John buys an RV (a $5,500 beater named The Hawg) and joins the caravan for a full football season, chronicling the world of the extreme fan and learning that in the shadow of the stadium, it can all begin to seem strangely normal.

Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer is not only a hilarious travel story, but a cultural anthropology of fans that goes a long way toward demystifying the universal urge to take sides and to win.

Review:

"St. John, a New York Times reporter and native Alabaman, explores the nature of extreme sports fandom in this compelling and funny audiobook. Over the course of five months, St. John follows the University of Alabama's football team in his own RV and connects with the 'RV culture,' fans for whom game day is simply the focal point of a celebration that can last for days. Some of the fans he encounters are indeed extreme — like the couple that skipped their daughter's wedding because it took place on game day, or the man who risks having his name taken off a heart transplant list, declaring 'If I can't go to Alabama football games, what's the point in living?' But St. John's focus is less on these eccentric characters than on the general culture, in which football fetishism has been completely integrated into everyday life. St. John has a pronounced lisp, which is jarring at first, but it quickly becomes endearing. And while his character voices all sound like variations on the loud-dumb-Southern-guy theme, he approaches his narration with the gusto and enthusiasm of a fervent fan, which succeeds in getting listeners into the spirit of this fun, insightful tale. Simultaneous release with the Crown hardcover (Forecasts, June 14)." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"With perfect balance and deadpan humor...St. John brings a journalist's clarified sense of detail and narration to his story....The portraits of his fellow Bama fans are sharp, sneaky-funny, but not unlovingly drawn." Booklist (Starred Review)

Review:

"Mr. St. John...can't pin down why fans behave like such fools....In the end, it is hard to be bothered by this omission because he writes so hilariously about such charmingly eccentric characters...Like college football itself, a road trip can be a pleasure pure and true." Franklin Foer, The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"An unreconstructed fan of Alabama football, exiled in New York, Warren St. John goes home to join the Crimson Tide's most rabid supporters as they roll across the South. His four-mile-a-gallon odyssey through the sun, suds, and stink of tailgate culture is a fresh and funny take on the American road trip — and an affectionate yet unsentimental look at Southern life, from belles who chug beer and bray from the stands, to fundamentalists who forgive any sin except a losing season. Like his hero, Bear Bryant, St. John has crafted a winner." Tony Horwitz, author of Confederates in the Attic

Review:

"What does it really mean to be a sports fan? For the millions of us who are, Warren St. John captures our passion with hilarity, absurdity and poignancy. He just gets our religion. And Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer is a marvelous journey into the soul of sports in America. A great ride in the tradition of Hunter Thompson and an even better read." H.G. "Buzz" Bissinger, author of Friday Night Lights

Review:

"An ode to fandom." Newsweek

Review:

"Sports fandom is a phenomenon that has so far baffled the field of psychology. The professionals haven't a clue. They should read this book. Warren St. John takes us to where the rubber meets the road." Tom Wolfe

Review:

"St. John is never mocking and has no intention of turning the RVing Alabama football fan pack into a freak show....Existentialism of the purest sort — that is, it includes laughter." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"A remarkable and funny book about obsession in America by a really fine writer." Gay Talese

Synopsis:

Having purchased his very own RV and immersed himself in the life and crazy culture of Alabama Crimson Tide fans during the 1999 season, St. John pens a book about much more than football — it is an enduring memoir about sport and culture in the U.S.

About the Author

Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Warren St. John is currently a reporter for the New York Times. He has also written extensively for the New York Observer, The New Yorker, and Wired. He went to Columbia University and lives in New York.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

William Jessup, September 10, 2007 (view all comments by William Jessup)
As a lifelong Georgia Bulldog fan, I felt no compulsion to read what I figured must be another Alabama fan's maudlin tribute to the faded, glory days of Bear Bryant's domination of the Southeastern Conference. When a Bulldog buddy of mine recommended Warren St. John's rib-tickling Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer: A Road Trip Into the Heart of Fan Mania, however, I had to acknowledge the impatience with which I had initially dismissed this hilarious and informative study, in which both Bama boosters and fans of its opponents will take delight.

With some surprise, students of anthropology will also appreciate the two (or more) cultural worlds that St. John has learned to stride with a progressive, though seemingly effortless, adaptation. An Alabama native, St. John graduated from Columbia University, in New York City. To become an accomplished writer for the New York Times, he has had to put career pursuits before his affection for his favorite team. This is precisely what several objects of his study have gone to extravagant and often riotous lengths not to do. In his heart, however, the author-narrator has lost neither his love for, nor his identity with, the army of fans (and alumni) that is the "Crimson Tide Nation."

In that regard, St. John resembles any devoted fan of any the powers of college football’s Division I. Almost every member of that club would confess to the delight with which he succumbs to the near mystical spell that his school's annually- reconfigured teams cast over his life. St. John differs from his colleagues most pointedly, however, when he decides to take a sabbatical from his work and put the source of his pride and devotion under his reporter's microscope, in an effort to discover what compels so many of his fellow devotees to order and reorder their lives to realize the top priority of attending every Alabama home and road game.

To do so, he decides to follow one Bama team through an entire season, as if he were covering the games for a newspaper that might depend on the patronage of the faithful, but also was brave enough to investigate and expose irregularities in the team's (and college's) fabric. To achieve that purpose, he joins the "Tide Nation's" sizeable regiment of recreational vehicle (RV) owners, which deploys to the highways each Wednesday or Thursday and drives either to Tuscaloosa or Birmingham or to the road game's locale, either the opponent's home field or a third city that plays host at a supposedly neutral field.

The resulting travelogue, akin to de Toqueville’s, will delight even the most dedicated enemy of the Tide and the remnant of the dynasty that the legendary Bryant fashioned over the course of his amazingly successful career. When the author attends an early season party, at which the University annually hosts another regiment of fans, that of Bryant's namesakes, the reader may remember having read other reporter's accounts of one of the difficulties that used to plague many patriotic Alabamians. Although St. John wisely avoids revisiting the state's civil rights struggles, the ever-increasing legion of Bryant’s namesakes, of various races, serves to explain how it would have been easier to name a son after the Bear than, for example, George Wallace.

To boot, the book serves as a primer for anyone not yet disabused of the thought of joining the aforementioned Alabama road regiment. As St. John points out, the typical RV owner's two happiest days are the ones on which he buys and sells his RV! In the meantime, necessity forces him to adapt to, and invent innumerable ways to redress, a series of calamitous discomforts and breakdowns, which even the most enthusiastic "road warrior" must inevitably attribute to the curse of Auburn fans or that of any one of several other opponents that have enjoyed little or no success against the Tide.

New Yorkers who still wear socks with sandals, disparage grits, and cannot remember that the contraction "y'all" cannot be used to refer to one individual will (nevertheless) enjoy this book. (After all, they have declared futile any attempt to understand their own cab drivers, whose innumerable dialects could surely pose no greater problems than those that roll off the tongues of the East Tennessee plowboy and the Ninth Ward refugee.) Southerners who cannot imagine any reason to venture north of Lexington will find a particularly revealing pleasure in this book. It simultaneously justifies and undermines the regional cultural prejudices peculiar both to the indolent Yankee redneck and the industrious Southern professional. In short, fans of the uniquely American world of college football and of the broad diversity of their fellow fans' lifestyles will read this book and laugh hysterically at themselves and each other.

Best wishes, W. E. Jessup
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780609807132
Author:
St. John, Warren
Publisher:
Three Rivers Press (CA)
Author:
St John, Warren
Author:
Warren St. John
Subject:
General
Subject:
Football - College
Subject:
Football
Subject:
Sports and Fitness-Football General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
May 31, 2005
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
8 x 5.1 x 0.6 in 0.45 lb

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Football » General
Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Miscellaneous Sports

Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer: A Road Trip Into the Heart of Fan Mania Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.00 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Three Rivers Press (CA) - English 9780609807132 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "St. John, a New York Times reporter and native Alabaman, explores the nature of extreme sports fandom in this compelling and funny audiobook. Over the course of five months, St. John follows the University of Alabama's football team in his own RV and connects with the 'RV culture,' fans for whom game day is simply the focal point of a celebration that can last for days. Some of the fans he encounters are indeed extreme — like the couple that skipped their daughter's wedding because it took place on game day, or the man who risks having his name taken off a heart transplant list, declaring 'If I can't go to Alabama football games, what's the point in living?' But St. John's focus is less on these eccentric characters than on the general culture, in which football fetishism has been completely integrated into everyday life. St. John has a pronounced lisp, which is jarring at first, but it quickly becomes endearing. And while his character voices all sound like variations on the loud-dumb-Southern-guy theme, he approaches his narration with the gusto and enthusiasm of a fervent fan, which succeeds in getting listeners into the spirit of this fun, insightful tale. Simultaneous release with the Crown hardcover (Forecasts, June 14)." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "With perfect balance and deadpan humor...St. John brings a journalist's clarified sense of detail and narration to his story....The portraits of his fellow Bama fans are sharp, sneaky-funny, but not unlovingly drawn."
"Review" by , "Mr. St. John...can't pin down why fans behave like such fools....In the end, it is hard to be bothered by this omission because he writes so hilariously about such charmingly eccentric characters...Like college football itself, a road trip can be a pleasure pure and true."
"Review" by , "An unreconstructed fan of Alabama football, exiled in New York, Warren St. John goes home to join the Crimson Tide's most rabid supporters as they roll across the South. His four-mile-a-gallon odyssey through the sun, suds, and stink of tailgate culture is a fresh and funny take on the American road trip — and an affectionate yet unsentimental look at Southern life, from belles who chug beer and bray from the stands, to fundamentalists who forgive any sin except a losing season. Like his hero, Bear Bryant, St. John has crafted a winner."
"Review" by , "What does it really mean to be a sports fan? For the millions of us who are, Warren St. John captures our passion with hilarity, absurdity and poignancy. He just gets our religion. And Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer is a marvelous journey into the soul of sports in America. A great ride in the tradition of Hunter Thompson and an even better read."
"Review" by , "An ode to fandom."
"Review" by , "Sports fandom is a phenomenon that has so far baffled the field of psychology. The professionals haven't a clue. They should read this book. Warren St. John takes us to where the rubber meets the road."
"Review" by , "St. John is never mocking and has no intention of turning the RVing Alabama football fan pack into a freak show....Existentialism of the purest sort — that is, it includes laughter."
"Review" by , "A remarkable and funny book about obsession in America by a really fine writer."
"Synopsis" by , Having purchased his very own RV and immersed himself in the life and crazy culture of Alabama Crimson Tide fans during the 1999 season, St. John pens a book about much more than football — it is an enduring memoir about sport and culture in the U.S.
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