Monday, March 14, 2005

In Rammer Jammer Yellowhammer: A Journey into the Heart of Fan Mania by Warren St. John the author examines the nature of being a football fan by joining the community of tailgaters with RVs who set up camp at every Alabama game, home and away, days before the event. At first he accompanies a young couple in their "hallway on wheels," but as the season progresses he soon buys his own ramshackle RV (a four-mile-a-gallon box on wheels he names "The Hawg") and joins the mobile city himself. Along the way he describes many of the fans he meets and how far they've gone or how much they've sacrificed all for the sake of the Crimson Tide. There's the couple who missed their daughter's wedding (but made the reception) because it conflicted with a game, the man who was in danger of forfeiting his place on the heart transplant list if he went to away games, and the fan who attended 500 games in a row. There's some attempt to get to the heart of fandom and why we become obsessed with sports, but the best parts of the book are when the author describes the people and lets their stories illustrate both the best and the worst that football fans have to offer. It's no Fever Pitch, but it was funny and entertaining and I'd recommend it to anyone who has done something a little nutty because of an obsession, not just those who enjoy football.

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