Tuesday, August 18, 2009

DS Book Week, Part 1: Michael Tunison
The Football Fan's Manifesto

It is impossible to understate the imprint that Kissing Suzy Kolber has made on being an NFL fan.

As one of the site's founders, Mike Tunison (aka "Xmas Ape") is the ideal person to write "The Football Fan's Manifesto," which comes out today (in paperback -- no excuses not to buy, cheapskate!)

At its heart, it is a blueprint for how to live your life as the very best NFL fan possible. (I might want to take notes, given my lack of NFL allegiance, beyond my superficial recent interest in the Jaguars and what will be an appalling allegiance-creation moment when I root for whatever team Tim Tebow is playing for.)

The book is divided into 10 chapters, each with 7-10 "sections" that take on a particular element of pro football fandom. I couldn't possibly run down all of them here, but it makes the book easy to pick up and put down when you have a couple minutes on the train, in between middle-of-the-night baby feedings, NFL halftime shows or, yes, the obligatory "bathroom time."

The book is heavily formatted -- which I both enjoy and appreciate. Look: Some days you want "When Pride Mattered." And some days, you want "Football Fan's Manifesto." That isn't to put them on opposite sides of some sort of quality spectrum; they are both excellent for what they try to offer.

Tunison covers the fundamentals of NFL fandom, its formative years, what to do on gameday, what to do in the offseason, fantasy football, truly "dedicated" fan opportunities and a lot more. And, again, within each of those, many parts and pieces.

Above all else, what "Football Fan's Manifesto" does is take NFL fandom absolutely seriously -- as you do. But not seriously at all -- as you shouldn't. If there is some sort of NFL fan "ideal," it is in this book. That may be a little too existential of a concept for a really funny book about NFL fandom, but I think it's a hell of a clever book Tunison has pulled off.

Honestly, I am even ready to call it the definitive book about NFL fandom. So for your NFL library: Go get your out-of-print copy of Paul Zimmerman's "Thinking Man's Guide to Pro Football." You already have Stefan Fatsis' "Three Seconds of Panic." Owning Exley's "A Fan's Notes" is your nod to "NFL fiction." (Don't Google "Tom Brady Fan Fiction.") Save a little budget to buy Jon Krakauer's book about Pat Tillman, coming out later this fall.

And add to this definitive collection: "Football Fan's Manifesto."

For some free samples, here is Tunison's post about it at KSK and here is an excerpt that ran on Deadspin. Try before you buy! (If you like KSK or jokes about the NFL, you'll want the book.)

Oh, and here's a funny video preview for the book (even if I violate half the rules).

-- D.S.

So if KSK's Drew Magary has written the definitive "handbook" for pro athletes and Tunison has written the "manifesto" for sports fans, I cannot wait to see what books the other folks from KSK -- Matt Ufford, Josh Zerkle and Jack Kogod -- have in them. (Even if they aren't about sports.)

1 comment:

Slothrop said...

"I cannot wait to see what books the other folks from KSK -- Matt Ufford, Josh Zerkle and Jack Kogod -- have in them."

Poor Flubby. always KSK's red-headed step-child.