web site hit counter Now I Can Die in Peace: How ESPN's Sports Guy Found Salvation, with a Little Help from Nomar, Pedro, Shawshank and the 2004 - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

Now I Can Die in Peace: How ESPN's Sports Guy Found Salvation, with a Little Help from Nomar, Pedro, Shawshank and the 2004

Availability: Ready to download

The New York Times bestseller Now I Can Die in Peace is now available in paperback with a new afterword (and more footnotes) by the author "The Red Sox won the World Series." To Citizen No. 1 of Red Sox Nation, those seven words meant "No more ‘1918’ chants. No more smug glances from Yankee fans. No more worrying about living an entire life -- that’s eighty years, followed The New York Times bestseller Now I Can Die in Peace is now available in paperback with a new afterword (and more footnotes) by the author "The Red Sox won the World Series." To Citizen No. 1 of Red Sox Nation, those seven words meant "No more ‘1918’ chants. No more smug glances from Yankee fans. No more worrying about living an entire life -- that’s eighty years, followed by death -- without seeing the Red Sox win a Series." But once he was able -- finally -- to type those life-changing words, Bill Simmons decided to look back at his "Sports Guy" columns for the last five years to find out how the miracle came to pass. And that’s where the trouble began. The result is Now I Can Die in Peace, a hilarious and fresh new look at some of the best sportswriting in America, with sharp, critical commentary (and fresh insights) from the guy who wrote it in the first place.


Compare

The New York Times bestseller Now I Can Die in Peace is now available in paperback with a new afterword (and more footnotes) by the author "The Red Sox won the World Series." To Citizen No. 1 of Red Sox Nation, those seven words meant "No more ‘1918’ chants. No more smug glances from Yankee fans. No more worrying about living an entire life -- that’s eighty years, followed The New York Times bestseller Now I Can Die in Peace is now available in paperback with a new afterword (and more footnotes) by the author "The Red Sox won the World Series." To Citizen No. 1 of Red Sox Nation, those seven words meant "No more ‘1918’ chants. No more smug glances from Yankee fans. No more worrying about living an entire life -- that’s eighty years, followed by death -- without seeing the Red Sox win a Series." But once he was able -- finally -- to type those life-changing words, Bill Simmons decided to look back at his "Sports Guy" columns for the last five years to find out how the miracle came to pass. And that’s where the trouble began. The result is Now I Can Die in Peace, a hilarious and fresh new look at some of the best sportswriting in America, with sharp, critical commentary (and fresh insights) from the guy who wrote it in the first place.

30 review for Now I Can Die in Peace: How ESPN's Sports Guy Found Salvation, with a Little Help from Nomar, Pedro, Shawshank and the 2004

  1. 5 out of 5

    Patrick McGrady

    This book really resonated with me because I am a Sox fan and I remember riding this roller coaster when it happened. In my eyes, few can articulate and express the feelings of the crazed fan the way Bill Simmons can. From the melodramatic lows to the euphoric highs, Bill is the voice of the biased, passionate and slightly psychotic "Boston Sports Fan". Long Live the Boston Sports Guy. This book really resonated with me because I am a Sox fan and I remember riding this roller coaster when it happened. In my eyes, few can articulate and express the feelings of the crazed fan the way Bill Simmons can. From the melodramatic lows to the euphoric highs, Bill is the voice of the biased, passionate and slightly psychotic "Boston Sports Fan". Long Live the Boston Sports Guy.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    It's hard for anyone to write a book about the things they love, I think, and it's especially hard when that love borders on the masochistic and obsessive - what else can you do but vent, gush, and pontificate about the significance of your emotions? About the only way to make such an effort work is to gear it to your fellow sufferers as testament and therapy, which explains why Kahlil Gibran is featured in every crappy wedding vow, why Charles Bukowski has such godlike status in AA, and why fel It's hard for anyone to write a book about the things they love, I think, and it's especially hard when that love borders on the masochistic and obsessive - what else can you do but vent, gush, and pontificate about the significance of your emotions? About the only way to make such an effort work is to gear it to your fellow sufferers as testament and therapy, which explains why Kahlil Gibran is featured in every crappy wedding vow, why Charles Bukowski has such godlike status in AA, and why fellow Red Sox martyrs aged 28-52 responded so wildly to Now I Can Die In Peace, one of the messiest, nerdiest paeans to undying love that I hope I ever read. I should preface this review by saying that while I sorta like Bill Simmons, I think he's a sportswriting equivalent of what old baseball writers used to call "press box hot", a phenomenon in which a kinda pretty girl suddenly looks like a top model when set against the heifers in the press box. Compared to most of the windbags, blowhards, and schmaltz merchants who infest contemporary sports journalism, Simmons has the wit of PG Wodehouse and the common sense of Thomas Paine, and considering how much fun sports are to follow he's naturally a favorite of every sports fan with a brain and a sense of humor: after all, he seems to be the only writer with a meaningful platform in the entire industry who comes even close to Getting It, and as such is the incidental champion of millions. At his best -- very infrequent these days -- Simmons is as good as any comic-minded sportswriter, and anybody reading this review who hasn't read his "Atrocious GM Summit" or his "Idiot's Guide to the Isiah Trial" needs to get to Google posthaste. That said, outside of the world of sports writers, Simmons looks good but not great: though he can be thoughtful and sharp, he's really not a 'writer' per se, but more of a talker whose preferred audience is a word processor screen. He never does much with language itself, and his analysis tends to ramble, contradict itself, and worst of all, detour into all these excruciating lists and scales and arbitrary nerd metrics (The Vengeance Scale, a 50-item Wonderlich test to determine true Red Sox fans, the 18 reasons one can root for a team, etc.) that make this reader crumble in despair. All his faults tend to proliferate when he writes about teams he loves, probably because he can't pause or self-edit -- he thinks he can, but I think his idea of 'editing' is too often polishing up ideas that were misguided to begin with -- which brings me to an unhappy verdict. This book sucks. It combines the worst features of a diary -- tics and foibles and regrettable displays -- with the glibness of a sports bar argument -- unconnected or unexplained passages, scads of distracting footnotes -- while making virtually no attempt to evoke why anyone would be a baseball fan, just giving a numbing catalog of the minutiae and badinage of those who were born one. Like any diary the book is almost without a narrative, which means that if you don't own DVD's of Sox seasons from 1998-2004, you'll be lost every other page ... and none of this complaining even begins to address Simmons' proclivity for pop culture metaphors, which are lazy and perishable in the first place and crippling for a writer who supposedly has an eye on posterity: half the jokes in here expired the week they were written. Some funny one-liners still sparkle here and there, but ultimately this is as much of an ordeal to read as it must've been to live. The worst thing is that this book didn't have to suck: it's just riddled with straight-up bad writing and self-indulgence. I suppose that for Simmons this book was a personal Zihuantanejo, and I respect that, but for non-Sox freaks it's just that 500-meter tunnel of shit that Andy had to crawl through to get out of his cell. Let this one die in peace, or at least the remainder bin, and let's hope for a lot of improvement in Simmons' forthcoming history of the NBA.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tyler

    Tyler Succi 11/2/11 Plot Summary: What this book is about is a guy named Bill Simmons being a HUGE sports fan. Particularly a Red Sox/ New England fan. He really focuses on the Red Sox most. He has a lot of interesting facts about them and talks about the "curse" a lot too. Bill himself is really the main character. Other characters he mentions is the "sports gal", he wedding buds, and his dad. He doesn't really bring names into the story at all. The book itself is more like a story of a period in Tyler Succi 11/2/11 Plot Summary: What this book is about is a guy named Bill Simmons being a HUGE sports fan. Particularly a Red Sox/ New England fan. He really focuses on the Red Sox most. He has a lot of interesting facts about them and talks about the "curse" a lot too. Bill himself is really the main character. Other characters he mentions is the "sports gal", he wedding buds, and his dad. He doesn't really bring names into the story at all. The book itself is more like a story of a period in his life were he really paid attention to all the New England sports. He goes to plenty of Red Sox games and talks about the players, coaches, and the stadium itself. He always talks about his new seat or how he buys his tickets off a scalper out front. Opinion: I liked the book. It was kind of a funny read. Wasn't exactly what I was expecting to read the whole time. There was DEFINITELY a lot of facts and I enjoyed that. I really found out things I never knew being a Sox fan. I would recommend it to anyone who likes a simple read about someone who travels around to games. Its really just about his life. It's half and half of a autobiography and just a sports book. I probably wouldn't read this again unless I really had to. Bill did a great job writing it. It's definitely from his view through out the whole entire book. I liked that aspect of the book. His vocabulary used isn't that hard but does make you pay attention to the parts. There were a few areas in the book I wasn't interested in reading and was dry. I felt the need to just put the book back down yet again, there were parts where I wanted to keep reading it to see what was going to happen. There was a lot of points that would make you be extremely curious to what goes on. Lot of rising points that went on. Rating & Ratinoal: Out of 5, 5 being the best, I would give this book a 4.5. It was a good book to read. Mr. Gagnon just gave me a book to read because I had asked him to surprise me with one. He chose a good book and I thank him for it. Even though the book was good, I would recommend it but I wouldn't ever read it again. Without the dry parts of reading I went through.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea

    I'm 11 pages in, and I've been a fan since page 1. Footnotes! Red Sox! Diehard fans! There will be no objectivity here. BEST BOOK EVER. Bill Simmons, why haven't we gotten married and had babies yet? Now that I've finished it, my review is pretty much the same. (Footnotes!) And, really, Red Sox fans will love the book, anyone who hates the Yankees will like the book, and anyone who thinks Shawshank Redemption is the best movie of all time will adore the book. Really, though - Simmons references eit I'm 11 pages in, and I've been a fan since page 1. Footnotes! Red Sox! Diehard fans! There will be no objectivity here. BEST BOOK EVER. Bill Simmons, why haven't we gotten married and had babies yet? Now that I've finished it, my review is pretty much the same. (Footnotes!) And, really, Red Sox fans will love the book, anyone who hates the Yankees will like the book, and anyone who thinks Shawshank Redemption is the best movie of all time will adore the book. Really, though - Simmons references either Shawshank, Saved by the Bell, or The Godfather in literally every column, and sometimes all three. Want to know who on the 2001 Red Sox would play who on 90210? Check out page 151. Once again, I'm pretty happy with any book that name checks my baseball husband, Kevin Youkilis, but Simmons goes one step further and gives us this sentence (and accompanying footnote): "The farm system is teeming with prospects like Craig Hansen, Jon Lester, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Edgar Martinez. (I just included that sentence in case none of those guys pans out and you can giggle to yourself about it 25 years from now. I'm thoughtful that way.)" Sorry, Bill, but you're batting a solid .500 right now. Make that .750! Hmm. Make that .666? And, finally, reading about the 2004 ALCS will never, ever get old. Oh, Dave Roberts. Plus I have to make my mother read it, because he defends Damon signing with the Yankees.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Gyoh80525

    This book is a series of columns written by the author (who is currently a columnist for espn.com) about what it was like to see the Red Sox win the World Series for the first time in 86 years. It is that actual columns written at the time with commentary written a few years later. The book is at times brutally funny (like when the author describes the "Tom Cruise face". Basically he's trying to look sad when Goose dies in Top Gun but it really looks like he is trying to take a dump) and at othe This book is a series of columns written by the author (who is currently a columnist for espn.com) about what it was like to see the Red Sox win the World Series for the first time in 86 years. It is that actual columns written at the time with commentary written a few years later. The book is at times brutally funny (like when the author describes the "Tom Cruise face". Basically he's trying to look sad when Goose dies in Top Gun but it really looks like he is trying to take a dump) and at other times touchingly sad (like when the author debates whether he should raise his child to root for his team because being a Red Sox fan can be so painful). One reason I read books is to be transported to another person's reality (whether made up or real) and to see his perspective. This book gives me a glimpse into the life of someone who has cheered for a team all his life but the team keeps losing in tragic fashion. Someone who begins to fear that he might live a full life and never see his team win. It gives me a perspective that I could never have had on my own. In the end I really sympathized for him and am now a little more glad that the Red Sox did finally win. In fact, I might just now root for the Cubs. (OK, maybe not!)

  6. 4 out of 5

    Helen

    MEh... I picked this book up because I got a little teary eyed during the homerun derby this year, with Nomar and Curt providing commentary. I wanted to relive some of what we went through in 2004, and I got that, but I also got old blog posts from 2000-2003 as well, plus distracting footnotes that weren't funny and tired old pop culture references that, again, weren't funny. It wasn't all bad though. When Simmons is talking about how his heart was broken as a kid in '86, I remembered my son in 2 MEh... I picked this book up because I got a little teary eyed during the homerun derby this year, with Nomar and Curt providing commentary. I wanted to relive some of what we went through in 2004, and I got that, but I also got old blog posts from 2000-2003 as well, plus distracting footnotes that weren't funny and tired old pop culture references that, again, weren't funny. It wasn't all bad though. When Simmons is talking about how his heart was broken as a kid in '86, I remembered my son in 2003, who slept with his Red Sox bat every night and went to bed before the infamous "Why doesn't Grady take Pedro out?" game assured that our team would win. And how I felt the next morning, telling him it wasn't to be. Again.Simmons railing on the Fox commentators during the playoff games with the Yankees and the World Series with St Louis, getting Bronson Arroyo's name wrong, flashing way too many Babe Ruth pictures, yes. I remember all that too, and it's good to remember. But there are better books about the Red Sox out there, with better, shorter, titles. If you want to relive and remember, good find those books.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tara

    I don't like the Red Sox OR the Yankees, but I appreciate Simmons' humor and the fact that he's a true Sox fan and not a bandwagoner. I almost died reading pages 265-273, being an Angels fan myself (when you cut us, we bleed too, Bill! We bleed too!)* Incidentally, the season this book highlights marks the season I really, and I mean really, started to dislike the Red Sox. What I do like is Simmons' approach to being a fan. And I will give him this... he is more emotionally invested in his teams I don't like the Red Sox OR the Yankees, but I appreciate Simmons' humor and the fact that he's a true Sox fan and not a bandwagoner. I almost died reading pages 265-273, being an Angels fan myself (when you cut us, we bleed too, Bill! We bleed too!)* Incidentally, the season this book highlights marks the season I really, and I mean really, started to dislike the Red Sox. What I do like is Simmons' approach to being a fan. And I will give him this... he is more emotionally invested in his teams than almost anyone I know. So five stars for writing like a true fan, but minus two because I just cannot stand the Red Sox. *I remember watching those painful games, seeing my team choke, and then actually hoping the Yankees would win because I was so bitter about that loss. And this wasn't the last time the Halos would choke against the Sox. Ugh. Also, this applies with the 2008 Lakers/Celtics NBA Finals. I do not like Boston.

  8. 5 out of 5

    AJ Griffin

    When i was about 7, I used the money I was given for my dad's birthday gift to buy him a sweet baseball/hockey/football game for our computer; when my mother gently questioned the selflessness of this gift, I insisted that it was the kind of thing he would love and it definitely was not because i wanted it for myself. Of course I was lying. I was 7. Anyway, I did the same thing about 10 years later when I bought this for him. On the one hand, I used my own money, and it was something he would/di When i was about 7, I used the money I was given for my dad's birthday gift to buy him a sweet baseball/hockey/football game for our computer; when my mother gently questioned the selflessness of this gift, I insisted that it was the kind of thing he would love and it definitely was not because i wanted it for myself. Of course I was lying. I was 7. Anyway, I did the same thing about 10 years later when I bought this for him. On the one hand, I used my own money, and it was something he would/did enjoy. On the other hand, I was still sneaking into his bedroom, stealing the book and reading it until he got home. What can I say? Bill Simmons is the Klosterman of sports (except, i guess, when Klosterman is writing about sports), and I love the Red Sox.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kate Quinn

    For a Red Sox fan, Bill Simmons is the ultimate: he is sharp, he is funny, he knows his team, and he makes absolutely no pretense at being fair. My own memories of the miraculous 2004 win over the Yankees and the Cardinals include the systematic destruction of my fingernails, a lot of agonized whimpering, and the consumption of enough straight rum to destroy my stomach lining. Bill Simmons recalls that hectic and marvelous time much more eloquently and humorously in this account of the Red Sox's For a Red Sox fan, Bill Simmons is the ultimate: he is sharp, he is funny, he knows his team, and he makes absolutely no pretense at being fair. My own memories of the miraculous 2004 win over the Yankees and the Cardinals include the systematic destruction of my fingernails, a lot of agonized whimpering, and the consumption of enough straight rum to destroy my stomach lining. Bill Simmons recalls that hectic and marvelous time much more eloquently and humorously in this account of the Red Sox's miraculous stampede to the championship. His footnotes alone are worth the price of the book.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jay Rain

    Rating - 7.5 A bit disappointing as it turns out to be nothing more than a few years worth of his columns & does not have the same inside knowledge that I was expecting - still have to love his writing wit though Pop culture references were cool but become repetitious 50% of the way through the book (Shawshank, Victory); What is most interesting is his physical transformation from cool to nerdy appearance

  11. 5 out of 5

    Stefanie

    For real Red Sox fans only! Simmons is the funniest sports writer ever, this is the kind of book that made me laugh out loud on the T. It's taken me a while to get through, but I love it every time I pick it up. For real Red Sox fans only! Simmons is the funniest sports writer ever, this is the kind of book that made me laugh out loud on the T. It's taken me a while to get through, but I love it every time I pick it up.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Zach Koenig

    As a die-hard fan of our national pastime, I have a very nostalgic soft-spot in my heart for that 2004 Boston Red Sox team that defied the odds to first topple the Yankees and then capture their first World Series championship since 1918. Though not a geographically-based Sox fan (I live in Minnesota and root, root, root, for the home team Twins), I jumped on the bandwagon that season just purely for the sense of history that was being accomplished. As a result, I have read a good many books on t As a die-hard fan of our national pastime, I have a very nostalgic soft-spot in my heart for that 2004 Boston Red Sox team that defied the odds to first topple the Yankees and then capture their first World Series championship since 1918. Though not a geographically-based Sox fan (I live in Minnesota and root, root, root, for the home team Twins), I jumped on the bandwagon that season just purely for the sense of history that was being accomplished. As a result, I have read a good many books on this subject, and up until this point Stephen King's "Faithful" had been my favorite. Not anymore...by a long shot. The sincerity and humor that author/columnist Bill Simmons puts down on paper is a combination of genius and the sort of passion that most sports fans only wish they had. In this collection of select columns between 1997-2005, Simmons runs the emotional gamut that all sports fans have experienced at one point or another. The difference, of course, is that Simmons can make it so doggone funny and enjoyable to relive again! The obscure and hilarious references he makes to sports situations and players will have you chuckling all the way through. Like I said, I have read many books about the '04 Red Sox, and this is the best of the bunch. Once you crack the cover, it becomes incredibly difficult to put down, as each column will just leave you dying to read the next one.

  13. 5 out of 5

    David Blankenship

    15 years later, Bill Simmons is now a podcaster and a media mogul. But once upon a time, he was a great writer. Sometimes people think Simmons is self-absorbed...and maybe he is. But he writes from the perspective of a passionate fan, and this is a brilliant accounting of how the brilliant Red Sox miraculously won the World Series in 2004. The collection of old articles is great, but the footnotes put this book over the top. I'm not a Red Sox fan, but when my Royals won the World Series in 2015 15 years later, Bill Simmons is now a podcaster and a media mogul. But once upon a time, he was a great writer. Sometimes people think Simmons is self-absorbed...and maybe he is. But he writes from the perspective of a passionate fan, and this is a brilliant accounting of how the brilliant Red Sox miraculously won the World Series in 2004. The collection of old articles is great, but the footnotes put this book over the top. I'm not a Red Sox fan, but when my Royals won the World Series in 2015 I felt many of the things that Simmons felt in 2004. Such a great memoir...maybe someday Simmons will start writing again.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Michael Huntley

    I’m not a Red Sox fan so some of the super fan references were lost on me. But I loved reading Simmons when I was younger and this book reminded me why. Some very funny stories and pop culture references. Luckily it’s mostly a compilation of old pieces on ESPN which aren’t super long and have fun footnotes. Some of the jokes are dated and not PC but at the time I’m sure they were acceptable. It’s a fun read and any sports fan can relate to his passion for the Red Sox.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Robert S

    If you love the Red Sox and remember the times before 2004, then you will find a lot to love about this book. If you love Bill Simmons work then this is some of it as its more pure. I did enjoy large parts of Now I Can Die in Peace but the format prevented me from enjoying it more.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Harrison Stanfill

    A must read for the depressed and devastated baseball fan. Go Mariners

  17. 4 out of 5

    Russ

    My favorite author. For Hardcore Red Sox fans and funny insightful

  18. 5 out of 5

    Zach Smith

    Line the 2004 Red Sox, it starts slow but gets really, really good. One piece of advice: watch Shawshank Redemption before reading this.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Claudia

    Liked it a lot. Read it quickly.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jonny Brick

    Curse of the Bambino finally lifted, famous podcast host Bill Simmons exorcises his demons.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jake Russell

    Full disclosure: before reading the book, I had an extreme anti-Boston sports bias. They are the evil empire of my sports lifetime with all of the titles they've won. I was, however, a big fan of Bill Simmons and his unapologetic homer brand of sports writing. This just goes to show how great of a writer Bill is. His romanticism with his team somehow made me not absolutely loathe the Red Sox during their magical curse-breaking run. It's captivating, it's hilarious, with anecdotes of his fandom am Full disclosure: before reading the book, I had an extreme anti-Boston sports bias. They are the evil empire of my sports lifetime with all of the titles they've won. I was, however, a big fan of Bill Simmons and his unapologetic homer brand of sports writing. This just goes to show how great of a writer Bill is. His romanticism with his team somehow made me not absolutely loathe the Red Sox during their magical curse-breaking run. It's captivating, it's hilarious, with anecdotes of his fandom amongst his buddies and anecdotes of pop culture references, and it just plain makes you love baseball and your community. A great read.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Emsoca

    The book was hands down outstanding.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Chyazeto

    The book is actually fabulous.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ben Thompson

    Unfortunately, I read this book a decade after its release. Had I read it shortly after the Sox won in 2004, perhaps the personal synopsis from Simmons would have been a more welcome sidebar with reality. Instead, what you find is the continued self-promotion of Simmons stands out like a sore thumb. His bazillion different but the same footnotes that litter the pages come off as condescending and extremely self-absorbed throughout much of the book. While I did enjoy reading some of the columns tha Unfortunately, I read this book a decade after its release. Had I read it shortly after the Sox won in 2004, perhaps the personal synopsis from Simmons would have been a more welcome sidebar with reality. Instead, what you find is the continued self-promotion of Simmons stands out like a sore thumb. His bazillion different but the same footnotes that litter the pages come off as condescending and extremely self-absorbed throughout much of the book. While I did enjoy reading some of the columns that featured tidbits about players like Scott Hatteberg and Mike Greenwell as well as other favorite and role players from years past, Simmons struggled to break away from two constant themes throughout the book. First, the Shawshank Redemption. I've never seen the movie and likely won't be watching anytime soon. Thus, my inability to relate to the more-than-frequent references to the movie while talking about baseball certainly caused some of my disconnect from this book. Second and more importantly, Simmons at one point says he will not mention the Curse again. I believe it was centered around the Aaron F'ing Boone column. Then in the very next column, written but a few days later, he's talking about the curse again. When he does finally vanquish the "c" word from his columns, he manages to replace it with the "sch" word, otherwise known as "schmurse." It's easy to liken this methodology of writing to listening to two kids bicker about whether or not one is touching the other in the backseat of a car. I am a former fan of Simmons. I rather enjoyed reading his columns and especially the mailbags on ESPN.com. So it does pain me a little to pan this book as a Red Sox fan. Yet he made it easy to do so. He takes clear shots at other writers trying to capitalize on things like the "schmurse" then fails to mention "oh yeah, I'm going to capitalize by re-releasing all my Red Sox columns and call it a book immediately after they win their first World Series in 86 years." I'm calling the hypocrite card on Simmons and asking him to actually try to write something new and relevant the next time he wants to make money off a book. And oh by the way, reading a selection of columns makes for a long read even when you enjoy the subject. The flow just doesn't work. Worth reading as a fan, moreso if you find it at the library or at the dollar book store like I did.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    This is a must-read book for the fan of the 1995–04 Red Sox. This was a special era in their history, when they went from a lovable cast of not-very-good players to a lovable cast of really, really good players (who were probably mostly juiced). The rise of Bill Simmons, the Boston Sports Guy and subsequently simply The Sports Guy, has been chronicled before, but I will recount it briefly here. He began as a sort of underground blogger on the Boston sports scene, dedicated to giving the viewpoint This is a must-read book for the fan of the 1995–04 Red Sox. This was a special era in their history, when they went from a lovable cast of not-very-good players to a lovable cast of really, really good players (who were probably mostly juiced). The rise of Bill Simmons, the Boston Sports Guy and subsequently simply The Sports Guy, has been chronicled before, but I will recount it briefly here. He began as a sort of underground blogger on the Boston sports scene, dedicated to giving the viewpoint of a sports fan who is just a little smarter, a little more dedicated, and a little more funny than the rest of us. In this, he overwhelmingly succeeded. I came to read him toward the end of his time on the underground; he was picked up by ESPN in 2002. His early articles were funny, edgy, way too long, occasionally spectacularly bad (but all the more fun to read for it) and often had incisive commentary. His ESPN columns, for the time before he wrote for the Jimmy Kimmel show, were excellent; they became mediocre after that, and became good again after he went back to blogging full-time. There have apparently been issues between him and ESPN—basically regarding his creative freedom—that have resulted in his columns since 2007 or 2008 going markedly downhill. At this point, I have gone from an avid reader to an occasional reader. Now I Can Die in Peace is Simmons in his salad years. It's him at his best, funniest, and most incisive. More to the point, he has edited his columns—especially from the ESPN years—into far more readable (and less lame) format. On the other hand, the book is all about rooting for the Red Sox. If you've been saturated to the point of nausea by the Red Sox already, then you'll feel worse after reading this book. But, if you need to relive the period when the Red Sox went from annual also-rans to a juggernaut second only to the Yankees, this is the book. Nostalgia can be bad—but it can also be so good.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Derek

    Bill Simmons, the originally self-proclaimed and now widely acknowledged "Sports Guy" is a ridiculous man. He's an unabashedly unashamed Boston homer who writes more about his teams (Celtics, Patriots, and Red Sox particulary) than every other team combined. He uses references to 70s pop culture, porn, and pro wrestling within sentences of one another, and he has a seemingly eidetic memory for the most inane of sports trivia. He writes as if he relives each and every moment of agonizing heartbre Bill Simmons, the originally self-proclaimed and now widely acknowledged "Sports Guy" is a ridiculous man. He's an unabashedly unashamed Boston homer who writes more about his teams (Celtics, Patriots, and Red Sox particulary) than every other team combined. He uses references to 70s pop culture, porn, and pro wrestling within sentences of one another, and he has a seemingly eidetic memory for the most inane of sports trivia. He writes as if he relives each and every moment of agonizing heartbreak and unbelievable victory every time he writes about his teams and their daily ups and downs. Somehow, over the past decade, Simmons has become one of the authorities on sports in the internet era, as anyone who claims to be a sports fan but does not read Simmons is immediately disqualified from having any further meaningful contributions to any discussion on sports until he has experienced the full glory of Simmons' voluminous archives. That brings us to this book, a collection of running diaries, knee-jerk reactions, thoughtful commentaries, and mastery of parenthetical clauses and footnotes culled over a decade of following the Boston Red Sox. Simmons has included articles he wrote from 1999 through 2008, mostly unedited, that give one of the truest pictures of what it is like to follow any sports team, but particularly one with the kinds of highs and lows experienced by Red Sox fans. I'm sure I read many of these articles as they were published, but somehow they all seemed fresh and newly meaningful when they were packaged together in this way. Simmons not only defines the voice of Sox fans; he has redefined what it means to be a sports fan in the 21st century. Now I Can Die in Peace is a must-read for any sports fan, even if you don't like baseball. Scratch that - especially if you don't like baseball; then you can get a real sense of what it means to be a fan.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Cohen

    There are two favorite men in my life that I've never met and will most likely always adore: Bill Simmons and Jon Stewart. I've been reading "Bae Simmons" (as my boyfriend teases me about) and his articles from his pre-ESPN years when I would steal print outs as a child in the early 2000s. I grew up seeing the Brady streak (Brett Bales still owes me $50 from the Rams-Pats Super Bowl in elementary school) and remember wearing red socks for several years around 2004, while supplanted in Florida fr There are two favorite men in my life that I've never met and will most likely always adore: Bill Simmons and Jon Stewart. I've been reading "Bae Simmons" (as my boyfriend teases me about) and his articles from his pre-ESPN years when I would steal print outs as a child in the early 2000s. I grew up seeing the Brady streak (Brett Bales still owes me $50 from the Rams-Pats Super Bowl in elementary school) and remember wearing red socks for several years around 2004, while supplanted in Florida from my home state of Massachusetts. Now, over a decade later, I live in Massachusetts again. I live close enough to Fenway Park to be able to hear from my bedroom when a crowd cheers for a homer. I battle Sox fans for parking when I come back from work. I hear fights breaking out in my alley from drunken fans post-games. It's definitely harder to stay a fan now that I have to walk around the park to get to the nearest T stop and drown out the park to sleep. I have owned this book since 2005 and finally let myself read past the Introduction this year's Opening Day. I had been saving it for a special occasion and while trying to remain a Sox fan and battling depression about Simmons departing Grantland/ESPN, it seemed like the ideal time. I doled out a column at a time and finished now, right before All-Star Weekend and the Foo Fighters playing a (Expensive!) show at Fenway. He may have his detractors and deal with people who dislike that he is an open fan of certain teams, but I adore Bill Simmons and his writing. I can read anything he would write, including his grocery list. I cried reading his obituary to the Dooze. His Twitter feed is the only one I read. I love this book. It made me feel happy about the Sox again and more tolerant of sharing my space during the hottest, most ac-less days of the year. As always, thank you Bill for making my days brighter.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

    I've had this book for a few years, and just finally got around to reading it. I recall having started it once before, but put it down for some reason. Certainly not because it wasn't interesting, that's for sure. Bill Simmons has a style that I enjoy immensely. And his recounting, column by column (by the way, he is a sports columnist for ESPN), of the seasons leading up to the first Red Sox World Series win in 86 years is captivating. To steal the old Wide World of Sports catch phrase, "The th I've had this book for a few years, and just finally got around to reading it. I recall having started it once before, but put it down for some reason. Certainly not because it wasn't interesting, that's for sure. Bill Simmons has a style that I enjoy immensely. And his recounting, column by column (by the way, he is a sports columnist for ESPN), of the seasons leading up to the first Red Sox World Series win in 86 years is captivating. To steal the old Wide World of Sports catch phrase, "The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat" is a major theme throughout the book. We share a few things in common, one, of course, being a mutual hatred of the New York Yankees. We also share a mutual disdain for all things Joe Buck and Tim McCarver, the two lunkhead announcers for Fox Sports during baseball games. Simmons, however, was not allowed to "make fun" of them in his columns, as ESPN would not permit him to mock announcers from the competition. So all Simmons did was simply quote them at their most absurd and let them illustrate for themselves how ridiculous they can be. For example, McCarver kept calling Bronson Arroyo "Brandon," throughout the season and playoffs in 2004. Any true Red Sox fan would love this book. Not so much, perhaps, if you're a baseball fan, but love another team. It is a good baseball book (I wouldn't rank it up there with some of my others, such as Game Six, but it's still good and very entertaining), and I enjoyed it thoroughly. And the title says it all for many of us who feared that we would never see the Sox win a World Series in our lifetime. Now, we've seen them win three in the space of ten years! Watch out Yankees! We're gaining on you! Yeah. As if.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Amy Palmer

    This book is a reprinting of articles the author wrote, with the addition of footnotes that sometimes explain a reference or express his feelings about writing a particular segment. It was worth reading for two reasons: 1) It's about the Boston Red Sox winning their first World Series after an 86 year drought in 2004 and 2)It's incredibly humorous. If you're a Red Sox fan, you know the story of 2004 and what led up to it. The book goes back over the details starting in October 1998. It was fun to This book is a reprinting of articles the author wrote, with the addition of footnotes that sometimes explain a reference or express his feelings about writing a particular segment. It was worth reading for two reasons: 1) It's about the Boston Red Sox winning their first World Series after an 86 year drought in 2004 and 2)It's incredibly humorous. If you're a Red Sox fan, you know the story of 2004 and what led up to it. The book goes back over the details starting in October 1998. It was fun to look back and remember the instances Bill Simmons is writing about. It felt wonderful to remember Pedro as the guy that was a guaranteed win, Nomar as the guy you could count on to hit and El Guapo for being known as El Guapo. It was reassuring to read that I wasn't the only person who called Everett "Crazy Carl" or that I thought no city Clemens played for really respected him after he turned his back on them. It's also great to read about the things I didn't know about or couldn't understand since I'm a long-distance Red Sox fan and don't get the daily barrage of the Boston media scene. The humor is not just in how Mr. Simmons writes about the team, but the references he adds to his articles. He mentions Rocky IV, the New England Patriots, old Italian superstitions, and of course, Shawshank Redemption. And it makes complete sense when he does it! Mr. Simmons is definitely a regular "sports guy" and it creates a natural connection with the reader. It was like he was talking to me, telling me the stories of how everything happened and how he felt about it as it occurred. I never felt talked down to or that he was claiming to be an "expert". He was simple a fan, just like me.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Dennis Koniecki

    Ten years ago I loved almost everything Bill Simmons wrote. Even if I didn't care much about the teams or agree with the opinions, I appreciated the humor and the pop culture references and the general wordiness. These days, I still enjoy some of his columns. But in many ways he's become the type of writer he used to complain about. And the jokes seem more like an attempt to be the same guy he once was. They just don't land nearly as often. The fact that he's over-exposed--a podcast, a Twitter a Ten years ago I loved almost everything Bill Simmons wrote. Even if I didn't care much about the teams or agree with the opinions, I appreciated the humor and the pop culture references and the general wordiness. These days, I still enjoy some of his columns. But in many ways he's become the type of writer he used to complain about. And the jokes seem more like an attempt to be the same guy he once was. They just don't land nearly as often. The fact that he's over-exposed--a podcast, a Twitter account, ESPN appearances--probably doesn't help matters. It often feels like he's reiterating his own opinions in his columns. Which is a shame, because the column is still the thing he does best and the thing that's most unique. As a studio analyst, he's indistinguishable from every other guy with an opinion who never actually played professional sports. Putting together a collection of old columns with a few new additions is something that always seems like a blatant cash grab from a columnist. Although Simmons did go back and add new footnotes and commentary that at least make the book worth your time if you're a fan and find it at a library or get a deal on it. And these columns are Simmons at his zenith. So if you're a fan and you've never read them, they're probably worth your time. The original columns are really the reason to read the book, although it's all a bit dated now and not really the kind of thing that stands up for the ages. It's still an amusing look back at the though process of a diehard fan of lives and dies and overreacts constantly to their team.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.