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Download Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer: A Journey Into the Heart of Fan Mania Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer: A Journey Into the Heart of Fan Mania Audiobook, by Warren St. John Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (783 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Warren St. John Narrator: Michael Kramer Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2004 ISBN: 9781415916148
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In the life of every sports fan, there comes a moment of reckoning. It may happen when your team wins on a last-second field goal and you suddenly find yourself clenched in a loving embrace with a large hairy man you’ve never met…Or in the long, hormonally depleted days after a loss, when you’re felled by a sensation similar to the one you first experienced following the death of a pet. At such moments the fan is forced to confront the question others—spouses, friends, children, and colleagues—have asked for years: 


Why do I care?

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

In search of the answers to these questions, Warren St. John seeks out the roving community of RVers who follow the Alabama Crimson Tide from game to game across the South. A movable feast of Weber grills, Igloo coolers, and die-hard superstition, these are characters who arrive on Wednesday for Saturday’s game: Freeman and Betty Reese, who skipped their own daughter’s wedding because it coincided with a Bama game; Ray Pradat, the Episcopalian minister who watches the games on a television set beside his altar while performing weddings; John Ed (pronounced as three syllables, John Ay-ud), the wheeling and dealing ticket scalper whose access to good seats gives him power on par with the governor; and Paul Finebaum, the Anti-Fan, a wisecracking sports columnist and talk-radio host who makes his living mocking Alabama fans—and who has to live in a gated community for all the threats he receives in response.

In no time at all, St. John himself is drawn into the world of full-immersion fandom: he buys an RV (a $5,500 beater called The Hawg) and joins the caravan for a 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.

Along the way, St. John takes readers on illuminating forays into the deep roots of humanity’s sports mania (did you know that tailgaters could be found in eighth-century Greece?), the psychology of crowds, and the surprising neuroscience behind the thrill of victory.

Reminiscent of Confederates in the Attic and the works of Bill Bryson, Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer is not only a travel story, but a cultural anthropology of fans that goes a long way toward demystifying the universal urge to take sides and to win.

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Quotes & Awards

  • 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

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

    Gay Talese, New York Times bestselling author

  • A remarkable and funny book about obsession in America by a really fine writer. Gay Talese
  • 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
  • "Fresh and funny…St. John has crafter a winner."

    Tony Horwitz, author of Confederates in the Attic

  • "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

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Doug Wilkerson | 1/26/2014

    " Sometimes we are too close to the fire but this was an entertaining read. Even though it is set during one of the more dismal periods of Alabama football. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Donell | 1/25/2014

    " Ineresting book about the psychology of being a fan. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janet | 1/16/2014

    " Just a lot of fun. Helped me understand Alabama's football craze, especially while Sean was doing an internship in Birmingham. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura | 1/5/2014

    " Good sports read - dragged a bit at the end. Sometimes felt like I needed a cast of characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diane | 12/30/2013

    " This is a delightful book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Danielle Bradley | 12/29/2013

    " This is a MUST READ for any college football fan, regardless of your team allegiance! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Susie | 12/10/2013

    " guess you had to be a Crimson Tide fan . . . "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 JulieK | 12/6/2013

    " Really entertaining. Ben's family's Alabama fanhood is incredibly mild in comparison to the people in this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laurel Kalkanis | 11/28/2013

    " A piece of cultural anthropology like none other, I've ever read before. Entertaining, eye opening and very fast! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Steven | 11/24/2013

    " Great book about those that love college football and devote their life to following their team. Told from the vantage point of an author who bought an RV and followed his beloved Alabama Crismon Tide during their last succesful season under Coach Dubose. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maria | 11/20/2013

    " Great bookfor anyone who has a passion for college sports especially fotball. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Skye Borden | 10/29/2013

    " Just plain funny. This book exposes all of the craziness surrounding Alabama football (Roll Tide)-- but anyone who has ever been to a sports game would appreciate it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amanda | 10/28/2013

    " Great book -- we read this in our book club and, if you go on the author's web site, he will actually call in to your meeting. He called and spoke to us for 45 minutes -- definitely worthwhile. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ryan | 10/3/2013

    " Probably biased as an Alabama Crimson Tide fan, but I loved this book. Great insights into the heart of darkness of sports fan mania, and also a great travelogue of SEC football. Roll Tide!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elizabeth | 7/16/2013

    " Loved the passion shared in this journey. I grew up in Tuscaloosa and can totally relate to all of the stories, fun to recognize people in the story that I knew growing up. St. John has a great way of expressing the balance of sports mania and used humor well in doing so. GREAT book! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mike Nix | 6/22/2013

    " A good first account of the insanity that is Southeastern Conference football. Excellent recommendation when you can't really find the way to describe it to outsiders. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Greg | 4/24/2013

    " If you enjoy college football or you are wanting to know why so many people enjoy college football, read this book. It is a fast read, funny and informative about the game on Fall Saturdays. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jessica | 3/25/2013

    " funny travel novel in a similar vein to bill bryson. totally not a college football fan, but this book caught me up in the spirit of the game and bama fandom. also: roll tide. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 1/1/2013

    " Still not as good as Dixieland Delight, but enjoyable none the less. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 William Norvell | 12/10/2012

    " Big Alabama fan here and still found it a bit boring. It is also dated because the stories he tells don't have a lot to do with the current team. Good book but not great. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laura | 11/16/2012

    " I LOVED this book. A must read for any Alabama fan. Warren St. John is originally from Alabama- went to NYU writes for the New York Times. He takes a year to follow the Tide in an RV. Very well written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dana | 10/23/2011

    " through the middle i was only getting through 10-20 pages at a time, but overall i really liked this book! clever and funny, i think anyone could really enjoy this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelly | 8/2/2011

    " Re-read August 2011. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melissa | 7/5/2011

    " Loved this book. A lot. Fascinating, interesting, and made me want to be a better football fan. (Go Blue!) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jeremy Boatwright | 6/10/2011

    " A must read for any bama fan. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Terry | 4/8/2011

    " Mr. St. John and I will have to agree to disagree on much of what he says about football fandom. That being said, I enjoyed the book. It's well-written and, despite the fact that I have zero connection to the Crimson Tide, I found the subject interesting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jennifer | 2/20/2011

    " As a woman who married into the religion that is Alabama Crimson Tide football, I loved reading this book about true diehard fans who go to amazing lengths to support their team. A must for the Alabama fan. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 William | 12/29/2010

    " Big Alabama fan here and still found it a bit boring. It is also dated because the stories he tells don't have a lot to do with the current team. Good book but not great. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Muffy | 11/11/2010

    " One of my favorite sports books "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Donell | 11/7/2010

    " Ineresting book about the psychology of being a fan. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mike | 5/14/2010

    " Someday, I'll write a college basketball version of this book. That's the dream. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mike | 4/13/2010

    " It's a cliche, but it really is hard to put this one down. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diane | 3/25/2010

    " This is a delightful book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laurel | 2/26/2010

    " A piece of cultural anthropology like none other, I've ever read before. Entertaining, eye opening and very fast! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jessica | 1/10/2010

    " funny travel novel in a similar vein to bill bryson. totally not a college football fan, but this book caught me up in the spirit of the game and bama fandom. also: roll tide. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Scott | 12/28/2009

    " Excellent and funny account of the crazy RV'er Crimson Tide fans. Warren St John has an excellent eye for the telling detail that captures a scene in only a sentence or two. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jason | 12/4/2009

    " If only all sports books had this much heart (and authors with these kind of writing chops). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 JulieK | 11/23/2009

    " Really entertaining. Ben's family's Alabama fanhood is incredibly mild in comparison to the people in this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gretchen | 11/16/2009

    " A fun read, even if I had to hear way too much about ALABAMA fans.(Boo, Alabama!) ;) And let me tell you, there are some super crazy Tide fans out there! Recommended for anyone who loves college football, especially in the SEC. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Molly | 9/23/2009

    " This book truly gives you a great trip down memory lane if you attended a University in the SEC!!! Great read for Bama Fans especially! "

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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.
About the Narrator

Michael Kramer has narrated many audiobooks over the last twenty years; his favorite authors include Donald E. Westlake, Thomas Perry, and Robert Jordan. He has received fifteen AudioFile Earphones Awards for his work. He lives in the DC area, where he also works in theater as an actor and director.