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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: Warren St. John Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2004 ISBN: 9780739315774
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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. 

Download and start listening now!

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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
  • 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

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ember | 2/5/2014

    " This book was awesome! It was recommended by a friend who went to Alabama, and really gave interesting insight into the world of SEC football and the fanatic fans. Coming from an ACC background, it helped explain rivalries, etc. I really liked it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Greg | 1/29/2014

    " 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 Mike | 1/18/2014

    " The author re-explores his childhood fandom of Alabama football. A very interesting inside look at the extremes fans will go to. RVs getting 4 miles to the gallon, tailgating for weeks, and taking yourself of organ donation lists to make away games. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Julie | 1/9/2014

    " This book was not a usual choice for me, and learning about the world of the sports fan was fun...at first. I found it got samey after awhile. But it was easy to pick up and read a few pages on the train. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maria | 1/9/2014

    " 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 Molly Jasper | 1/2/2014

    " 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! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Morgan Plash | 12/4/2013

    " LOVED! Anyone that has experienced Alabama football will love this book. It is so funny and he is an excellent storyteller. Warren St. John really wraps up the SEC experience for Alabama football fans! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janet | 11/30/2013

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

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Donell | 10/29/2013

    " 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 Mickey Mantle | 10/29/2013

    " A magnificent look into the Bama Football fandom that attends games in a traveling RV roadshow that is something to behold. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jared | 9/28/2013

    " Hilarious insight into the crazy culture of college football in the South. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Scott | 9/7/2013

    " 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. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Muffy | 8/13/2013

    " One of my favorite sports books "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Erik | 8/5/2013

    " An interesting recounting of a year spent following the RV crew from one Alabama football game to the next "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gretchen | 8/5/2013

    " 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 Jeremy Boatwright | 3/17/2013

    " A must read for any bama fan. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dana | 10/12/2012

    " 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 Suziqoregon | 9/8/2012

    " My blog post about this book is at this link . "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Molly | 9/2/2012

    " interesting no matter whether you like football or not. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Danielle Bradley | 7/25/2012

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

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jason | 2/17/2012

    " 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 Jed Park | 2/2/2012

    " A great insight into the psyche of sports fans everywhere, but in particular the peculiar obsession of Southern College Football. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Susie | 5/18/2011

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

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 William Norvell | 5/8/2011

    " 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. "

  • 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 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.