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Kelly the Dog

"A Fan's Notes" - This week's Buff News fan column

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Here is the latest installment of Voice of the Fan, with a tribute to the best book ever written about fandom, "A Fan's Notes," by Frederick Exley in 1968, which is a gem of literature.

Please click on, read, critique, rate, badmouth, ballwash, comment, become a picker of nits, etc.

 

https://buffalonews.com/2019/12/04/buffalo-bills-fans-bills-mafia-dallas-cowboys-baltimore-ravens-frederick-exley/

 

An excerpt:

 

"The defense has solidified on all three units, and the takeaway is, well, takeaways. Ed Oliver is transforming before our eyes into the guy we imagined from his highlight reel. The career year of Jordan Phillips is now in its 12th week and producers are extending its run. Matt Milano and Tremaine Edmunds are trading off big plays and performances.

   

Now the Bills face the otherworldly Baltimore Ravenshoping to knock them out of the sky. The buildup is tremendously exciting. What a month ago seemed like a likely loss, now looms as an unlikely chance to leapfrog to the top of the NFL. 

 

“A Fan’s Notes, and its author, once described as “Exley’s self-loathing is really self-love,” might be the best description of Bills fans that I ever heard. 

 

This season has harkened back to the franchise’s glory years. Twenty-and-thirtysomething Bills fans might be experiencing the kind of prowess, standing, glory and hope, for the very first time in their lives. 

 

We follow Exley’s extraordinary boozy trail as he spends his Sundayat his local watering holes in upstate Watertown. He paces the length of the bar, imbibing, ranting, calling out plays and wildly rooting on his heroes as the patrons watch him and the game  

 

As madcap Bills fans, we are all writing our own version of “A Fan’s Notes” each successive and (recently) successful week, as this memorable and perhaps unforgettable season progresses and promises 

 

It’s a great story. Perhaps a classic for the ages. Here comes the next chapter."

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You've read Exley's book?

My memory of that book was that it is bizarre and disturbing and only tangentially related to football.

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49 minutes ago, Flip Johnson said:

You've read Exley's book?

My memory of that book was that it is bizarre and disturbing and only tangentially related to football.

I read it a few times. It's very bizarre and disturbing, and there is not a huge amount of football in it, but it's about his fanaticism, and living vicariously through the glory and accolades of Gifford and the Giants when his life is a total failure. It's an incredible piece of tragic-comic literature. Not an easy read or for the faint of heart. Has tremendous critical reviews, although he wrote two sequels, neither of which were very good.

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