25 October 2007
Play by Pitch
Whenever someone asks me: “who is your favorite college football team?” I always respond with “I bleed cardinal and gold for USC.” I give them that response because I’m a really big fan of their football team and I mean an enormous fan. And Only a true fan knows what it’s like when your favorite team loses a big game, of feels that pain the team does with the agony of defeat, which is why Nick Hornby wrote Fever Pitch, to acknowledge a life long fixation about the Arsenal football club and that he is a true fan of the game. He tells us just how much a true fan he is using word choice, game references and his personal life.
Sometimes what people say can be misinterpreted by the words you use. Nick Hornby leaves nothing to be misinterpreted in Fever Pitch because word choice is a huge part of his description and tribute to his obsession with the Arsenal soccer (football) team. This is demonstrated on page 13 in the quote: “It might not be too fanciful to suggest that it was an idea which shaped my life. I have always been accused of taking the things I love-football, of course, but also books and records- much to seriously.” When I read this I focused on his word choice of “love” because it describes his true feeling about the sport in reference Arsenal. Another good example of Nick using word choice is in the quote: “In a way Brazil ruined it for all of us. They had revealed a kind of Platonic ideal that nobody, not even Brazilians, would ever be able to find again”(30). The words here that jumped out at me were “platonic” and “ruined it for us all” because
“Platonic” makes it sound like it was more that it actually was and you can really feel the emotion in his description that just adds to his tribute to the team. When he talks about “ruined it for us all” he makes it sound like he is more than a fan, that he is almost a player and the way he says it is to create a more dramatic feeling to the praise. A last example of word choice would be on page 73 when he is talking about a tragic loss, and he uses “we” as in “we lost” describing that he is more than just a fan that he is a part of the team and that he would be honored to be an actual part of the team, which creates more prestige about Arsenal. All of these examples of word choice have shown the emotion Nick Hornby has put into his book, and how he felt like he was more than just a fan.
It helps a lot when you take notes in school, so you can look back on the topic with detail. That has to be what Nick Hornby did when he wrote this book because he uses game reference with good details to add to the tribute. Some good examples of this would be on pages 85, 93, and 104. In all of these situations Nick uses good descriptive details as if he were writing everything down back then when he was watching the game. This is significant because it shows that he cared back then and he cares now, that this book is truly a tribute to this team.
Sometimes we get sidetracked from our goals, or forget the things we love. Nock Hornby does not; through all the events of his personal life he still follows the team. In the near beginning of the book, his parents begin the process of getting divorced, this is a personal issue, that almost clouds his viewing for a while but recovers and the team is kind of what gets him through the divorce. Arsenal’s stadium was like Nick’s home away
from home during the divorce. This is noteworthy because it shows that this team is as though the team is personal to him. A last but just as good example would be when he broke up with his long-term girlfriend (unnamed). He tells us about how important to the story she is in the quote: “She is a part of this story, I think, in several ways…” (93).This quote is significant because he basically comes out and says she is important to the story. An event like this can cause someone to get sidetracked, but Nick doesn’t seem to, he stays strong and gets through it with his team… Arsenal.
In all I liked this book, it showed that true fans truly love their team. Nock’s personal experiences, word choice and game references made this book into a 239 page tribute to the Arsenal football club. And as long as I bleed cardinal and gold I’ll feel the same way he does.