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Fever Pitch is author Nick Hornby's (About a Boy, High Fidelity) first book and is an autobiographical look at being a sports fan and all that entails in the context of growing up supporting Arsenal FC in England. Each chapter covers a single match attended between the late 60s and the early 90s, and relates to Hornby's own childhood and life experiences. As much a memoir as a sports book, it was extremely well received and won several awards.

It has been since adapted into two movies, both romantic comedies, with one made in Britain and released in 1997 which was written by Hornby himself starring Colin Firth and a second adaptation starring Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore which transplanted the story to Boston and replaced football (soccer) with baseball and Arsenal FC with the Boston Red Sox.



Tropes:

  • Awkward Father-Son Bonding Activity: How Hornby got started following football. After his parents' divorce, his father started taking him to football to spend time together.
  • Coming of Age Story: The whole book is one.
  • Down to the Last Play: Actually occurred in real-life as Michael Thomas scored for Arsenal in a 2-0 win that won them the league.
  • Every Year They Fizzle Out: Hornby was a fan through some of Arsenal's leanest years in terms of trophies won.
  • Gretzky Has the Ball: Thoroughly averted of course, this a book by an obsessive fan about his favourite team.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: The American remake was originally written to end on a bittersweet, "There's always next year" note. But then the Red Sox actually won the championship after pulling off the greatest Miracle Rally in baseball history so naturally the plot was quickly rewritten to accommodate it. The final scene was actually filmed on the field with the real Red Sox celebrating in the background and you can actually see stars Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore in some of the news footage of the on-field celebration (the look on Fallon's face? Legitimate. He's an actual Red Sox fan in real life).
    • Naturally applies to the book as well.
  • A Touch of Class Ethnicity and Religion: Explores Britain's class divide and how football can both overcome it and succumb to it.
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: Both films, especially the British one. Similarly, the American version exaggerates what hardcore Red Sox fans believe and how they act.
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