Seacoast Scene 01-23-20

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POP CULTURE

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Jerry Thornton talks Patriots

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remembers how the PatriThe Patriots’ season may be over, but there’s ots started out, he said, and still a chance for fans to to some people it seems like the team has always had succelebrate their favorite cess. This book goes back team and its history. Jerry Thornton will be to the beginning and shows at the Salisbury Public how their first years weren’t Library in Salisbury, Mass., the greatest. on Thursday, Jan. 30, from “The Patriots of my youth 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. to hold a were like the stray dog who discussion about his book followed you back home,” From Darkness to DynasThornton said. “In a lot of ty: The First 40 Years of ways, I appreciate the sucthe New England Patriots. cess they are having now Thornton is a writer for Barbecause I remember the bad stool Sports and previously days.” was part of a sports radio Some details from the show on WEEI 93.7 FM out From Darkness to Dynasty by Jerry book include not having Thornton of Boston. a stadium for the first 11 “I came from a really odd direction,” said years, listening to games on the radio instead Thornton about his career. “I was working a of watching on television because they day job and started doing stand-up comedy. couldn’t sell out home games, and having no Eventually, I got a call from HBO about a doc- merchandise. Thornton said he was of legal umentary they were working on.” drinking age before the Patriots won their first That documentary was Emmy Award win- playoff game. ning Reverse of the Curse of the Bambino, “I wrote the book for people who aren’t released in 2004. aware of just the level of futility they lived with Taking part in the documentary led to oth- for four decades, but also for the people who er opportunities in the sports world. Barstool lived through it. We knew they were ridiculous Sports, a sports and pop culture blog out of but we loved them just the same,” he said. Boston, contacted Thornton about writing Thornton enjoys visiting places and havfor them. ing discussions with people, like his upcoming “I sent them a sample and they hired me. event with the Salisbury Public Library. He Then Barstool grew and I’ve been with them enjoys talking to a room of people because of his stand-up comedy past, but he also wants since the beginning,” he said. Around 2013, WEEI asked Thornton to this to be a conversation. fill in as a radio host on occasion. He said he “Patriots fans are the most plugged in, emobecame their “go-to” guy when someone was tionally connected, internet-savvy and engaged out, and it turned out they were basically audi- of all sports, maybe all culture,” he said. “Every tioning him for a spot. time I talk to them, I always get something out “It was like The Bachelor, and I got the final of it. I’ve met people who have cared for the rose,” he said. “My very first day on the job team since their first season. People who can’t [had me interviewing] Bill Belichick. Meeting even remember Brady’s first year because him live on the air for the first time was like a they’re too young still know it all and are as 4-year-old meeting Mall Santa. I didn’t know if engaged and passionate as the adults.” I’d cry, scream or wet myself. He said hi to my Thornton published another book about the co-hosts, turned to me and said, ‘Jerry, it’s an Patriots in 2018, Five Rings: The Super Bowl honor to meet you.’” History of the New England Patriots (So Far). Thornton said that was the fourth best He discusses how the team went from being moment in his life, after his marriage and the irrelevant to hyper-relevant due to Super Bowl birth of his two kids. appearances. Both books can be purchased at After two years with WEEI, Thornton local bookstores and online. returned to Barstool Sports full time because When Thornton isn’t writing, he still perhe felt some ownership and pride over being forms stand-up. His next show will be on with the website since the start. Saturday, Feb. 22, at Victory Point Restaurant “I loved being with WEEI and it was a at Marina Bay in Quincy, Mass. His writing is dream job. I could have done it for the rest of always available on Barstool Sports and he is my life, but Barstool was the best opportunity on Twitter @JerryThornton1. for me,” Thornton said. The event at Salisbury Public Library is free From Darkness to Dynasty: The First 40 to attend and will run from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Years of the New England Patriots is the book in the Meeting Room. Email cmarsh@salisthat Thornton always wanted to read but didn’t burylibrary.org for more details. exist, so he wrote it himself. Not everyone — Danielle Roberts


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