Jerry Thornton signs his most recent book, 'Five Rings,’ after his talk at the Westwood Library. Photos by Robby McKittrick
By Robby McKittrick
Hometown Weekly Reporter
On Wednesday, November 8, Barstool Sports writer, author, stand-up comedian, and former WEEI Sports Radio Network talk show host Jerry Thornton held a talk at the Westwood Library to discuss his most recent book, “Five Rings.”
There were a variety of people in the audience, ranging from Barstool fans (known as “Stoolies”) to general Patriots fans.
“I’m a big Patriots fan, and I’m a big Barstool fan,” said Westwood resident Brian Harrington. “I circled [the talk] on my calendar… I hear [Thornton’s] a great speaker.”
“I love Jerry,” added college student Matt Jernest, who showed up in one of Barstool’s signature Roger Goodell clown shirts. “I read his blogs all of the time. I am always on Twitter checking out what he has to say.”
The event lasted around one and a half hours, and included a talk by Thornton, a brief question-and-answer session, and a book signing.
During the talk, Thornton discussed both of his Patriots books, while also making the audience laugh constantly.
“I definitely feel like I am using the same type of technique, method, and personality as to when I am on stage [doing stand-up comedy],” Thornton said.
In typical Thornton fashion, he began the talk by explaining that a police officer was assigned to watch over him because the library received a threatening email. Naturally, Thornton joked about the severe measure.
“That’s me, I’m an anarchist,” he joked. “I’m the world’s most dangerous football author.”
Thornton then became serious for a minute and explained why he wrote both of his books.
“I always wanted to read them,” he said. “I wanted to hear the story. I wanted it to be told.”
Thornton briefly discussed his first book, “From Darkness to Dynasty,” which describes the Patriots’ dreadful history before they had any success.
“They were an embarrassment on the field,” he said. “They were irrelevant. When no one cares about you, that’s the worst thing you can be.”
Thornton explained how the Patriots moved to Gillette Stadium, and he described the typical chaotic atmosphere at the games.
“It was the purge,” he said. “There was a fight every two seconds.”
“The Patriots have dominated on and off the field [since 2001],” Thornton said.
Thornton then went on to describe the brilliance of Tom Brady and the different Patriots Super Bowl games since Brady took the field in 2001.
“[Brady] turned out to be the messiah,” Thornton said. “He came from another dimension to show us what the perfect football player looks like.”
Thornton described the big wins, as well as the two losses to the Giants, which he called “The Super Bowl that shall not be named” and “the worst sequel since the second World War.”
Thornton also mentioned the triumph of Malcolm Butler against the Seahawks and the anxiety-provoking game against the Falcons.
“There was a shaft of light in the building, and my ancestors were waving to me,” Thornton said. “I physically left my body.”
After describing the different Super Bowl games, Thornton then explained the Patriots’ effect on modern culture.
“Not even Nickleback is universally hated as much as the Patriots,” Thornton said.
As is only natural for a diehard Pats fan, Thornton mentioned the absurdity of Deflategate before finally ending the talk by describing the time he gave Bill Belichick a copy of his book.
Thornton told a short story about how he asked Belichick one afternoon if Bill wanted one of his books. Belichick accepted the book and walked away. However, a minute later, Belichick came back and asked for Thornton to sign it and bring it back next week.
Interacting with the greatest coach of all time was just one of many amazing experiences in Thornton’s illustrious career in the Boston sports media market, and he recognizes his good fortune.
“It’s been an incredible ride,” Thornton said. “It’s still going. I am happy to be there every day in the trenches.”