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From Darkness to Dynasty
The First 40 Years of the New England Patriots
Jerry Thornton; Michael Holley, fwd.

Paperback not yet released.
Publication date: September 4, 2018 (paperback)

2016 • 312 pp. 24 illus. 6 1/8 x 9 1/4"
Sports History / Football / New England History

$19.95 Paperback, 978-1-5126-0318-7
$27.95 Hardcover, 978-1-61168-974-7

$22.99 Ebook, 978-1-5126-0001-8

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.

“As a transplant to Boston, I wasn't as well-versed in Patriots history as say the history of the Celtics or the Red Sox. But Jerry Thornton has got me... [continued in Reviews below]”—Clarissa Hadge, Trident Booksellers

The wild, zany, and forgotten history of the NFL’s now-premier franchise

Love them or hate them, what the New England Patriots have been able to do over the past fifteen years is nothing short of remarkable. In addition to their four Super Bowl championships, the Patriots have the best coach in the league, a smart and savvy front office, and a future Hall of Fame quarterback who is internationally recognized as the face of the NFL. The longer the Patriots continue to dominate on the field as well as in the media and the American pop culture landscape, the harder it becomes for anyone to remember them as something other than a model franchise and the ultimate paradigm of success and accomplishment.

Anyone, that is, except for Jerry Thornton. It wasn’t always sunshine and roses for the Patriots; in fact, for the bulk of their existence, it was exactly the opposite. Though difficult to fathom now, the New England Patriots of old weren’t just bad—they were laughably bad. Not so long ago, the Pats were the laughingstock of not only the NFL but also the entire sporting world.

From Darkness to Dynasty tells the unlikely history of the New England Patriots as it has never been told before. From their humble beginnings as a team bought with rainy-day money by a man who had no idea what he was doing to the fateful season that saw them win their first Super Bowl, Jerry Thornton shares the wild, humiliating, unbelievable, and wonderful stories that comprised the first forty years of what would ultimately become the most dominant franchise in NFL history.

Witty, hilarious, and brutally honest, From Darkness to Dynasty returns to the thrilling, perilous days of yesteryear—a welcome corrective for those who hate the Patriots and a useful reminder for those who love them that all glory is fleeting.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

“As a transplant to Boston, I wasn't as well-versed in Patriots history as say the history of the Celtics or the Red Sox. But Jerry Thornton has got me all caught up on the trials and tribulations that the Pats have faced in their forty years as a team. Part history, part memoir, Thornton presents the ups and downs of the Pats in a fun and engaging way. This is the perfect book for any reader who is a die-hard Pats fan, or for readers who want to know the history of what is arguably the best team the NFL has today. I can't wait to get this book in the hands of my customers — just in time for the start of the football season!” —Clarissa Hadge, Trident Booksellers

"This book is about the New England Patriots, from its inception and start in 1959 to its first super bowl win in 2001. I am and have always been a Patriots fan. A book about the Patriots would be of interest to me. However, I have found in the past that books about sports teams are like history books, plenty of facts and figures, but generally boring. Thornton’s book is an exception. It is a great read and was hard to put down once I started reading it. The behind the scenes machinations of all of the parties involved with the Patriots was fascinating and well presented by Thornton. As a Patriots fan I was vaguely aware of some of the machinations, but not in the detail and with the insight presented by Thornton. This is a book I recommend, not only to sports fans, but to anyone wishing to read an interesting and well written book about a sports team."—John McGonagle, Buttonwood Books and Toys

“Jerry Thornton is one of the original Defenders of the Wall and one of the funniest, most popular, and most relatable Patriots writers out there. He has also been a fan since before a lot of us were even born - so who better to recount the history of the team, from their inception all the way up through that fateful first Super Bowl win, than the man who was there for all of it? . . . you're all going to love From Darkness to Dynasty. It's funny, it's interesting, it's well-written, and it serves as an important reminder that we need to milk every last second out of these successful seasons. It wasn't that long ago that the Patriots were bad. Really, really bad.”—Alec Shane, Pats Pulpit

“Jerry Thornton captures the early Patriots in all their ignominy and defeat. . . . [He] amusingly recalls the bumbling and screwy way in which Billy Sullivan and his sons ran the team.” —Providence Journal

“Over the past decade and a half, the NFL world has come to know the Patriots as champions, an organization to emulate. It’s like everyone forgot the trials and tribulations it took to get there. Of course, Jerry hasn’t forgotten. That’s why this book is so great—an unfettered appreciation for the ugly, hilarious, sad, and tumultuous history of the Patriots. But seen through Jerry’s tortured and comical eyes. I love it!”—Ian Rapoport, NFL Media’s National Insider

“Once upon a time, the Patriots didn’t have Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, Robert Kraft, or four Super Bowl rings. They were not a dynasty. They were dysfunctional. There is nobody better than Jerry Thornton, a lifetime member of Patriots Nation, to provide this very entertaining and funny account of the hopelessness that once defined New England’s football team. From Darkness to Dynasty is a must-read if you love the Patriots—or love to hate the Patriots.”—Gary Myers, author of Brady vs. Manning

“Jerry Thornton resorted to cannibalism to survive the Rod Rust era and now bleeds every time Tom Brady suffers a paper cut. This intense loyalty to the Patriots helped launch Jerry from local blogger and stand-up comic to Boston sports media star, while endearing him to a generation of fans young and old. From Darkness to Dynasty proves that Jerry’s the real deal: a quick-witted fan forged in the comedic hell of the now-dynastic franchise’s laughably miserable early years.”—Kerry J. Byrne, founder, and

“Jerry Thornton is the best Patriots writer in New England. He has been for a decade. There is nobody who knows the team better or expresses what it’s like to be a Patriots fan better than him. This book is vintage Thornton from start to finish. If you like the Patriots or even football, this is a must-read book, period.”—Dave Portnoy, Barstool Sports

JERRY THORNTON writes about the Patriots for Barstool Sports and hosts its NFL podcast. He is the former cohost of the Dale and Holley Show on WEEI, Boston's leading sports radio station. In addition, Jerry is a standup comic who won the Boston Comedy Riot competition and has performed at colleges and clubs all around New England. He has appeared on HBO's Emmy Award-winning Curse of the Bambino and Comcast SportsNet New England, and has written for

Tue, 15 May 2018 13:38:04 -0500