• It's Better to Be Feared

  • The New England Patriots Dynasty and the Pursuit of Greatness
  • By: Seth Wickersham
  • Narrated by: Richard Poe
  • Length: 19 hrs and 21 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (527 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Over two unbelievable decades, the New England Patriots were not only the NFL's most dominant team, but also - and by far - the most secretive. How did they achieve and sustain greatness - and what were the costs?

In It's Better to Be Feared, Seth Wickersham, one of the country's finest long form and investigative sportswriters, tells the full, behind-the-scenes story of the Patriots, capturing the brilliance, ambition, and vanity that powered and ultimately unraveled them. Based on hundreds of interviews conducted since 2001, Wickersham's chronicle is packed with revelations, taking us deep into Bill Belichick's tactical ingenuity and Tom Brady's unique mentality while also reporting on their divergent paths in 2020, including Brady's run to the Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Raucous, unvarnished, and definitive, It's Better to Be Feared is an instant classic of American sportswriting in the tradition of Michael Lewis, David Maraniss, and David Halberstam.

©2021 Seth Wickersham (P)2021 Recorded Books

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What listeners say about It's Better to Be Feared

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Don’t bother if you’ve read other patriots books

If you’ve read “Dynasty” or “Brady & Belichick” don’t waste your time reading this one— it’s a carbon copy but with several factual inaccuracies. Ie: tributing credit for the trick play “fight song” to Lane Kiffin when a simple google will tell you it’s Gus Malzahn. Even worse— saying the 2018 “miracle in Miami” play was a kick return touchdown. Unbelievable how something like this can clear publishing and be so blatantly incorrect.

Lastly, expect 95% of the household player’s names to be pronounced incorrectly.

I highly recommend reading “Dynasty” as it’s the far better version of this book. Don’t waste your money on this.

7 people found this helpful

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Brilliant book, audiobook is a disservice to the author and listener

I’ve eagerly awaiting listening to the words of Seth Wickersham, knowing the time and attention he put in to his research and his deep dive into sources to create an expansive new look into the story of the Brady/Belichick/Kraft triad of legend.

And yet, the author is the only one who put in that time and attention. The narration here is such a disappointment on multiple levels. You have a gifted narrator with a terrific, rich voice in Richard Poe who clearly does not know football. From his lack of colloquial understanding (11-5 as any football fan knows is 11 and 5 when read as a record, route is not like Route 44, hearing offensive read as offensive time and time again is downright, well, offensive) to his mistakenly pronounced names such as Huard and Harbaugh and Edelman to the lack of quality control by Recorded Books to clean up repeated phrases and mistakenly read sentences, this was an immense disservice to the author and to the listener. It seems to me it was a rush job and a poorly selected narrator for the project.
It’s better to be proofed than feared, after all.

I am a huge fan of audiobooks and yet would recommend reading this instead of listening.

2 people found this helpful

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O is a letter and 0 is a number!

The content was GREAT, however the reader constantly used O (letter) instead of 0 (number). Example, "they were nine and O (oh)" instead of "nine and zero".

2 people found this helpful

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Tedious use of unnecessary political opinion

This would be excellent. It’s insightful, interesting and in-depth. It would have been 5 stars across the board but the writer insists on taking shots at Trump where ever he can. Even citing stories that have since issued clarifications or retractions. I don’t even like Trump, but this dudes political axe grinding wore me out. He just couldn’t help himself, and the woke politics are a bit distracting to an otherwise fascinating story. It’s still worth suffering through it, but it could have been so much better.

1 person found this helpful

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it's just OK

some good insights, some useless tangents and speculation and marred by author's political indulgences. narration good but could have demarcated when he was quoting others better.

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Off-season Reading

I’m not a Patriots fan, but I wanted to learn more about the history of other football teams. I have so much respect for Brady. I hated him for years but now I call him the GOAT and respect the hell out of him. This book showed me a lot of what the team went through during the dynasty years. Great read.

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Poor narration

Well written and interesting, but the narration is just awful. Mispronunciations abound throughout the book, and the narrator often sounds out of breath.

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Great for a Patriot Fan

The narrator (Poe) was excellent. Some insightful first hand accounts.. Too much "Boston Media" speculation or gossip without declaring it so.
Any political context is typical one sided, left wing , main stream media, that detracted from the actual events being discussed.
I have mixed emotions about the book because I was not sure I trusted the author was delivering solid facts, historical accounts or just speculation on his part or one or two distant observers.

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Great insight

Wickersham does a great job in providing deeper insight to the dynasty and behind the scenes. Especially the breakup and how/ why it happened. Only downside is narrators ability to pronounce names.

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Fantastic

an incredible look at the greatest sports dynasty this century. Even if you're not a football fan, this insight into the dynamic personalities ( all misfits, all with something to prove) that came together to create a 20-year dynastic run that defined America's post 9/11 era is a lesson in not Just sports, but life

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