• 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
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: Sports & Outdoors, Coaching
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (475 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

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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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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Excellent

I’m not a Patriots fan but I admire and respect what they have accomplished. This is an excellent book and one of the few I’ve ever listened to that kept my interest from start to finish. If you love football, I highly recommend this book.

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A Must Listen

As an avid football fan, this provides great insight into the most dominant sports franchise of my lifetime. I especially enjoyed the history of how BB came to coach the Pats. I had forgotten, or perhaps never knew, all the details surrounding it. I also really enjoyed the insight on Bob Kraft. There’s plenty out there in every day sports media on Brady and even BB to some extent but not much on Kraft.

My only knock is in the later chapters the author, who seemed to remain pretty neutral in his stances on most of the book’s subjects, decided to insert his political opinions, which Of course are left leaning. But such is our media and many in the sports arena. Could have done without it though.

Overall, a must listen for any major football fan.

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Great story

The story was great, the reader kept mispronouncing names and words. Clearly the reader had never seen a football game.

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Amazing insight to the greatest NFL Dynasty

The audio book was exceptional on all levels. Great performance. Incredible detail and insight over the entire 20 year Brady-Belicheck reign. You will get an understanding of what it takes to get to their level and how they stayed there for 2 decades. Well worth the read even if not a Patriot fan.

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Loved it

Great story im going to listen to it again. Loved it, so worth it