I crossed a big name off my podcast guest bucket list this week, speaking to South Jersey native Matthew Quick, author of Silver Linings Playbook and several other wonderful works. While not all Eagles fans are familiar with the original novel, I’m sure most have seen the 2012 film adaptation staring Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro.
I enjoyed the movie version, but the novel has a depth to it that even a cast as talented as that can’t match. I read it for the first time back in January 2018 while searching for every little piece of Eagles content I could assume to make the weekdays go by quicker so the weekend’s playoff games could come. I laughed. I cried. I put myself in the shoes of Pat Peoples. It remains my favorite novel ever.
I’ve frequently incorporated elements of mental health as it relates to my Eagles fandom in my work, going all the way back to this article I wrote for BGN way back in 2016 (that long ago?). That’s obviously a huge part of Silver Linings Playbook. While the novel isn’t strictly autobiographical, as Quick makes known during the course of the interview, he does incorporate elements of his own experiences into the book, as all writers do. He may not have won a wild dance competition, but he certainly played the part of an obsessive Eagles fan struggling deeply with depression and anxiety.
That hits me right in the gut. It’s hard not to imagine myself as I read Quick’s words or watch Cooper’s acting. This is even more pertinent than usual given that May is Mental Health Awareness Month.
Quick and I discussed our mirrored early 20s, the toll that drinking can take on Eagles fans and the way that football in our fair city is all-consuming. I commend Quick for his candidness and transparency in chatting with me. He was honest, brutally at times, conveying the true emotions behind his Eagles fandom and the way it’s irrevocably altered his life.
While the conversation is heavy at times, the podcast interview does end on a happy note, just as Silver Linings Playbook does.
I appreciate everyone who gives it a listen. I hope you can connect with the way we both love the Birds.
Click here to download or stream the episode below: