Slow Getting Up: A Story of NFL Survival from the Bottom of the Pile by Nate Jackson | Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Slow Getting Up: A Story of NFL Survival from the Bottom of the Pile

Slow Getting Up: A Story of NFL Survival from the Bottom of the Pile

4.3 28
by Nate Jackson
     
 

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Nate Jackson’s Slow Getting Up is an unvarnished and uncensored memoir of everyday life in the most popular sports league in America—and the most damaging to its players—the National Football League.

After playing college ball at a tiny Division III school, Jackson, a receiver, signed as a free agent with the San Francisco 49ers, before

Overview

Nate Jackson’s Slow Getting Up is an unvarnished and uncensored memoir of everyday life in the most popular sports league in America—and the most damaging to its players—the National Football League.

After playing college ball at a tiny Division III school, Jackson, a receiver, signed as a free agent with the San Francisco 49ers, before moving to the Denver Broncos. For six seasons in the NFL as a Bronco, he alternated between the practice squad and the active roster, eventually winning a starting spot—a short, tenuous career emblematic of the average pro player.

Drawing from his own experience, Jackson tells the little known story of the hundreds of everyday, "expendable" players whose lives are far different from their superstar colleagues.

From scouting combines to training camps, off-season parties to game-day routines, debilitating physical injuries—including degenerative brain conditions—to poor pensions and financial distress, he offers a funny, and shocking look at life in the NFL, and the young men who risk their health and even their lives to play the game.

Editorial Reviews

Ben Fountain
“Excellent...busts through pro football’s prevailing mythology...Nate Jackson gives us the game warts and all, but never in a drag-ass, woe-is-me way. A really fine book. Man can write.”
Stefan Fatsis
“Simply the best book by a former player about life in the NFL that you will read. Maybe the best book period about life in the NFL that you will read.”
Dwight Garner
“That screaming you hear coming across the sky? It’s a wobbly spiral…Slow Getting Up is everything you want football memoirs to be but never are: hilarious, dirty, warm, human, honest, weird.”
Scott Raab
Slow Getting Up tells the whole truth about the NFL. Painfully honest and remarkably funny, it’s far and away the best ‘insider’ book about pro sports since Jim Bouton’s Ball Four.”
Tom Junod
“The book the world has been waiting for. “Ball Four” for the football world is here at last.”
San Jose Mercury News
“A tremendously authentic, inside-the-locker-room view is unveiled with Jackson’s myriad stories, clever wit, skillful prose and perfect dose of sophomoric humor.”
Jonathan Mahler
“Fantastic.”
Rolling Stone
“The best football memoir ever.”
New Republic
“Excellent.”
The New York Times - Dwight Garner
…it's everything you want football memoirs to be but never are: hilarious, dirty, warm, human, honest, weird…[Jackson's] that unicornlike rarity among former football players: He can write…Slow Getting Up is a sly, inquisitive, wide-awake book about what it's like to play in the N.F.L. if you're a relative nobody, if you're among the beefy proletariat. It'll make you see the game with fresh eyes.
Publishers Weekly
★ 11/25/2013
Former football player Jackson draws from six years of experience in the NFL to reveal the travails of strenuous training camps, road trips, injuries, and the overall precarious nature of the job. Jackson is a natural writer and he tells his story in an honest and highly absorbing way, exerting imaginative language with affable ease and never seeming bitter or petulant. He frequently relies on caveats: "Being able to actually relax in the NFL is rare," he writes. "The pressures are too great. And they are constant. The head coach is under siege at all times, and it trickles down to everyone else." He gives much attention to the topic of injury: "My ‘mild hamstring strain' won't heal. Ice here, heat there, stretch here, rub there, inject here, pills there: nothing is helping … a dangerous place to be a gimp." Jackson's story is one of hope laced with reality: "There is a football game to play. Then there is another. Always another… opportunity for glory." The product will appeal to football fans and general readers alike. Though Jackson's days playing pro-ball are over, his writing career is just taking off. Agent: Alice Martell, the Martell Agency. (Sept.)
Library Journal
Periodically, one of pro football's lumpen proletariat provides a perceptive insider's view of the NFL from the end of the bench. The lesser-light author in this case is a former Broncos receiver who caught just 27 passes in his six-year NFL career from 2003 to 2009 while missing dozens of games because of yearly injuries. Jackson draws a sharp picture of the rough camaraderie of the NFL fraternity with lots of good behind-the-scenes stories involving both players and coaches. The language is coarse and crude, and the author spends too much time on private sexual habits of no relevance or interest, as well as on the dry diagnostic details of his injuries, but he also effectively portrays the adhesive hold such a physically punishing and mentally stressful sport exerts on its players. VERDICT A flawed but interesting look at the NFL life for adult fans.
Kirkus Reviews
An insightful memoir of an unlikely NFL career. Jackson is likely a much better athlete than nearly all of his readers, but in the National Football League, he was just average--and he knows as much. Every season, he fought simply to make the team, which he did. The author successfully navigated the nearly unimaginable leap from a tiny Division III college to a six-year career as a wide receiver and tight end with the San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos, with ill-fated training-camp experiences before and after his tenure in the Rockies and a season playing for NFL Europe in Germany. Jackson has an original voice, honed as a writer for a number of newspapers, magazines and websites, perhaps most frequently with Deadspin. The author is wry and smart and has a love-hate relationship with the sport that gave him so much but also took a great deal from him. Jackson's career was peppered with injuries: muscles torn from the bone, dislocations and sprains and the concomitant shots, pills and therapy sessions that would allow him to go back to the field. Jackson's greatest strength is his self-awareness. Every time one of his stories seems to be veering toward stereotypical athlete bluster, he takes an ironic swerve, usually making himself the butt of his own acerbic wit. That wit also manifests itself in a cynical approach to a host of issues ranging from tired sports-as-war metaphors to stadium naming rights. Ultimately, the injuries and the toll of the incredibly violent game got the best of him. Readers are the beneficiaries. Jackson was never a household name, but his memoir is better than any ghostwritten self-homage from a superstar.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062108036
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
09/02/2014
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
293,790
Product dimensions:
5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.57(d)

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Meet the Author

Nate Jackson played six seasons in the National Football League as a wide receiver and a tight end. His writing has appeared in Deadspin, Slate, Daily Beast, BuzzFeed, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times. A native of San Jose, California, he now lives in Los Angeles. This is his first book.

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