A Few Seconds of Panic: A 5-Foot-8, 170-Pound, 43-Year-Old Sportswriter Plays in the NFL

A Few Seconds of Panic: A 5-Foot-8, 170-Pound, 43-Year-Old Sportswriter Plays in the NFL

by Stefan Fatsis
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Audiobook(MP3 on CD - Unabridged, 1 MP3 CD, 12 hours)

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Overview

A Few Seconds of Panic: A 5-Foot-8, 170-Pound, 43-Year-Old Sportswriter Plays in the NFL by Stefan Fatsis

In Word Freak, Stefan Fatsis infiltrated the insular world of competitive Scrabble players, ultimately achieving expert status (comparable to a grandmaster ranking in chess). Now he infiltrates a strikingly different subculture—pro football. After more than a year spent working out with a strength coach and polishing his craft with a gurulike kicking coach, Fatsis molded his fortyish body into one that could stand up—barely—to the rigors of NFL training. And over three months in 2006, he became a Denver Bronco. He trained with the team and lived with the players. He was given a locker and uniforms emblazoned with the number 9. He was expected to perform all the drills and regimens required of other kickers. He ws unlike his teammates in some ways—most notably, his livelihood was not on the line as theirs was. But he became remarkably like them in many ways: he risked crippling injury just as they did, endured the hazing that befalls all rookies, daily gorged on 4,000 calories, and slogged through two-a-day practices in blistering heat. Not since George Plimpton's stint as a Detroit Lion more than forty years ago has a writer tunneled so deeply into the NFL.

At first, the players tolerated Fatsis or treated him like a mascot, but over time they began to think of him as one of them. And he began to think like one of them. Like the other Broncos—like all elite athletes—he learned to perfect a motion through thousands of repetitions, to play through pain, to silence the crowd's roar, and to banish self-doubt.

While Fatsis honed his mind and drove his body past exhaustion, he communed with every classic athletic type—the afable alpha male, the overpaid brat, the youthful phenom, the savvy veteran—and a welter of bracingly atypical players as well: a fullback who invokes Aristotle, a quarterback who embraces yoga, and a tight end who takes creative writing classes in the off-season. Fatsis also witnessed the hidden machinery of a top-flight football franchise, from the God-is-in-the-details strategizing of legendary coach Mike Shanahan to the icy calculation with which the front office makes or breaks careers.

With wry candor and hard-won empathy, A Few Seconds of Panic unveils the mind of the modern pro athlete and the workings of a storied sports franchise as no book ever has before.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781400157679
Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc.
Publication date: 07/03/2008
Edition description: Unabridged, 1 MP3 CD, 12 hours
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 7.60(h) x 0.65(d)

About the Author

Stefan Fatsis is a sports reporter for the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times bestselling author of Word Freak.

Stefan Fatsis is a sports reporter for the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times bestselling author of Word Freak.

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Few Seconds of Panic: A 5-Foot-8, 170-Pound, 43-Year-Old Sportswriter Plays In The NFL 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BNMerch_Man More than 1 year ago
I've never read George Plimpton's classic Paper Lion, but after thoroughly enjoying Stefan Fatsis's A Few Seconds of Panic I've got to pick it up. Fatsis credits Plimpton as the inspiration for his wish to find an NFL team he could (pretend) to try out for at preseason camp -- then write about on the inside after gaining the trust of the players and coaches. Of course, he admits that the NFL isn't quite the laidback little club it was when Plimpton joined the Detroit Lions back in 1963; indeed, as a multibillion dollar behemoth virtually all of its constituent teams flatly refused Fatsis's request to join them ... until, unexpectedly, the Denver Broncos said yes. The result is not only a vivid firsthand account of the grind, the uncertainty, and the heartbreak of trying (and typically failing) to make it in the NFL ... it's also the story of a middle-aged sportswriter's quest to be taken seriously as a pro athlete and place kicker -- if only for one short summer.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you don't like football or the NFL this is not the book for you. But if you have ever wondered what goes on inside a pro franchise, it's a must read. I'm three quarters through the book and hard to put down.