By Stefan Fatsis
"An insightful and . . . fun examine the internal workings of professional soccer" (The manhattan Times) from the bestselling writer of Word Freak
In Word Freak, Stefan Fatsis invaded the insular international of aggressive Scrabble gamers, eventually attaining an expert-level rating. Now, in his new publication, he infiltrates a strikingly various subculture-pro soccer. After greater than a yr of coaching, Fatsis molded his fortyish physique into one who may stand up-barely-to the pains of NFL education. And for 3 months he turned a placekicker for the Denver Broncos. taking advantage of exceptional entry to an NFL staff and its gamers, and drawing on his personal own event, Fatsis with wry candor and hard-won empathy unveils the brain of the fashionable professional athlete and the workings of a storied activities franchise as no author has earlier than.
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Additional info for A Few Seconds of Panic: A Sportswriter Plays in the NFL
One afternoon within the locker room, thirty-five-year-old Tom Nalen mocks my actual skill, and that i good-naturedly comment that I doubt he’ll be on any box at age forty-three. “Why? ” he says, part jokingly yet disarmingly. “Because I won’t have the ability to stroll? ” The avid gamers are conscious of a up to date spate of heartbreaking, and infuriating, stories approximately NFL retirees suing in useless for incapacity merits from a league and a gamers’ union portrayed as detached to the ravages of the sport: to the unseen toll of frequently undiagnosed concussions, to the stories of former avid gamers of their forties, fifties, and sixties struggling with melancholy or Alzheimer’s ailment. Adam says he has struggled with melancholy, as have a lot of his teammates, and with the way in which daily discomfort interferes along with his being a great husband and father. yet he and Courtney haven’t mentioned the life-altering harm he already may have suffered that won’t show itself for 2 or 3 a long time. to contemplate it can hinder Adam—and another player—from doing what he has determined he might be doing. virtually, Adam avoids making touch along with his helmet, avoids any pointless touch in any respect. within the cauldron of conflict, although, avoidance isn’t attainable, and out of one’s regulate. “You nearly simply desire it’s no longer you,” he says. “You’re conversing approximately men compromising their wellbeing and fitness brief time period, after which long-term, to play a online game. And as soon as that season’s over, they could get kicked to the scale down and never get one other dime. That’s bullshit. i believe long term healthiness deal with everybody—those who play now, those that performed before—that’s a tremendous trouble. think our record of preexisting stipulations. attempt to cross discover a coverage. ” He provides, “If you’re lucky to play longer than many years, you already know the ramifications in your way of life. ” finally, Adam says, avid gamers play for the intangibles, the issues that drew him again: camaraderie, workforce, festival, Sunday. these issues blot out the frustrations: the tradition of secrecy and mistrust created by means of negative conversation among coaches and gamers, the relentless concentrate on being profitable, from gamers to vendors. Adam is thirty-two, a “borderline dinosaur” within the NFL, he says. making an attempt a comeback at thirty-four wouldn’t be attainable. Adam desires to get better what made him a starter in each one of his NFL seasons and aid a crew. If he fails, not less than he attempted. Even for somebody as self-aware as he's, momentary present trumps long term probability. thirteen If It’s In, It’s In in the past, I haven’t afflicted the running shoes with my minor maladies. as a substitute, I’ve trusted gobs of Flexall—there’s a gallon squirt jug on a training-room counter, subsequent to a gallon jug of sunscreen—applied with a rubber glove to my thighs, hamstrings, and groin, in addition to visits to the ice pool and scorching bathtub and commonplace days off. every one of those uncomplicated measures has caused verbal pokes from my teammates, who can’t think so little task calls for lots cognizance. As I frequently repeat, I’m forty-three, i've got surgically reconstructed knees, and I’ve by no means performed this ahead of.