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.
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It's not art, but it is insightful
Nate Jackson provides a very clear picture of what life is like for a professional football player, from the pain of a torn muscle to the availability of "jersey chasers" for a pro athlete. He peppers his story with more philosophical meanderings and extended metaphors than you might imagine, but it's largely an instructive, interesting, informative inside look inside the locker room.
- Roger Friedman
Great inside look