Slow Getting Up : A Story of NFL Survival from the Bottom of the Pile
by Jackson, Nate

Prologue: Goodbye, Dude (2008)1(8)
1 The First Seven Years (2002)
"Wake the fuck up. It's time to hit."
2 My Life as Randy Moss (2003)
"Look, Ma, I'm a Denver Bronco."
3 Nein Lives (2004)
"The grass is still green, the hits still hurt, and the ball in flight is still the most beautiful sight I know."
4 Grid-Irony (2004)
"It takes a village to raise a jock."
5 Meat Sacks (2005)
"The weight comes quickly. So do the bowel movements."
6 Plummer's Crack (2006)
"It's hard to play quarterback with a noose around your neck."
7 Pointy Balls (2007)
"One-liner small talk with approachable vampires."
8 Farewell, Bronco Betty (2007)
"God loves the NFL too much to crash one of its planes."
9 Rocky Mountain High (2007)
"Whatever this is, it feels important."
10 Watermelon Seeds (2007-2008)
"The limp and the hop echo off the tiles of an empty shower room."
11 The Last Dislocation (2008)
"Every game a needle."
12 The After Affect (2009)
"I am doing God's work, after all."

From scouting combines to game-day routines, an account of ordinary life in the NFL brings to light the story of hundreds of expendable players whose lives, unlike those of their superstar colleagues, aren't captured in high-definition.

*Starred Review* Nate Jackson played six seasons for the NFL Denver Broncos. He was, at various times, an extra wide receiver, a third-string tight end, and a special-teams regular. He didn't get a contract that will support multiple generations of heirs; failed to assemble an adoring, self-interested posse; never signed an endorsement deal. But he lived his dream for six years, never quite sure if he'd survive the next cut-until he didn't. Somewhere along the way he learned to write, not just link words together to form a coherent narrative, which would be more than enough for most sports bios, but really write. There is a bit of the artist in Nate Jackson. For anyone who wants to experience the NFL player experience, this is the book to read. The highs are here: scoring touchdowns (well, only a couple); moving from the practice squad to the game-day roster; those years (well, only a couple) when you felt kinda, sorta secure; and experiencing the camaraderie with teammates, a bittersweet pleasure given the uncertainty of who will be around tomorrow. Then there are the lows, led, of course, by injuries-lord, the injuries-the rehab, the pain, and the realization that one's body has been completely misaligned. And the tragedy that Jackson endured with the death of two teammates-young, seemingly invincible warriors. This is Jackson's first book, but he's honed his skills at Slate, Deadspin, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times. Don't miss this one; it could very well be the best book about pro football you will ever read. Copyright 2013 Booklist 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. Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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