A Few Seconds of Panic: A 5-foot-8, 43-year-old Sportswriter Plays in the NFL (Anglais) MP3 CD – Livre audio, MP3 Audio, Version intégrale
|Neuf à partir de||Occasion à partir de|
Descriptions du produit
Revue de presse
" Fatsis deftly explores how business permeates every aspect of the NFL. . . . [He] is able to penetrate the players' psyches in a way that few sportswriters have."
-Los Angeles Times
" What [Fatsis] has pulled off with his modern twist on Plimpton's 1966 classic, Paper Lion, is remarkable . . . an unflinching look behind the curtain at America's most popular professional sport and the men who play it."
-Minneapolis Star- Tribune --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .
Présentation de l'éditeur
In Word Freak, Stefan Fatsis invaded the insular world of competitive Scrabble players, ultimately achieving an expert-level ranking. Now, in his new book, he infiltrates a strikingly different subculture-pro football. After more than a year of preparation, Fatsis molded his fortyish body into one that could stand up-barely-to the rigors of NFL training. And for three months he became a placekicker for the Denver Broncos. Making the most of unprecedented access to an NFL team and its players, and drawing on his own personal experience, Fatsis with wry candor and hard-won empathy unveils the mind of the modern pro athlete and the workings of a storied sports franchise as no writer has before. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .
Aucun appareil Kindle n'est requis. Téléchargez l'une des applis Kindle gratuites et commencez à lire les livres Kindle sur votre smartphone, tablette ou ordinateur.
Pour obtenir l'appli gratuite, saisissez votre adresse e-mail ou numéro de téléphone mobile.
Détails sur le produit
En savoir plus sur l'auteur
Dans ce livre(En savoir plus)
Parcourir et rechercher une autre édition de ce livre.
Commentaires en ligne
Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Stefan Fatsis suceeds in infiltrating the most sacred of grounds: the NFL locker room and the strange world that surrounds it. We get a glimpse of what it is like to know that your very job hinges on the next play in training camp. Players come and go like the tides. Coaches rule like tyrrants and the pecking order among them becomes painfully evident. So does the stress created in this bubbling cauldron they call professional football.
Reading about the personalities of the players--from the lowly undrafted rookie free agent to the highest paid super-star--reminds us that these people are only human. In fact, Fastis' colorful writing creates a word picture that surely is the way these players really are. Some are real characters, some are sad reminders of how cruel life can be. I found myself identifying with one partiular play and this gave me great insight into my own place in life.
It must be terribly frustrating to be a professional football player, where the glamor of game day gives way to utter despair when the "turk" comes to visit.
The only downside I see with this book is that it is so captivating that I let my usual workload pile up while I sat glue to the book. Oh, well.
Stefan Fatsis provides a ticket to a game seldom of us see--the game withing the game. Though he stands only 5 feet 8 inches, this work is gigantic. May all of his kicks in life sail thorugh the uprights.
While the plot involves Fatsis improving his kicking to the point of non-embarrassment as part of the Denver Broncos, the deeper stories revolve around issues of belonging and achieving, of men proving themselves to themselves, and of the sacrifices we are willing to make to have done something extraordinary.
While Fatsis endures initiation and a brutal training regimen, humiliating public failures and private doubts, the book isn't really about him. Rather, we see through his sharp and empathetic eyes the arc of young lives enriched and betrayed by a business that masquerades as a game.
I'm reading the book AS Fatsis - imagining myself in his (size 6 1/2) shoes, taking a ribbing from my teammates, being ordered to sing my college fight song in the locker room, facing intense performance anxiety, and worst of all - getting into a jacuzzi filled with 47 degree water for 15 minutes.
That's only fitting, since the central theme of the book is how we men measure ourselves, against other men, against great tasks, against pain, and against fate itself.
What are my Few Seconds of Panic?
My takeaway, several weeks after finishing the book, is a series of questions:
What glorious, outrageous claim to greatness have I not dared to dream?
What self-imposed rules have kept me on the sidelines?
What fears of ridicule by the "in-crowd," in whatever setting, have limned my ambition?
So thank you, Stefan, for bolding going into the breach and paving the way for this reader, at least, to look for my own Few Seconds of Panic.
Here's the problem. Fastis is not a real kicker. He is not any type of football player with any semblance of understanding of what motivates footall players. But he is a good writer. And in so being latches onto certain storylines and presents them well. Nonetheless it is clear that he is ultimately taking shots in the dark. I credit him for hitting the mark more times than I expected him to, but he predictably misses it completely many times as well. Many of these times center around his absurd and denialist belief that he is actually a football player deserving of the opportunity to kick in a game. And at perhaps the books worst moment, he tirades the NFL for having the nerve to put it into clear terms just exactly how much of an outsider he is, comparing his kicking in a game to a rich prick bidding for the same chance. But this of course is exactly what Fastis is. His 'bid' may have been a compelling story to league officials about how attending Broncos camp would make the league look good, but in the end it was no different. Fastis is a guy who cheated his way into living a dream shared by millions and realized by a select few. And in posturing as a credible kicker due a fair chance to play, he discredits the good parts of the book by making it obvious that he really really tragically just doesn't get it. I have been a kicker for over 20 years. Injured in my senior year of high school, I had to build a reputation at a podunk DIII school, then walk on to a DI program. I've tried out for teams at every level. And like all but a select few, failed more often than I succeeded, often without what I thought was a fair shake. I've beat out guys better than me and lost my job to guys worse. I've kicked half a million balls or more in my career. I've hit game winners and missed them. I've kicked a thousand PATs. I've choked on pressure at times and other times devoured it and asked for more. Yet to this day, still a kicker, and having one of my best seasons ever, I have no illusions that I deserve to kick in the NFL. Yet Fastis, who never spent a day in this life, thinks he does. He talks the talk of a walk he never walked, fully convinced that he has ("I am a Bronco" HA!!). This completely destroys the credibility of the book for me. His writers instinct allows him to produce some interesting and insightful moments in this book, it is overshadowed by the fact that his is another poser who really doesn't understand the game at all, trying to pass off his hit or miss storytelling as an insiders perspective. He is lucky that the points he misses, come across in the direct quotes of the REAL players. That in the end saves the book and makes it a worthwhile read for any football fan. But Fastis is due little credit. His own perspectives only get in the way, and far too often. In all fairness I give the finished product 3 stars and a recommend. But I sincerely hope nobody ever tries this stunt again. It ultimately cheapens the accomplishments of the real players (at every level) who don't need a poser like Fastis to validate them or illuminate their reality with his dim perspective.
Fatsis wanted to experience camp and the accompanying thoughts & emotions like a regular NFL player. Rejected previously by a number of NFL teams, he finally finds a willing partner in the Broncos, who prove to be an accessible and open organization. He has extensive conversations with Pat Bowlen (the owner), Ted Sundquist (the GM) and Mike Shanahan (the long-time, all-powerful head coach).
Fatsis spends a lot of time with the kickers and punters, who describe their camp experience as "eat, play video games, go on the computer" (40). Jason Elam, co-holder of an NFL record 63-yd FG completion, is described as "the kid in high school who gets along equally well with the jocks, the brains, the geeks and the slackers, and influences their behavior." (113) Elam is a right-wing Christian who hunts in Africa, writes Armageddon-based novels and gives friendly advice (and roots for) Fatsis. Micah Knorr is a journeyman punter who is brought in after Todd Sauerbrun is suspended for 4 games because positive test for ephedra. Todd lives in "Toddworld," doesn't like football anymore, and he gives a cynical perspective about life in the NFL.
Fatsis attends a rookie orientation with 14 other players. When asked the age that the average NFL career ends, Jay Cutler guesses 27. "Twenty-six," (72) is the correct answer. Life in the NFL is brutal, and except for Sundays, not at all glamorous. Fatsis compares Ben Hamilton's fingers to "cracks in a shattered windshield. Not a single digit remotely straight." (116). Players don't report little injuries, and more often than not, they don't seek treatment. Players live in fear of getting cut or replaced, and most of the 70+ players that report to camp each summer do not make much money.
Ian Gold describes football as just "a money making machine" (203) and that "they're looking for your replacement the day you step foot in this door." (203) Chapter 12 describes the experiences of Kyle Johnson (back-up fullback), Gold (starting outside linebacker) and Adam Meadows (an offensive lineman who came out of retirement for another shot) at length. While grateful for the opportunity and the money, all of them have had some trying experiences.
Shanahan thrusts Fatsis into the spotlight in the middle of practice one day: "He's going to kick. If he makes it, meetings will end at nine instead of nine thirty." (146) He misses the kick and collapses in disgrace on the field. A couple of players race to him and ask the coach for another kick. Fatsis misses again, costing the team a total of "45 hours of freedom" (149). His teammates alternately rip him (with some hilarious vulgarity on page 151) or ignore him. Because of the pressure and failure, Fatsis begins to get an idea of what life is like as an NFL player at training camp.
Jake Plummer (starting QB), Preston Parsons (4th string QB), Nate Jackson (DB), PJ Alexander (back-up OL), Tony Scheffler (rookie TE) are all entertaining characters who open up to Fatsis throughout the book. All of them come off as extremely genuine and likeable.
Fatsis leaves the team at the end of training camp, but he continues to follow the Broncos (and the players from camp that end up on other teams). In the Epilogue, he describes the 2006 and 2007 seasons. Cutler replaces Plummer; Darrent Williams is murdered on New Year's; Elam leaves for Atlanta, Sauerbrun is cut, resigned and then cut again; Plummer retires; Sundquist is fired. "This bit of where-are-they-now about my Broncos is, I realize, kind of depressing...," he writes (but it is fascinating). "Of the more than one hundred men who spent time with the Broncos while I was in Denver, just half are in training camp in 2007, less than a third on the roster in September" (330). Life in the NFL is fleeting indeed.