Slow Getting Up: A Story of NFL Survival from the Bottom of the Pile
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
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.
get credit for the workout. And if you go to the tournament you don’t have to play golf. You can just ride around in a golf cart and schmooze. Those of us who play, maybe twenty of us, are put in foursomes with corporate bigwigs or local heroes or cookie-cutter rich dudes. There are gift bags at the check-in desk, sponsored holes, gourmet food, beer tents, endless prizes, video cameras, and an awards dinner at the end of it. Golf balls are stacked into pyramids at each tee on the driving
Young. There is Eddie DeBartolo, 49ers owner. There is Ronnie Lott. There is everyone—all players, coaches, politicians, family, friends—hearts opened to Harry Edwards as he contextualizes Bill’s legacy. Bill Walsh was a football visionary. But he was much more. He was a social innovator in a sport that was bogged down in oppressive traditions. He started the minority coaches internship program, which initiated the hiring of black coaches in a sport dominated by black men. And when he
precision, hitting Javon Walker several times and moving the ball inside Bills territory. We have Jason Elam waiting in the wings. He missed two field goals earlier in the game, very uncharacteristic of him. I’m the wing on the field goal team so I stand ready, too. If the clock isn’t stopped we will have to run on the field and set up for the kick quickly. With eighteen seconds left Jay hits Javon for an 11-yard pass down to the Bills twenty-four-yard line but he can’t get out of bounds.
—Toro! Toro! Toro! The offense sprints off the field and the field goal unit sprints on. Tick-tick-tick. We can’t see the clock but the Bills fans are kind enough to count down for us. Jason Elam doesn’t have time to count out his steps. Our holder makes sure everyone is set and signals Mike Leach, who snaps the ball a tick before time expires. My man rushes hard off the edge and tries to jump between me and the end. I shove him in the chest and he twists through the air like a gymnast,
upstairs. Up the stairs we go to complete the filthy cycle. I sit down once again in front of that stupid mahogany desk. George hands me a manila envelope with my walking papers in it. —Well, Nate, I’m sorry about this. We thought you could come in and add a different dimension to the offense. But it’s just too close to the start of the season to get a good look at you. I have no doubt you’re a good player, but you’d be better off in a system that . . . Blah blah blah and on and