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1 Burnside Sports and Fitness- Football General

A Few Seconds of Panic: A 5-Foot-8, 170-Pound, 43-Year-Old Sportswriter Plays in the NFL

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A Few Seconds of Panic: A 5-Foot-8, 170-Pound, 43-Year-Old Sportswriter Plays in the NFL Cover

ISBN13: 9781594201783
ISBN10: 1594201781
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Drawing on rare access to an NFL tea‛s players, coaches and facilities, the author of The New York Times bestseller Word Freak trains to become a professional-caliber placekicker. As he sharpens his skills, he gains surprising insight into the daunting challenges—physical, psychological, and intellectual—that pro athletes must master

In Word Freak, Stefan Fatsis infiltrated the insular world of competitive Scrabble® players, ultimately achieving“exper” status (comparable to a grandmaster ranking in chess). Now he infiltrates a strikingly different subculture—pro football. After more than a year spent working out with a strength coach and polishing his craft with a gurulike kicking coach, Fatsis molded his fortyish body into one that could stand up—barely—to the rigors of NFL training. And over three months in 2006, he became a Denver Bronco. He trained with the team and lived with the players. He was given a locker and uniforms emblazoned with #9. He was expected to perform all the drills and regimens required of other kickers. He was unlike his teammates in some ways—most notably, his livelihood was not on the line as theirs was. But he became remarkably like them in many ways: He risked crippling injury just as they did, he endured the hazing that befalls all rookies, he gorged on 4,000 daily calories, he slogged through two-a-day practices in blistering heat. Not since George Plimpto‛s stint as a Detroit Lion more than forty years ago has a writer tunneled so deeply into the NFL.

At first, the players tolerated Fatsis, or treated him like a mascot, but over time they began to think of him as one of them. And he began to think like one of them. Like the other Broncos—like all elite athletes—he learned to perfect a motion through thousands of repetitions, to play through pain, to silence the crow‛s roar, to banish self-doubt.

While Fatsis honed his mind and drove his body past exhaustion, he communed with every classic athletic type—the affable alpha male, the overpaid brat, the youthful phenom, the savvy veteran—and a welter of bracingly atypical players as well: a fullback who invokes Aristotle, a quarterback who embraces yoga, a tight end who takes creative writing classes in the off-season. Fatsis also witnessed the hidden machinery of a top-flight football franchise, from the God-is-in-the-details strategizing of legendary coach Mike Shanahan to the icy calculation with which the front office makes or breaks careers.

With wry candor and hard-won empathy, A Few Seconds of Panic unveils the mind of the modern pro athlete and the workings of a storied sports franchise as no book ever has before.

Review:

"Fatsis (Word Freak) is dwarfed by any of the NFL athletes who put their bodies on the line each Sunday. But that doesn't stop him from asking to attend the Denver Broncos' training camp in hopes of learning 'one very specific athletic skill' — that is, placekicking — and not to become an NFL-caliber kicker, but to become a 'credible one.' Fatsis is treated like any rookie, from having to sing his alma mater's fight song minutes after stepping into the locker room to carrying the team's duffel bags and bunking in the hotel with all the other rookies. But his vibrant enthusiasm for improving his kicking ability helps his Bronco teammates accept him as one of their own. With that, the reader gets a glimpse of the true NFL, in the tradition of George Plimpton's Paper Lion. We see the crippling injuries that are kept secret for fear of losing playing time; the heartbreak of standing on the sidelines in camp, just aching to prove one's worth; the tears that come when the NFL dream could be over. Fatsis, too, has his own personal highs and lows through camp, enduring the long days, the trainer's visits and the sting of failure in front of coaches and players. It's an incredibly fascinating read for football fans, squashing the notion that the life of an NFL player is always glamorous. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

Stefan Fatsis, who has covered sports for the Wall Street Journal and National Public Radio, spent the summer of 2006 training as a place kicker with the Denver Broncos. He's allowed to stand on the sidelines for the first pre-season game (but not play), and he melts with childish glee when he sees his locker: "The letters of my last name are stitched individually and perfectly onto the back of an... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Synopsis:

The "New York Times"-bestselling author of "Word Freak" chronicles his attempts to become a placekicker in the NFL. As he sharpens his skills, he gains surprising insight into the daunting challenges--physical, psychological, and intellectual--that pro athletes must master.

Synopsis:

"An insightful and . . . amusing look at the inner workings of pro football" (The New York Times) from the bestselling author of Word Freak

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.

About the Author

Stefan Fatsis is The New York Times bestselling author of Word Freak. He is a sports reporter for The Wall Street Journal and a regular guest on National Public Radi‛s All Things Considered.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Dr. Rico, October 9, 2008 (view all comments by Dr. Rico)
An incomparable book about the life of a player in today’s NFL. Fatsis undergoes the preparation needed to play in the NFL, earning the respect and trust of his new teammates. And by describing that regimen with perception and vividness he allows the reader to experience the life of an NFL player: the boredom and intensity, the hard work and goofing around, the things players can control and the things they can’t. He experiences the difference between performing in practice and performing under pressure. He experiences the arbitrary forces that lead teams to sign, cut, and re-sign players, as well as the rigidity that led to the nickname No Fun League. He experiences the disconnection between the players’ lived experience and the media’s reports of it, and shows the reader why players are so far removed from fans. Happily, Fatsis is able to recognize and describe the forces that separate the insiders from the outsiders in an engaging and engrossing manner. Today’s NFL is very different from the NFL described by George Plimpton in his classic Paper Lion, and this book is a worthy successor. It may even be a better book. A Few Seconds of Panic deserves the widest possible audience: fans, of course, but also athletes, coaches, and the media.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(3 of 9 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9781594201783
Subtitle:
A 5-Foot-8, 170-Pound, 43-Year-Old Sportswriter Plays in the NFL
Author:
Fatsis, Stefan
Publisher:
Penguin Press HC, The
Subject:
Football - General
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Football players
Subject:
Sportswriters
Subject:
Essays
Subject:
Football
Subject:
Football players -- United States.
Subject:
National football league
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardback
Publication Date:
20080703
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
16-page b/w photo insert on text stock
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
9.08x6.30x1.20 in. 1.32 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Football » General

A Few Seconds of Panic: A 5-Foot-8, 170-Pound, 43-Year-Old Sportswriter Plays in the NFL Used Hardcover
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$17.95 In Stock
Product details 352 pages Penguin Press - English 9781594201783 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Fatsis (Word Freak) is dwarfed by any of the NFL athletes who put their bodies on the line each Sunday. But that doesn't stop him from asking to attend the Denver Broncos' training camp in hopes of learning 'one very specific athletic skill' — that is, placekicking — and not to become an NFL-caliber kicker, but to become a 'credible one.' Fatsis is treated like any rookie, from having to sing his alma mater's fight song minutes after stepping into the locker room to carrying the team's duffel bags and bunking in the hotel with all the other rookies. But his vibrant enthusiasm for improving his kicking ability helps his Bronco teammates accept him as one of their own. With that, the reader gets a glimpse of the true NFL, in the tradition of George Plimpton's Paper Lion. We see the crippling injuries that are kept secret for fear of losing playing time; the heartbreak of standing on the sidelines in camp, just aching to prove one's worth; the tears that come when the NFL dream could be over. Fatsis, too, has his own personal highs and lows through camp, enduring the long days, the trainer's visits and the sting of failure in front of coaches and players. It's an incredibly fascinating read for football fans, squashing the notion that the life of an NFL player is always glamorous. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , The "New York Times"-bestselling author of "Word Freak" chronicles his attempts to become a placekicker in the NFL. As he sharpens his skills, he gains surprising insight into the daunting challenges--physical, psychological, and intellectual--that pro athletes must master.
"Synopsis" by ,
"An insightful and . . . amusing look at the inner workings of pro football" (The New York Times) from the bestselling author of Word Freak

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.

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