One man's odyssey into the brutal hive of the national football league
This is not a celebrity tell-all of professional sports. Slow Getting Up is a survivor's real-time account of playing six seasons (twice as long as the average NFL career) for the San Francisco 49ers and the Denver Broncos.
As an unsigned free agent who rose through the practice squad to the starting lineup, Nate Jackson is the talented embodiment of the everyday freak athlete in professional football, one of thousands whose names go unmentioned in the daily press. Through his story recounted here—from scouting combines to preseason cuts to byzantine film studies to glorious touchdown catches—even knowledgeable football fans will glean a new, starkly humanized understanding of the daily rigors and unceasing violence of quotidian life in the NFL.
Fast-paced, lyrical, and hilariously unvarnished, Slow Getting Up is an unforgettable look at the real lives of America's best twenty-year-old athletes putting their bodies and minds through hell.
“Slow Getting Up tells the whole truth about the NFL. Painfully honest and remarkably funny, it’s far and away the best ‘insider’ book about pro sports since Jim Bouton’s Ball Four.”
“A tremendously authentic, inside-the-locker-room view is unveiled with Jackson’s myriad stories, clever wit, skillful prose and perfect dose of sophomoric humor.”
“Excellent...busts through pro football’s prevailing mythology...Nate Jackson gives us the game warts and all, but never in a drag-ass, woe-is-me way. A really fine book. Man can write.”
“Simply the best book by a former player about life in the NFL that you will read. Maybe the best book period about life in the NFL that you will read.”
“That screaming you hear coming across the sky? It’s a wobbly spiral…Slow Getting Up is everything you want football memoirs to be but never are: hilarious, dirty, warm, human, honest, weird.”
“The best football memoir ever.”
“The book the world has been waiting for. “Ball Four” for the football world is here at last.”
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.