By Stefan Fatsis
"An insightful and . . . a laugh examine the internal workings of professional soccer" (The ny Times) from the bestselling writer of Word Freak
In Word Freak, Stefan Fatsis invaded the insular international of aggressive Scrabble avid gamers, finally attaining an expert-level rating. Now, in his new publication, he infiltrates a strikingly assorted subculture-pro soccer. After greater than a 12 months of education, Fatsis molded his fortyish physique into one who may perhaps stand up-barely-to the trials of NFL education. And for 3 months he turned a placekicker for the Denver Broncos. profiting from unheard of entry to an NFL workforce and its gamers, and drawing on his personal own adventure, Fatsis with wry candor and hard-won empathy unveils the brain of the trendy professional athlete and the workings of a storied activities franchise as no author has prior to.
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Additional resources for A Few Seconds of Panic: A Sportswriter Plays in the NFL
The gamers droop and rock within the secure chairs, expectorating tobacco runoff into plastic bottles or paper cups. The veterans have noticeable a sort of this PowerPoint presentation earlier than. The novices beware simply because they believe they must, yet can’t support letting innovations wander. Shanahan doesn’t make his dry fabric dance. yet he doesn’t have to win converts. He understands he has entire temporary regulate over each person within the room. in the event that they don’t hear, it’s their challenge. Shanahan was once raised in Illinois, yet his flat midwestern speech turns out to were impregnated someplace in his peripatetic profession via the southern inflections universal to soccer coaches all over. He rolls via extra stats and talks approximately how the safety has to enhance its area insurance, during which or 3 participants of the secondary patrol the inner most elements of the sphere opposed to lengthy passes. “So if we do get a staff like Pittsburgh that throws a bit wrinkle, we will be able to switch”—from man-to-man assurance to zone—“and kick the shit out of a group. simply because we have been a greater group than Pittsburgh. ” So that’s what this is often approximately. A chart known as 2005 Composite NFL scores is going up. 4 numbers are indexed: issues scored, issues allowed, turnover ratio (turnovers brought on minus turnovers committed), and a sum of the 3 ratings. Indianapolis is indexed first: 2-2-4-8. Then the Broncos: 7-3-2-12. The Colts are just the second one staff Shanahan names in the course of his 30 minutes speak. He doesn’t point out that Denver performs Pittsburgh and Indianapolis on successive Sundays within the fall, which the gamers may detect at the bulletin-board-sized time table at the wall to their correct. At 9:55 a. m. , it dawns on me that I’ll be kicking in entrance of Jason Elam and Todd Sauerbrun in a couple of minutes. Todd concerns me simply because I don’t imagine he’ll relish the spirit of my event. He didn’t scare me after we met, yet he didn’t provide to be my own snapper, both. Jason concerns me simply because he’s been probably the most trustworthy kickers in NFL historical past. And he kicked a record-tying 63-yard box target in 1998. I’d prefer to convey him that I’m not less than powerfuble, opposite to what he may have heard from the coaches and the kickers who've visible me practice. Jason has been a soaring presence due to the fact Pat Bowlen instructed me i'll be a Bronco. If Todd has been portrayed because the petulant adolescent, Jason has been defined because the opposite—the brilliant father: severe, expert, accountable, pleasant. “A actual pro,” Ronnie Bradford has acknowledged greater than as soon as. whilst Jason realized that he didn’t need to attend the workforce camp, he referred to as to permit me comprehend. “Believe me,” he stated, “we’ll have lots of time. ” at the first of fourteen pages approximately him within the media consultant, Jason is indexed at 5 foot 11 and 2 hundred kilos. He doesn’t glance to weigh that a lot, and he isn’t in any respect bodily implementing. His sandy brown hair is flecked with grey round the temples, and there’s grey in his goatee, too. Crow’s-feet splay from his eyes, which slender whilst he flashes his large smile. once we meet within the locker room, Jason is dressed suburban informal: khaki shorts above the knees, a logo-free T-shirt, slip-on sandals.