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Review: Slow Getting Up

May 27, 2014

Slow Getting Up

Nate Jackson had a burning desire to play football.  When he was cut from Cal Poly’s roster, he transferred to Menlo  College just so he could play.  He played well there, but it’s a Division III school so his chances of playing in the NFL were pretty slim.  Jackson was determined, though, and ended up spending 6 years in the league, mostly on the practice squad and special teams.  (The average NFL player lasts 3 years.)  He recounts his days on the gridiron in his memoir, Slow Getting Up: A Story of NFL Survival from the Bottom of the Pile.

We hear a lot about the stars of pro athletics but generally don’t hear a lot about the guys who grind it out day after day for little money and fame so I was anxious to read about Jackson’s NFL career and I was not disappointed.  I was amazed at Jackson’s drive and focus – he wanted nothing more than to play in the NFL, even when he suffered pain and injury.  He tells it all – from training camp to the European league to workouts – with honesty and humor.  To be honest, as I read of the abuse his body took, I kept wondering why he wanted to play so badly but he explained it this way:

The answer is, Football!  Football made us all the toasts of our towns.  It got us laid.  It gave us status.  It made us tough, gave us confidence, and this scar right here, and here, and here.  Football!

Slow Getting Up is by no means fine literature but it doesn’t pretend to be.  If you’re interested in a peek of what it’s like for the nameless guys in the NFL, you’ll want to read this book.

The audio version is read by the author.  His narration wasn’t bad but it wasn’t great either.  The audio version lasts approximately 8 and a half hours.

Review copies provided by Lisa Weinert Consulting and Harper Collins.  I am an Indiebound Affliate.
18 Comments leave one →
  1. May 27, 2014 7:52 am

    My husband would probably enjoy this.

  2. May 27, 2014 7:52 am

    Thanks for you review Kathy. I like the title of this book. It seems appropriate. The drive and determination some athletes have is amazing.

  3. May 27, 2014 10:10 am

    I completely agree with your review. It’s not fine literature at all. But it’s darn interesting. We have had Nate at Village House of Books twice now (he’s originally from San Jose here in Northern California), including earlier this month. He was actually our VHOB Book Club author for May. He is intelligent, well-spoken, and very charismatic. Our book club enjoyed him immensely, and everybody liked his book.

  4. May 27, 2014 10:12 am

    I forgot to mention one thing. The women of our book club liked it as well as the men. This is more about being a football player than the football itself.

  5. May 27, 2014 11:51 am

    This sounds like an interesting and inspiring book. Excellent review, Kathy! It’s amazing what dedicated athletes go through.

  6. May 27, 2014 12:17 pm

    I love reading sports books (I have a whole list of them on my blog) and I love seeing this book on your blog! I feel like this is an area bloggers (at least the ones I visit) don’t really cover and I love that you went there!

    I also love that this is from the perspective of a “regular” NFL player…I remember reading a bit about this during the lockout when no one felt bad for the players b/c people assumed they were all like Peyton Manning (i.e. so rich it didn’t matter if they missed a season – and its paycheck)…when, in actuality, most struggle to make ends meet and would have to take constructions jobs, etc if the season was canceled.

    Great review – I’m adding this to my TBR list.

  7. May 27, 2014 3:22 pm

    It sounds like he would have a fascinating perspective on the game. I like watching college football games, but have never really been able to get into watching the pro games. It’s difficult for me to imagine that kind of fervor for playing the game though – team sports were a pretty torturous event in those years that I was forced to take PE.

  8. May 27, 2014 7:34 pm

    This might be a sports memoir I’d actually enjoy – no superstars, just hard work day after day.

  9. May 27, 2014 7:48 pm

    I think I like reading about football more than watching it. Nate’s story sounds fascinating!

  10. May 27, 2014 8:27 pm

    I often wonder what kind of health problems they might have as they age. And I too don’t understand why they would want to take the abuse.

  11. May 27, 2014 8:45 pm

    This does sound interesting, especially since you know there are so many of them out there who never gain that fame

  12. May 27, 2014 9:26 pm

    I guess this book would probably appeal to any audience, whether they like football or not. Stories of underdogs are so motivating to read!

  13. May 28, 2014 6:54 am

    My hubby is a big football fan, I think he’d like Slow Getting Up. Great post!

  14. May 28, 2014 2:57 pm

    Looks like it could be interesting. I’m surprised that the average NFL payer only lasts 3 years. As much as I love to watch it, I am disturbed by the injuries.

  15. boardinginmyforties permalink
    June 1, 2014 2:39 pm

    My son would definitely enjoy this one. It would be interesting to read about the athletes who aren’t the superstars dor a change.

  16. June 1, 2014 8:50 pm

    I’m glad you liked this one — I did too. I agree, it’s not really great literature, but it is a great story.

  17. bookingmama permalink
    June 9, 2014 11:52 am

    I would probably enjoy this one. It sure seems like a lot of work for just a few years, though.

  18. swright9 permalink
    June 12, 2014 1:06 am

    I’m sure I would be interested, being an NFL fan. Why do I like it so?!

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