Slow Getting Up: A Story of NFL Survival from the Bottom of the Pile

Slow Getting Up: A Story of NFL Survival from the Bottom of the Pile

by Nate Jackson


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062108036
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/02/2014
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 253,841
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.65(d)

About the Author

Nate Jackson played six seasons in the National Football League as a wide receiver and a tight end. His writing has appeared in Deadspin, Slate, Daily Beast, BuzzFeed, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times. A native of San Jose, California, he now lives in Los Angeles. This is his first book.

Table of Contents

Prologue: Goodbye, Dude (2008) 1

1 The First Seven Years (2002)

"Wake the fuck up. It's time to hit." 9

2 My Life as Randy Moss (2003)

"Look, Ma, I'm a Denver Bronco." 27

3 Nein Lives (2004)

"The grass is still green, the hits still hurt, and the ball in flight is still the most beautiful sight I know." 44

4 Grid-Irony (2004)

"It takes a village to raise a jock." 70

5 Meat Sacks (2005)

"The weight comes quickly. So do the bowel movements." 91

6 Plummer's Crack (2006)

"It's hard to play quarterback with a noose around your neck." 113

7 Pointy Balls (2007)

"One-liner small talk with approachable vampires." 133

8 Farewell, Bronco Betty (2007)

"God loves the NFL too much to crash one of its planes." 150

9 Rocky Mountain High (2007)

"Whatever this is, it feels important." 164

10 Watermelon Seeds (2007-2008)

"The limp and the hop echo off the tiles of an empty shower room." 181

11 The Last Dislocation (2008)

"Every game a needle" 196

12 The After Affect (2009)

"I am doing God's work, after all." 216

Acknowledgments 241

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Slow Getting Up: A Story of NFL Survival From the Bottom of the Pile 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
BenGoldwin More than 1 year ago
Slow Getting Up is a book rich with stories of perseverance and strength of spirit. Every page is educational. Here, Nate Jackson describes life in the NFL…going from undrafted free agent to practice squad to starter. A splendid memoir to say the least.
SarahMcClurg More than 1 year ago
Slow Getting up is a fantastic book about the life of NFL player Nate Jackson. Undrafted but undeterred, Jackson made a career in the NFL. Told in his own words, Jackson lets us know about his life struggles, not just in the NFL.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I agree with the above reviews but it is laugh out loud funny page after page.
TulaneGirl More than 1 year ago
So this football memoir is a little different than most. Nate Jackson isn't your star football player reminiscing on a life well lived. He isn't a bankrupt football player lamenting the lack of preparation for "real" life. It's not a vanity project. It feels more genuine.  Nate Jackson is a player teetering the line between the practice squad and special teams. He starts out with the 49ers but is with Denver for the majority of his 6 year tenure. He struggles to find balance between his pride and body - generally his body loses out. His body takes shot after shot - both physically and medically until it finally just gives out. When he reaches his end, he turns to illicit methods to prop up his body but to no avail. He tries to get back into the game through more honest methods but is unable to find a spot after tries with the Eagles, Browns, and Saints. Football embodies the mantra of "What have you done for me lately?" and there is always someone younger and healthier right behind.  Stylistically, it was an easy read - easily done in one sitting. The prose is simplistic but gives it a certain authenticity. Certainly won't go down in the annals as one of the great sports books, but worth a read nonetheless. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is the most well written honest description of life in the NFL. I could not put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a truly amazing book about what working in the NFL is really like because before I read this book I always thought going into the NFL was fun, even when you are not on the team, but it showed all of the countless hours put in in order to make the starting roster like going to Germany just to practice during the season. Overall an amazing book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story about life as your average football player. Good read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fun and quick book to read. I am not a football fan, at all. But really enjoyed the behind the scenes insight and Nate's humor and candor is refreshing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really loved the self degrading humor & honest view from someone who felt he was one of the worst of the top athletes in the world.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written, easy to read...mostly. It's hard to read about the harsh reality of the physical part of football that we all know exists. The pain and suffering endured for the love of the sport. Nate is incredibly lucky that he's a talented writer and has potential post-NFL. Most are not that lucky. And I don't think that's lost on Nate.
Drewano More than 1 year ago
Every Sunday America watches football like a religion but we only see the top layer. In ‘Slow Getting Up’ Nate Jackson tells the reader what it’s like behind the scenes in getting ready for the game and showing what is asked of players to make it to the NFL when you’re not a superstar. This book is a well written memoir which is sometimes funny sometimes poignant but always enlightening.
B-loNY More than 1 year ago
Love football? You'll love this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good, easy read. Whether you're a fan of the NFL or not, I think you'll enjoy this author's recount of his days in the league. The interesting part for me started with his stories of being in the locker room, lacing up, and dealing with all the facets of living the dream of being a pro football and player. What kept me reading, however, was the ugly and dark part of the organization that we, the general public, know nothing about.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An interesting, and at times, humorous look at what a NFL career is like when you're not one of the few well-paid superstars.
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bleacherbum99 More than 1 year ago
A good look at a non-super star battle for a spot on a roster. A look at what happens when the non-super star gets hurt. A good look at reality of an average NFL player, Nate Jackson.
lee88LL More than 1 year ago
this was a great story, loved the action and the trials they go through to just get noticed and get to the big game.
T-RadSR More than 1 year ago
Nate Jackson's first book is an informative humorous look at pro-football. Every time he would describe his latest injury I would just wince with pain. I don't know how he came from some of his injuries. He is a man who was pursuing the dream of being a pro football player. Even when this pursuit took him to Europe or a less known league in Arizona you have to admire his determination. I enjoyed Nate's writing style enough I am going to read the next thing he pens. Good luck Nate in your new writing career.
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Joe_Wit More than 1 year ago
This was a very interesting read for anyone wanting to experience the NFL from a player's point of view. You feel like you're in the locker room and on the field with Nate and almost personally experience all his many ups and downs in his bumpy career.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very interesting and honest look at real life in the NFL. This is a very insightful sports book which can be difficult to find at times. Kudos to Nate.