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Extended Audio Sample A Few Seconds of Panic: A 5-Foot-8, 170-Pound, 43-Year-Old Sportswriter Plays in the NFL, by Stefan Fatsis Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (854 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Stefan Fatsis Narrator: Stefan Fatsis Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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After more than a year spent working out with a strength coach and polishing his craft with a guru-like kicking coach, Stefan Fatsis molded his forty-ish 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 the number 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, endured the hazing that befalls all rookies, daily gorged on 4,000 calories, and slogged through two-a-day practices in blistering heat. Not since George Plimpton’s stint as a Detroit Lion more than forty years ago has a writer tunneled so deeply into the NFL.

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, and 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[A] remarkable account.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “An incredibly fascinating read…squashing the notion that the life of an NFL player is always glamorous.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Chad Martin | 2/16/2014

    " Fun to get a behind the scenes picture of NFL training camp. Especially fun for those Broncos fans that remember all the names of the players from the glory days after the two Super Bowl wins. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Sam Walter | 2/10/2014

    " This was a great look into the inner workings of an NFL training camp. It doesn't hurt that it's the Broncos training camp either. Fatsis basically learned how to kick field goals from scratch and talked his way into the Broncos locker room. Great read, good narrative and unique insights into the team. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Josh | 2/8/2014

    " a great look back on shanahan as the coach and the nfl in general "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Jesse | 1/21/2014

    " This is a book I might considering giving a second try. I got a little bored with the author's journey to improving his kicking ability and never made it past about the 1/3rd mark of the book. As a Broncos fan, it was interesting to read about Mike Shannahan and his time with the team. "

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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 Radio’s All Things Considered.