A current pro player takes fans on a pseudonymous trip through one of the most infamous years of football the very long, sometimes funny, often controversial 2013-2014 season sharing raucous, behind-the-scenes, on-the-field, and in-the-locker-room truth about life in the National Football League.
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NFL Confidential: True Confessions from the Gutter of Football is book that released today, written by a current player in the NFL. As someone who loves football and the National Football League, the idea of this book intrigued me greatly. If you are a fan and you enjoy football, I believe this is a must read.
With that said, I think the author toned it down a little. I was expecting a little more locker room craziness than I was given. “There’s an image people have of the “NFL Lifestyle” – filled with glamour and excitement, expensive cars and gorgeous women… The night before games most players just chill in their rooms by themselves, texting with friends, watching TV, or playing video games. It’s a lonely experience.” He does go into the personalities of some of his teammates, such as the star diva wide receiver using multiple smart phones to text different girlfriends. I also found it a little surprising to read that the white players and black players tend to sit at different tables for lunch.
This book was written during the 2014 season so he gives his take on Ray Rice and Michael Sam (two of the bigger stories of the season). “Do you honestly think the League gives a shit about “equality” or any of that other stuff? Of course not. They care about money. They just make us do this nonsense to cover their asses from media backlash and potential lawsuits. That way we can get back to doing what really matters: destroying one another on National TV so the NFL can make bank.”
It was pretty amazing to read a book told by the point of view of a professional football player that hates football. He goes on and on about his dream to “make money doing nothing.” Johnny Anonymous, the pseudonym adopted by the author to protect his identity, is obsessed with the idea of being the league’s best backup. According to Johnny Anonymous, backup players in the NFL get paid lots of money to watch football games (until the starter gets injured). “As an NFL backup, I’ll get paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to stand on the sidelines in gigantic stadiums with roaring crowds all around me and do absolutely nothing. Nothing.” He does talk a little about his memory and his worry about concussions or just the toll playing football takes will affect him long term, but mainly he is just sick of the league in general and how it treats the players.
The day to day life coming from an actual player is incredibly interesting. I found it to be even more interesting coming from a non-star in the league; someone just trying to make a team. From training camp and trying to beat another player at his position for a roster spot, to the grind of the regular season and life on the road, to coming off the bench to fill in for an injured starter, this book seems to cover it all. It is not incredibly long; it took me just a few sittings to read it. If you are a fan of football… I believe I just found you your next book.