A Few Seconds of Panic: Life as an NFL kicker


Although I don’t follow him regularly when he appears on All Things Considered and didn’t when he wrote for The Wall Street Journal, I’m a quiet fan of Stefan Fatsis’s books because he writes about joining a world most of us don’t get to see. I previously wrote about his excursion into the world of competitive Scrabble. Today, it’s his book A Few Seconds of Panic, or more formally, A Few Seconds of Panic: A 5-Foot-8, 170-Pound, 43-Year-Old Sportswriter Plays in the NFL, another example of the Catchy title: Long boring subtitle book title fad. [Update: Now available in paperback.] Fatsis convinces a professional football team to let him join them for a pre-season game as a place kicker. From there, he observes the working of an NFL team from the inside. NPR’s Only a Game interviewed him in August 2008. [mp3]

(Fatsis is a regular member of Slate’s new weekly sports podcast Hang Up and Listen. He mentions his kicking career only every other podcast now.)

(And I wasted far too much time on what is rumored to be another Stefan Fatsis production, Name of the Year. Here’s a list of previous winners.)

Comments (5)
  1. GWO says:

    Revised Title: <i>A Few Seconds of Panic: or how to Make a Career Doing Things George Plimpton Did 40 Years Ago</i>

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paper_Lion
    http://www.amazon.com/Open-Net/dp/1592281206

  2. Pierre B. says:

    Slightly off-topic: in your Scrabble entry, someone somehow managed to write a comment quite a while after the comments were turned off. Weird.

    [That’s not a comment; it’s a trackback. -Raymond]
  3. slow dude says:

    Would it be possible to extend the duration for which it’s possible to post replies?

  4. @Old New Thing: Thanks for the reviews. Appreciate it. One thing: The NFL book is out in paperback — with a much shorter subtitle.

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/0143115472/

    @GWO. George Plimpton did this already? No way! If you bothered reading even an excerpt or a review, readily available online, you’d see that my book is an homage to Plimpton. I’d say that the NFL has changed rather a lot since Plimpton went to Lions camp in 1963, wouldn’t you? And if a writer could actually get inside the league as a player, might that not be a pretty unusual opportunity? Fans and media think they understand sports — the blessing and curse of our 24/7 media — but in reality they don’t. I had a chance to do something no one had done in 40+ years, and deliver readers a view they just don’t ever get.

    But it’s much easier to be a smart ass than to actually think about something.

    Stefan

    [Wow, a comment from the author himself. Now I’m one step closer to Mike Pesca! -Raymond]
  5. Mark (The other Mark) says:

    "But it’s much easier to be a smart ass than to actually think about something."

    Indeed it is. I think that’s why being a smart ass is so popular- It’s easy.

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