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NFL Unplugged takes you behind the scenes and beyond the glitz and pageantry of professional football to discover the pros as you will never see them on TV. Author and sports broadcaster Anthony Gargano reveals the sometimes shocking, sometimes inspiring, and often hilarious truth behind such well-worn terms as playing hurt, mental toughness, and the two most dreaded words in the NFL: Training Camp.
Gargano draws on interviews with dozens of current and former players and coaches from across the NFL to give you a gut-level understanding of just what it means and takes to play pro football. You'll hear from stars such as Mark Schlereth, Bill Romanowski, Kevin Long, Kyle Turley, Jon Gruden, Hugh Douglas, Junior Seau, and Michael Strahan—all speaking frankly about the game, the pain, and the glory.
You'll also hear from lesser-known players and some who prefer to remain anonymous. Their compelling stories include one from a huge lineman who played the final eight games of one season in excruciating pain from a fractured tailbone. Unable to sit in a car, on a plane, or even in his favorite easy chair, he couldn't sleep at night, and the pregame treatments given by his trainers first intensified the pain, then numbed his glutes and slowed him down. And what does he feel now that those months of torture are over? Pride and relief that he didn't miss a single game.
From running a condition test called "the gasser" under a blistering summer sun at temperatures often over 100 degrees on the first day of training camp to playing with injuries that would leave most of us bedridden to earning vast amounts of money but often ending up broke and in debt after their all-too-brief careers, professional football players live lives that are, to say the least, outside the norm. Read NFL Unplugged and find out just how much blood, pain, and iron determination it takes to make it in America's most popular sport.
Behind every glittering NFL game on television is a world of happy pain for a hundred men. NFL Unplugged lets you see that world through the eyes of the pros who live and sweat in it—including firsthand accounts of more than thirty players and coaches from teams across the NFL, including Mark Schlereth, Bill Romanowski, Kevin Long, Kyle Turley, Jon Gruden, Hugh Douglas, Jon Runyan, and Michael Strahan. Here are the places the cameras and microphones don't go, places where you'll discover:
What really happens in huddles and pile-ups
How coaches' speeches can inspire players or deflate them
Why every NFL player dreads training camp—and loves it, too
What "the dark place" is and why players go there during games
How a player can be crippled six days a week and play football on the seventh
How far some players and coaches will go to win
Why so many players end up broke after years of huge salaries
"Very rarely—once a decade maybe—do we get the chance to peer behind the NFL curtain and experience the lives of players. Anthony Gargano has done that here, and we're lucky to get such an unvarnished view."
—Peter King, senior writer, Sports Illustrated
"He may ooze of South Philly on his wildly successful radio show, but the Anthony Gargano I know also is a brilliant writer and reporter who was made to do a book that rips open the NFL and presents it on a transparent, compelling platter."
—Jay Mariotti, national columnist, AOL FanHouse and daily panelist on ESPN's Around the Horn
"Gargano gives you a front-row seat to the agony and ecstasy of the NFL. From packed stadiums and glory to the icy reality of pain and injury, you won't be able to put this book down."
—Mike Mayock, analyst, NFL Network
Everything in life have pros and cons and Football is not the exception, but really, do you care knowing there are players who vomit before games, or other who cant contol... Read morePublished 12 months ago by J. A. Fuentes
If you are a real fan of football this is a must read. It just reinforces how violent the game is.Published 22 months ago by PETER BOYLE
If you want to read an NFL book that makes you feel like you're right there in the game, locker room, or training camps, this is the book!Published 23 months ago by Wendy Sue M.
I am a footbal fan. I grew up in the 70s and 80s watching some great players. Staubach, Bradshaw, LT (the original), and of course Sweetness. Read morePublished on March 22, 2012 by Water Monkey
excellent book . gives inside vantage point to life in the nfl with an in depth look at the behind the scenes angle.Published on September 20, 2011 by diamante
The book started out with some high expectations but gradually deteriorated. I thought the writing repeated itself too many times, the editing was somewhat suspect and the stories... Read morePublished on July 12, 2011 by C. S. Kline
All kinds of talk of a possible lockout. If you are looking for something to do on a boring October Sunday without the beloved NFL----read this book. Read morePublished on April 27, 2011 by Jim Z
I tried several times to get into this book but couldn't do it. Maybe you have to be a fan in the real sense of the word fanatic. Which is to say it's not for the casual observer. Read morePublished on April 17, 2011 by MichiganTraveler
This book is perfect for those hardcore football fans looking for something that you don't hear about in the outside world. Read morePublished on March 29, 2011 by Chris Susskind