My first official review will go to the book that inspired me to write my book. That book is Slow Getting Up: A Story of NFL Survival from the Bottom of the Pile by Nate Jackson. Nate Jackson was my teammate in Denver and a man renowned for many talents. I didn’t know writing was one of them. I knew he was a good football player, funny, a quick thinker, and a musician. He sometimes balled all of those qualities up into one to entertain the team.
I hadn’t heard from Nate or spoken with him since 2009, so I was pleasantly surprised to hear he had written a book. Like with many of my other book recommendations, this one came from my mother-in-law. She texted me out of the blue one day saying: “you’re mentioned in this new book.” My first thought was “uh-oh.” I didn’t think my life had any real exciting moments–especially any that warranted a mention in a book–but I was anxious to read it. I prepared a concession speech to my wife, mom and mother-in-law, just in case the excerpt would land me in the doghouse.
I found the excerpt and to my surprise the author was Nate. I thought about all the times we hung out, thankfully none of them involved us breaking the law. Then I thought about it more and remembered who we were talking about. Nate Jackson was my dawg. He was cool as the bathroom floor in the winter time.
I thought maybe he would tell the story how we both had similar groin injuries and treatments in 2007. Instead he told a story of how we joked and clowned around in the locker room. It was funny but it made me think about the receiving parties. When I was younger we played the dozens and you learned to give and take. It’s just the way it was. I didn’t think of NFL Players as sensitive or that we could hurt each others feelings. I was wrong, we used to go hard and probably crossed many lines. I’m sure I owe many of my teammates apologies, so God willing I’ll see them soon, so that I can apologize in person. My intentions weren’t to hurt anyone or ostracize anyone.
After reading the excerpt, I ordered the book off Amazon and devoured it. The book was 243 pages and read like a movie. It was so smooth and engaging. I loved the transitions and detail. I learned things about Nate that I previously didn’t. Like his Northern California roots and connection with the late great Bill Walsh. Nate’s story made me realize that all NFL players have a story to tell and should tell. We all go through varying obstacles and forks in the road that could lead us to success or failure. Through prayer, mentors, family and friends, we’re able to realize our dream. Those stories need to be told.
I would probably be deemed a hypocrite if I did not act on my previous assertion. I thought about how and where to start writing my story. What separated Slow Getting Up from other memoirs and biographies was the detail. Nate recalled events as if they had just happened the day before. Nate was able to do this because he kept a journal while he was in the NFL. Genius. My mother told me to keep a journal when I left for college in the summer of 2000, but I didn’t take her words seriously. I could have probably made a 10 season Netflix show with all the material. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing but it definitely would have been riveting.
After reading Nate’s book, I remembered my mother’s words and started keeping a journal. I didn’t know where to start so I wrote what was on my mind. It was refreshing to get my thoughts on paper but there was no real flow or substance. I had to remind myself this was not a book, simply a journal entry. One day, turned into two and three and so on. After a week or so, I got the hang of it. I started getting a feel for my style of writing, the feeling of what I was writing as well as the time I liked to write. Before I knew it I had 100 pages of my scribbles. I wasn’t a writer, but I became one. I have to thank Nate and Slow Getting Up for that. Thank You Nate Jackson.
With all that being said, it’s time for the official rating. I’m signing off on this book.