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Fantasy Man: A Former NFL Player's Descent into the Brutality of Fantasy Football

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The New York Times bestselling author of Slow Getting Up chronicles his descent into the madness of early retirement and fantasy football. In Slow Getting Up—hailed by Rolling Stone as "the best football memoir of all time"—Nate Jackson told his story face down on the field. Now, in Fantasy Man, he’s flat on his back. Six years have passed since the former Denver Broncos tig The New York Times bestselling author of Slow Getting Up chronicles his descent into the madness of early retirement and fantasy football. In Slow Getting Up—hailed by Rolling Stone as "the best football memoir of all time"—Nate Jackson told his story face down on the field. Now, in Fantasy Man, he’s flat on his back. Six years have passed since the former Denver Broncos tight end wore a helmet, and every day he drifts further from the NFL Guy, the sanctioned-violence guy, the psychopath who ran head first into other psychos for money. But Nate hasn’t quite left the game. Bed-ridden by a recent surgery to remove bone fragments in his ankle, he’s trying to defend his title as top dog in Bunny 5-Ball, one of the millions of leagues captivating America through modern fantasy football, the interactive human poker game started by rotisserie leagues, boosted by ESPN and Yahoo!, and now elevated to that rarefied world of vaguely-legal Internet gambling by FanDuel and DraftKings.com. And this time it isn’t a 300-pound wall of flesh rushing to crunch his spine. It’s worse. Exploring the fantasy—and the reality—of professional football after you’ve left the field, Fantasy Man is as funny, self-deprecating, and shockingly honest as Slow Getting Up.


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The New York Times bestselling author of Slow Getting Up chronicles his descent into the madness of early retirement and fantasy football. In Slow Getting Up—hailed by Rolling Stone as "the best football memoir of all time"—Nate Jackson told his story face down on the field. Now, in Fantasy Man, he’s flat on his back. Six years have passed since the former Denver Broncos tig The New York Times bestselling author of Slow Getting Up chronicles his descent into the madness of early retirement and fantasy football. In Slow Getting Up—hailed by Rolling Stone as "the best football memoir of all time"—Nate Jackson told his story face down on the field. Now, in Fantasy Man, he’s flat on his back. Six years have passed since the former Denver Broncos tight end wore a helmet, and every day he drifts further from the NFL Guy, the sanctioned-violence guy, the psychopath who ran head first into other psychos for money. But Nate hasn’t quite left the game. Bed-ridden by a recent surgery to remove bone fragments in his ankle, he’s trying to defend his title as top dog in Bunny 5-Ball, one of the millions of leagues captivating America through modern fantasy football, the interactive human poker game started by rotisserie leagues, boosted by ESPN and Yahoo!, and now elevated to that rarefied world of vaguely-legal Internet gambling by FanDuel and DraftKings.com. And this time it isn’t a 300-pound wall of flesh rushing to crunch his spine. It’s worse. Exploring the fantasy—and the reality—of professional football after you’ve left the field, Fantasy Man is as funny, self-deprecating, and shockingly honest as Slow Getting Up.

30 review for Fantasy Man: A Former NFL Player's Descent into the Brutality of Fantasy Football

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dave

    An ex-NFL player writes about his time as an ex-NFL player. The book is loosely focused on his fantasy football team but the narrative wanders aimlessly into discussions of marijuana, loathing for football fans, and concussions. Altogether a poorly written, self-indulgent book that I finished only because I was interested in what an ex-player's life is like. An ex-NFL player writes about his time as an ex-NFL player. The book is loosely focused on his fantasy football team but the narrative wanders aimlessly into discussions of marijuana, loathing for football fans, and concussions. Altogether a poorly written, self-indulgent book that I finished only because I was interested in what an ex-player's life is like.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Travis Coverston

    After reading Jackson's first book, I was intrigued to indulge his second. He has a writing style that is both comical and informative. I wasn't sure what to expect with a book supposedly focused on fantasy football, but it was definitely worth the read (listen via audiobook). Jackson has multiple encounters with his fictional secretary and fantasy players. He describes his real life fantasy football league with college buddies. There is an abundance of discussion about his views on medical mari After reading Jackson's first book, I was intrigued to indulge his second. He has a writing style that is both comical and informative. I wasn't sure what to expect with a book supposedly focused on fantasy football, but it was definitely worth the read (listen via audiobook). Jackson has multiple encounters with his fictional secretary and fantasy players. He describes his real life fantasy football league with college buddies. There is an abundance of discussion about his views on medical marijuana and its possible use as treatment in the NFL. And he goes into detail about his role, or lack thereof, in contributing to the screenplay that became the movie Concussion. Jackson is a humorous and witty writer who deserves a little more press than what he receives.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Art the Turtle of Amazing Girth

    I'd give it less than 1 star if I could I bought this on the promise from the cover that it would be about fantasy football. And while the shiny wrapping is about that topic, the meat and taters of this book is smoking weed, marijuana conferences, and CTE I wouldn't have minded those topics if the cover had been more honest Waste of money and time for someone looking for fantasy football But if you somehow hear what the book is really about and want to read about those things, then here it is I'd give it less than 1 star if I could I bought this on the promise from the cover that it would be about fantasy football. And while the shiny wrapping is about that topic, the meat and taters of this book is smoking weed, marijuana conferences, and CTE I wouldn't have minded those topics if the cover had been more honest Waste of money and time for someone looking for fantasy football But if you somehow hear what the book is really about and want to read about those things, then here it is

  4. 5 out of 5

    Chris Pippin

    I read Nate Jackson's first book, "Slow Getting Up," and really enjoyed it. Unfortunately, this one doesn't come even close to the enjoyment level of that effort. About half of this book is imaginary dialogues between Jackson and the players on his fantasy team, or between Jackson and his imaginary secretary. The other half of this book is marijuana advocacy. It's clear that Jackson is trying to channel Hunter S. Thompson, as he even quotes Thompson on a handful of occasions. Unfortunately, the I read Nate Jackson's first book, "Slow Getting Up," and really enjoyed it. Unfortunately, this one doesn't come even close to the enjoyment level of that effort. About half of this book is imaginary dialogues between Jackson and the players on his fantasy team, or between Jackson and his imaginary secretary. The other half of this book is marijuana advocacy. It's clear that Jackson is trying to channel Hunter S. Thompson, as he even quotes Thompson on a handful of occasions. Unfortunately, the book isn't even faux-gonzo. It's just the fantasy football musings of a stoner.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Michael Denniston

    The title may lead you to believe this is a book about a former NFL player playing fantasy football. It is not. It's a stretch to call this a book as it meanders through terribly unfunny guy humor. It is however very bad and one of the worst sports books I've ever read. So there's that. The title may lead you to believe this is a book about a former NFL player playing fantasy football. It is not. It's a stretch to call this a book as it meanders through terribly unfunny guy humor. It is however very bad and one of the worst sports books I've ever read. So there's that.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Chris Smith

    If you play fantasy football you will enjoy reliving your stress over your fantasy team. If you have never played FF then you will think it is describing a mental illness. It provides some funny stuff and is an easy, enjoyable read.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    Heard this guy on NPR talking about this book. I thought it was going to be more about marijuana as pain medication but just kinda meandered along through his daily life.

  8. 5 out of 5

    John

    I finished Nate Jackson’s first book, Slow Getting Up, a few weeks ago. It was excellent—an inside account of life in the NFL that fans crave but never seem to get. So I went right out to read his follow-up, Fantasy Man. Disappointment ensued. There is no true central narrative, which would be OK if Jackson was a great writer. He isn’t, but he acts like one. Every few paragraphs contains a one-liner, random aside, metaphorical callback, or poem that doesn’t land. They’re distracting and tend to I finished Nate Jackson’s first book, Slow Getting Up, a few weeks ago. It was excellent—an inside account of life in the NFL that fans crave but never seem to get. So I went right out to read his follow-up, Fantasy Man. Disappointment ensued. There is no true central narrative, which would be OK if Jackson was a great writer. He isn’t, but he acts like one. Every few paragraphs contains a one-liner, random aside, metaphorical callback, or poem that doesn’t land. They’re distracting and tend to overwhelm the otherwise just OK book. I hope he tries again but drops the Hunter S Thompson act.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lewis M

    his first book was far better and more relevant. I'm still not sure what the hell this book was about other than cashing in on the first book. Nate Jackson is no Hunter S Thompson and writing in that fear and loathing style seems like a poor copy rather than an homage. from the material thrown in there is a book there. I just wish he or his editor had a way to make it work. his first book was far better and more relevant. I'm still not sure what the hell this book was about other than cashing in on the first book. Nate Jackson is no Hunter S Thompson and writing in that fear and loathing style seems like a poor copy rather than an homage. from the material thrown in there is a book there. I just wish he or his editor had a way to make it work.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Shileikis

    Honestly a great book for anyone who is a football fan. The author talks about his passion for football such as his career , fantasy football and after his career. He dives in to a controversial topic such as using marijuana to help with pain and healing. Quick and easy read.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Campbell

    Enjoyed it enough. Should have stuck with the original name

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    Shut up shut up shut up. I hated this so much.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Walkamungus

    Not as good as Slow Getting Up. It's got some promising threads -- marijuana advocacy, the problem of prescription painkiller dependence, the persistence of pain -- but the weird "managing my fantasy team" stuff is disruptive (although occasionally funny) and Jackson doesn't manage to build the suspense of the fantasy season. He's funniest when he's talking about Denver's relationship with its football team. (As a former Denver resident, I may be biased.) This one needed a heavier editorial hand Not as good as Slow Getting Up. It's got some promising threads -- marijuana advocacy, the problem of prescription painkiller dependence, the persistence of pain -- but the weird "managing my fantasy team" stuff is disruptive (although occasionally funny) and Jackson doesn't manage to build the suspense of the fantasy season. He's funniest when he's talking about Denver's relationship with its football team. (As a former Denver resident, I may be biased.) This one needed a heavier editorial hand, and someone to say, No, that's not as funny as you think it is. Lots of unrealized potential here. If you want a really good book about fantasy sports, get Sam Walker's Fantasyland.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Will

    A strange book. Very short for the price (cost per page is very important to me), and what was written on the (few) pages was incoherent and boring, as well as not at all what was promised in the title. I wish it had focused more on the fantasy football side of things instead of the author's life, which I don't care that much about. Does it have redeeming qualities? I think so... Read this if you like being let down. A strange book. Very short for the price (cost per page is very important to me), and what was written on the (few) pages was incoherent and boring, as well as not at all what was promised in the title. I wish it had focused more on the fantasy football side of things instead of the author's life, which I don't care that much about. Does it have redeeming qualities? I think so... Read this if you like being let down.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Phil

    I'm a huge fantasy sports fan and was really looking forward to this one. Boy was it a letdown. Very little about fantasy football and much more about topics from a guy I know nothing about it so it really lost my interest and I tried my best to get through it as quickly as possible. I'm a huge fantasy sports fan and was really looking forward to this one. Boy was it a letdown. Very little about fantasy football and much more about topics from a guy I know nothing about it so it really lost my interest and I tried my best to get through it as quickly as possible.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Bob

    Huh? Weird book and nowhere near as good as his first. Maybe it's me, but I didn't get it with all the skipping from subject to subject. Huh? Weird book and nowhere near as good as his first. Maybe it's me, but I didn't get it with all the skipping from subject to subject.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Samantha Reedy

  18. 4 out of 5

    Richard Haley

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kyle Roberts

  20. 4 out of 5

    Michael Prisco

  21. 5 out of 5

    Matt

  22. 5 out of 5

    William Stasny jr.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Andy Rollins

  24. 5 out of 5

    Scott Freeman

  25. 4 out of 5

    Warren Baker

  26. 4 out of 5

    John Andrew

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jon Lyon

  28. 5 out of 5

    Scott Boyd

  29. 4 out of 5

    Terry Parker

  30. 5 out of 5

    Barrie

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