Slow Getting Up by Nate Jackson

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Slow Getting Up by Nate Jackson

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Category: Autobiography
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sam Tyler
Reviewed by Sam Tyler
Summary: There are a few sports people who become the very best in their field, but what about the rest of them? Spare a thought for Nate Jackson, he made it all the way to the NFL only to sit on the sidelines and the injury table. Laugh and wince with Jackson as he explains what life is like for the average American Football player.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 243 Date: March 2014
Publisher: Audible Studios
ISBN: 9780062108029

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Sporting autobiographies are often written by those sports men and women who made it to the very pinnacle of their profession. Their stories surround past glories and how they lifted themselves up above the great to become the very best. However, for every superstar footballer or tennis player, there needs to be a lot more average Joes and Joettes for them to shine against. And who is to say that being an average player in a professional league is not an achievement in itself? Nate Jackson was one such ‘average’ player in the NFL – but would you call him that to his face?

American Football is not a sport that has caught on in Europe; it’s slightly ponderous pace and overuse of padding makes us a cynical bunch. However, don’t let the naysayers detract from the fact that this is an intense sport that is electrifying and violent when at its best. Jackson invites you the listener into a behind the scenes look at what it is to be a normal player in the NFL. A star at College, Jackson soon had to readjust to being a much smaller fish when landing in the big pool. He tells his story in ‘Slow Getting Up’.

If Jackson had been a superstar of the NFL this book may have been all about his most famous victories, but seeing as he only managed one professional touchdown, this is not that book. Instead this is a warts and all portrayal of what it is to work towards a dream and fight every day to keep it. The NFL seems like a very competitive and cruel place to work. With no job security you are only as good as your last few games and your clean bill of health. Jackson discusses his multitude of injuries and how he lived with pain as much as the game of American Football.

What makes ‘Slow Getting Up’ so interesting is listening to Nate Jackson himself. This is a very personable chap who can laugh at himself, but also draw a critical eye with what goes on around him. The best stories in the book are just about the day to day banter of being in a team; the food, the curfews, the dominoes clack, clack, clacking. Jackson also has a very amusing turn of phrase; there are some very funny lines in the book as he chooses to look at some of the funnier sides of a situation, rather than getting too dark.

I was fortunate enough to listen to the audio version of the book as narrated by Jackson himself. This is a mixed blessing. It takes a few minutes to get used to Jackson’s slightly deadpan style, but once you get into the rhythm he really draws you into the book. What I did find odd was that Jackson obviously writes in a style he believes to be his own voice, but when narrating some of the jokes he wrote himself – he botches them! Some parts of the story may have been better told straight to the reader from his memories, rather than read from the book.

For this reason, I am divided whether the book or the audiobook is the best option. With the audio you get to know Jackson from his spoken voice, but if you read the book you will be just as happy with his written voice. Either way, this is one of the most personal and heartfelt sports biographies I have ever read. It may not be full of the glory, but it is certainly full of the pain.

If this book appeals then you might also enjoyI Am The Secret Footballer: Lifting The Lid On The Beautiful Game by The Secret Footballer and The Real Monty by Colin Montgomerie.

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Buy Slow Getting Up by Nate Jackson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Slow Getting Up by Nate Jackson at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Slow Getting Up by Nate Jackson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Slow Getting Up by Nate Jackson at


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