Millions watch it. Billions are spent on it. Yet few fans know what life is really like in the NFL. Now an eight-year veteran of the game and a rising sports media superstar reveals—for the first time—the pathos, the horror, the abuses, and the wonder of the sport they call professional football.
Fame and fortune, satisfaction, and thrills define the dream of playing in the NFL. But there's a dark side to that dream. And no one knows it better than Tim Green, former defensive end for the Atlanta Falcons, a featured color analyst for Fox Sports, and National Public Radio's weekly NFL commentator.
Unreported things happen during the season when the player is on the field—and on the sidelines and in the locker rooms. Unreported things also happen during the 149 days of the year when the player is not on the field. All of it takes its toll on the human body and spirit. In professional football, there is a price and it must be paid.
Here's the play-by-play the NFL powers-that-be don't want you to know:
The futility of training camp—and the outrageous lengths players go to get out of it;
The paradoxes of pain protection—goodbye padding, hello drugs;
The untold war inside every team between the offensive and defensive squads;
The truth about groupies and NFL players;
The thriving perfect partnership between the mob and the NFL;
What the salary cap really is—and why players hate it;
The best—and worst—places to play in the NFL;
The score on racism, AIDS, gambling, steroids, and life after football.
At the same time, you'll meet the NFL's most stellar—and most unjustly neglected—personalities. The dazzling Deion Sanders, Steve Young, the game's most dangerous player. The sport's most outspoken former coach, Jerry Glanville. Not to mention Green's unexpected choice for most valuable man in the NFL: strength and conditioning coach Mike Woicik.
Most of all, you'll soar with the spirit that no corruption can ever kill. The spirit that lives in school teams and sandlot games, and inspires kids to get up, over and over again. The spirit that stays with them as they grow to manhood and urges them to success in every field they tackle. The spirit that tells them they can do it, as long as they aren't afraid to dream.