A current pro player takes fans on a pseudonymous trip through one of the most infamous years of football—the very long, sometimes funny, often controversial 2013-2014 season—sharing raucous, behind-the-scenes, on-the-field, and in-the-locker-room truth about life in the National Football League.
“Well, to hell with being safe. I’m going to be honest.”
Johnny Anonymous' life goal was to be nothing greater or less than the Best NFL Back-Up of All Time™. For two years, he was content earning hundreds of thousands of dollars to stand on the sidelines doing absolutely nothing. But early in his third year, a starting lineman is injured, and he suddenly finds himself on the field.
For most players, this moment is a dream come true. But not so for our author, one of the incredibly rare birds in football who reach the highest echelons, but who actually hate America’s favorite game. That’s right. Johnny Anonymous hates football. He hates what it does to his body, his brain, his life. Luckily, he can see the humor in his own situation, but also in the machinations of the NFL.
Part truth-telling narrative, part whip-smart commentary that only a true insider could bring, part hilarious, NFL Confidential gives football fans a look at a world most would give anything to see, and gives non-fans a wild ride through the strange, and sometimes disturbing customs and realities of football today. Here is a truly unaffiliated look at the nation’s biggest, most lucrative pastime over the course of one of its most transformative seasons.
From hard-to-stomach diets, showdowns in the weight room, shenanigans in the locker room, the looming dread of being cut from the team, the racial issues that still exist in modern-day football, the rock-star lifestyle that players find themselves able to afford and sometimes enjoy a little too much, the notion of being lauded in a league plagued by controversy and the sharp contrast between the love/hate of the game and the reality of the job, Johnny reveals a never-before-seen side of the NFL.
Unlike the glossy, self-promotional tell-all memoirs of former gridiron star players and coaches of the National Football League, this hard-hitting sports confessional by a current pro-baller, who has decided not to come out from the shadows, will stick in the craw of the NFL front office. Coming from a small town in Ohio, the author, speaking in bold terms about his desire to become "the Best Back-up of All Time," wants to remain a nameless player: not risking injury, doing just enough to remain on the payroll while standing on the sidelines. The anonymous player enjoys that status on his second team in three years, as a pitiful third-stringer, until the injury of a lineman puts him in as a starting center. He sees hobbled veteran linemen, the victims of the most physical abuse in football, feeling the fans don't think of the gladiators as humans, but "commodities, entertainment." Football fans will be stunned by his candor about the stiff resistance against gays in the league, the widespread use of painkillers, the racial slurs, the caste system of starters versus backups, the win-at-all cost team attitude, the illegal drugs, and the off-the-field criminal infractions. This wicked football expose, written by an active player who "hates" the sport, is a ticking time bomb.