New Nonfiction: NFL Confidential – Johnny Anonymous

The title kind of says it all: Crazy, over-the-top stories and a peek behind the curtain at the inner workings of the NFL. Written by someone playing right now.

The publisher is keeping a lid on the specifics but I’m told there are a number of explosive revelations in this up-to-the-minute, scrimmage line view of the game.

Revelations aside, a lot of the jolt of this book is the voice. “Johnny Anonymous” is not only a four-year offensive lineman in the NFL; under another pseudonym he’s also a contributor to the comedy powerhouse Funny or Die, which will be supporting the book. Here’s a little except that captures the tone:

You can pretty much break NFL players down into three categories.

“Twenty percent do it because they’re true believers. They’re smart enough to do something else if they wanted, and the money is nice and all, but really they just love football. They love it, they live it, they believe in it, it’s their creed. They would be nothing without it. Hell, they’d probably pay the League to play if they had to! These guys are obviously psychotic.

“Thirty percent of them do it just for the money. So they could do something else—sales, desk jockey, accountant, whatever—but they play football because the money is just so damn good. And it is good.

“And last of all, 49.99 percent play football because, frankly, it’s the only thing they know how to do. Even if they wanted to do something “normal,” they couldn’t. All they’ve ever done in their lives is play football—it was their way out, either of the hood or the deep woods country. They need football. If football didn’t exist, they’d be homeless, in a gang, or maybe in prison.

“Then there’s me.

“I’m part of my own little weird minority, that final 0.01 percent. We’re such a minority, we don’t even count as a category. We’re the professional football players who flat-out hate professional football.”

NFL Confidential: True Confessions from the Gutter of Football (9780062422415) by Johnny Anonymous. $26.99 hardcover. 1/5/16 on sale.

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