By Stefan Fatsis
For his last book, the endlessly fascinating Word Freak, Fatsis memorized word lists and entered himself in the professional Scrabble-playing circuit. Apparently this did not involve enough physical pain, because this time Fatsis (who played some soccer in college) got himself embedded with the Denver Broncos as a rookie place kicker. George Plimpton tried this stunt already, when he wrote Paper Lion about his brief tour as a quarterback for the Detroit Lions. But that was 45 years ago, when a lot of players still had second jobs. Since then the NFL has become a $6 billion business, and the players have become massively built hardcore professionals. What's it like to train with them, play with them, eat with them, and get hazed by them? Fatsis finds out so you don't have to.