Slow Getting Up: A Story of NFL Survival from the Bottom of the Pile by Nate Jackson:
I stand on the sidelines as Jay Cutler finishes the drive with his third touchdown pass of the quarter. It goes to Brandon Marshall. After the score B-Marsh reaches for something in his pants but Brandon Stokely, another star receiver, stops him, fearing a flag for an unlicensed prop. The Browns receive the kickoff, can’t score, and we win. A much-needed win; we had dropped the previous three. The locker room afterward is raucous with reenactments of the end zone shenanigans. B-Marsh has been reaching for a homemade black and white unity glove he had tucked into his game pants, and now, in the safety of the locker room, Stokely’s standing on a bench doing his best Tommy Smith impression from the 1968 Olympics. It is two days after Barack Obama’s election and B-Marsh wanted to honor the moment. His president is black and he is proud. And like many proud black men who came before him, he got bear-hugged by whitey. Great gesture, bad timing. They call it the No Fun League for a reason.
On the airplane ride back to Denver I sit completely still and sip a cocktail. We used to have beers on the flights but NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell banned them. Legislate all you want, demand finds its supply. And booze is easier to smuggle past a tarmac TSA screening than a thirty-pack.