NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Saturday, December 19, 2015, 9:50 PM
“NFL Confidential: True Confessions from the Gutter of Football” by Johnny Anonymous
Drugs, cheating, racism, violence, homophobia, megalomania.
Welcome to the NFL, Kid.
An obscure offensive lineman writing under the pseudonym “Johnny Anonymous” leaves no scandal unexamined in his damning new book, “NFL Confidential: True Confessions from the Gutter of Football.”
Did the New England Patriots, implicated in Deflategate for fiddling with footballs and accused in Spygate of illegally videotaping the competition, actually bend the rules?
Of course, says Mr. Anonymous — just like the league’s 31 other teams.
“The Pats are no different than anyone else in the NFL,” he wrote. “They worship winning so much they’ll do anything for it. The only mistake they make is that they got caught.”
He also offers his take on the personalities of players at different positions.
Quarterbacks are “as dull as rocks, completely humorless and absolutely relentless,” he wrote.
The diva wide receivers are in a league of their own.
“Arrogant, outspoken, selfish,” he rants. “They spend money like it’s their job on jewelry, a couple Benzes, Gucci backpacks — backpacks? — and typically have no shame. On top of that, they’re the funniest guys on the team.”
And offensive linemen are truly offensive: Many urinate in their pants rather than leave the sidelines during a game. They think it’s badass and shows their dedication.
Anonymous NFLer’s tome says there was no way league was unaware of assault by Ray Rice (top) on gal pal. Book, alluding to player Michael Sam kissing boyfriend on TV (inset), says gay jokes are part of NFL comfort zone. And, book adds, it’s easy to get pills.
Yes, this a bitter man spewing. He gave his all to his first team in the league, believing the promises made to him about the future. Anonymous was cut after two years.
So he arrived at training camp in the summer of 2014 an angry third-string backup auditioning for a new team. Anonymous disguises the team and changes names, time lines and details to protect himself and the not-so-innocent.
He recounts his first day in the team cafeteria, where the players eat at tables divided by race.
“You be having a klan meeting over there or some such s–t?” a black man called out as he carried his tray to a table filled with white players.
“I’m just terrified of that Black Panther party you got over there,” Anonymous fired back.
“Racism does exist in the NFL,” he wrote. “No big deal. It’s just how it is.”
He’s heard players from the Deep South call people “coons,” while black players call white players “crackers” and “honkies” all the time.
“Usually to their face,” he wrote, “because they’re black and can get away with it.”
More rampant than any racism is the leaguewide homophobia. Anonymous wrote that he and plenty of other players are not OK with openly gay players in the locker room.
The author referenced Michael Sam, the league’s first openly gay player, who kissed his boyfriend on national television after he was drafted by the St. Louis Rams.
“For all of us the kissing-in-public thing went about 20 steps too far,” he maintains in the book. “To put it delicately, it was f—ing gross.”
Anonymous actually believes the anti-gay sentiment is the bedrock of team bonding.
“In an environment as ultramasculine as the NFL, there’s almost no greater sign of comfort with a guy than being able to make a good gay joke,” he wrote.
And putting an openly gay player into the middle of an NFL team might ruin the camaraderie.
“That’s why you won’t be seeing any more ‘Michael Sams’ anytime soon,” he insists. “No one wants to be the guy who f—s up the chemistry on his team.”
After the appalling video of Ray Rice viciously assaulting his fiancée became public, his team’s locker room was in a frenzy of speculation.
But everybody agreed on one thing: There was no way that the NFL hierarchy had no knowledge of the video, as NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell publicly claimed.
“The league knows every f—ing thing about us,” one of the team stars bellowed. “Those f—ers got connections everywhere.”
Anonymous claims that the word on the Baltimore Ravens running back was that he had always been a cancer on his team: “Someone who tears his team apart because instead of being a leader, he’s a selfish, arrogant pr–k.”
Violence is a way of life for many NFL players, whether they hail from “the ’hood or the trailer park,” he wrote. Some learn to control it; others, like Rice, can’t change.
“Some, if it wasn’t for the NFL, they wouldn’t be playing football, they’d be in prison,” Anonymous says in the book. “Then you got your lucky few like Aaron Hernandez or Michael Vick who just happen to get both.”
Anonymous says all the league does to address any of the issues — domestic abuse, homophobia, racism — is hold tedious meetings where the men are inundated with statistics and told horror stories of players who screwed up.
The book claims that offensive linemen urinate in their pants because they’d rather not leave the sidelines during games.
The takeaway is usually, “Please, please, don’t f— up, because then we’ll all look really bad,” he recounts.
As for substance abuse or boozing, Anonymous insists that “the amazing truth is that it’s actually really easy to get away with drinking and doing street drugs as an NFL player.”
Athletes with a drug or alcohol problem are pretty much left to deal with it on their own — although there are not a lot of players with an addiction, he claimed.
The teams once passed out prescriptions for the painkillers Vicodin, Percocet and OxyContin like candy. But the 2011 collective bargaining agreement put an end to that.
One of his angrier accusations is that teams regularly take the last player cut from an opposing team for one thing only: To pick his brain for the enemy’s game plan.
He traded his first team’s plays for the chance to be picked up by its rivals. When it didn’t happen, he felt guilty as hell.
The career backup actually made it onto the field as a starting center when one of his fellow lineman suffered an injury.
Unsurprisingly, he caught football fever all over again. But it faded once the injured player healed and Anonymous returned to the bench.
His team failed to make it into the playoffs, but Anonymous was picked up for another year. When that ends, he’ll look for another team to hire him as a backup and cash their fat checks.
For a man with the stated ambition to be the “Best NFL Backup Ever,” that would be living the dream. And yet he acknowledges hating the sport with every fiber of his being.
“Loathe it. Hate what it does to our bodies,” he spews. “Hate what it does to our minds. . . . Hate what it does to our lives.”
The book goes on sale Jan. 5, with the author confident that he will continue to toil in anonymity.
“You can’t figure out who I am,” he taunts. “Go ahead, try. I dare you. Catch me if you can.”
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