Although I don't follow him regularly when he appears on All Things Considered and didn't when he wrote for The Wall Street Journal, I'm a quiet fan of Stefan Fatsis's books because he writes about joining a world most of us don't get to see. I previously wrote about his excursion into the world of competitive Scrabble. Today, it's his book A Few Seconds of Panic, or more formally, A Few Seconds of Panic: A 5-Foot-8, 170-Pound, 43-Year-Old Sportswriter Plays in the NFL, another example of the Catchy title: Long boring subtitle book title fad. [Update: Now available in paperback.] Fatsis convinces a professional football team to let him join them for a pre-season game as a place kicker. From there, he observes the working of an NFL team from the inside. NPR's Only a Game interviewed him in August 2008. [mp3]

(Fatsis is a regular member of Slate's new weekly sports podcast Hang Up and Listen. He mentions his kicking career only every other podcast now.)

(And I wasted far too much time on what is rumored to be another Stefan Fatsis production, Name of the Year. Here's a list of previous winners.)