Episode #96- CONCUSSION – Love, Zac… Small Town Football and the Life and Death of an American Boy

For the past decade the reality of concussions and the long term effects and consequences of brain injuries has finally received the attention needed. Playing football has its risks and if these risks are not taken serious there can be long term health problems for individuals who suffer from repetitive head trauma.

Zac Easter could be your neighbor, your classmate, your son.

In December 2015, Zac Easter, a twenty-four-year-old from small-town Iowa, decided to take his own life rather than continue his losing battle against the traumatic brain injuries he had sustained as a no-holds-barred high school football player.

For this deeply reported and powerfully moving true story, award-winning writer Reid Forgrave was given access to Zac’s own diaries and was able to speak with Zac’s family, friends, and coaches. He explores Zac’s tight-knit, football-obsessed Midwestern community; he interviews leading brain scientists, psychologists, and sports historians; and he takes a deep dive into the triumphs and sins of the sports entertainment industry.

Forgrave shows us how football mirrors America, from the fighting spirit the game has helped inscribe in our national character to the side effects of the traditional notions of manhood that it affirms. But above all, Love,Zac is a warning to parents and those entrusted with the care of our kids not to ignore concussions and warning signs of CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy). For parents struggling to decide whether to allow their kids to play football, this eye-opening, heart-wrenching, and ultimately inspiring story may be one of the most important books they will read.

Reid Forgrave writes about sports and other topics for GQ, the New York Times Magazine, and Mother Jones, among other publications. He has covered the NFL and college football for FoxSports.com and CBS Sports, and he currently writes for the Star Tribune in Minneapolis. The article in which he first wrote about Zac Easter is included in Best American Sports Writing 2018.

Find the book here- LOVE, ZAC

Visit CTEHOPE.COM to make a donation

Learn more about the author at REIDFORGRAVE.COM

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