In Season 1 we dive into the issue of concussions and CTE — brain trauma — in the sport of football. We share personal stories from those who have been directly touched by football’s brain injury crisis, and we take a look at efforts being made to make the sport safer. Are the benefits of the sport worth the risk of long-term health problems? You decide.

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Ep. 9: Why we play

With everything we know about the long-term risks of tackle football, why are we still playing the sport? Maybe because for some people, it remains the best option. MORE


Ep. 8: ‘I wouldn’t put a helmet like that on my dog’

Bill Simpson wanted to take his auto racing knowledge and use it to build a better football helmet. Little did he know that would be the easy part. MORE


Bonus: Football, genetics and CTE

What do we know about genetic predispositions to CTE? It turns out it’s not a clear-cut as you might think. MORE


Ep. 7: ‘I’m gonna take on the National Football League’

In an effort to defend his friend Dr. Bennet Omalu and protect former NFL players, lawyer Jason Luckasevic launched legal action that would ultimately become a billion-dollar settlement. MORE


Bonus: What do we know about CBD?

On the heels of Episode 6, in which we heard the moving story of former NFL lineman Kyle Turley (listen here), I wanted to take a bit of a deeper look at cannabis and CBD, and the potential benefits of these products for football players. MORE


Ep. 6: ‘Cannabis saved my life’

Ex-NFL lineman Kyle Turley says cannabis helped him overcome suicidal thoughts and an addiction to painkillers. MORE


Bonus: What is the prevalence of CTE?

Drs. Zach Binney and Kathleen Bachynski used math to show that a famous-but-flawed study yielded practical results. MORE


Ep. 5: ‘The definition of toughness’

A life-threatening injury caused Kevin Saum to re-evaluate his feelings for football and seek new ways to define toughness. MORE


Bonus: A historical look at brain injuries, CTE and the NFL

An expert debunks myths surrounding brain injuries in football. MORE


Ep. 4: ‘It’s too late for my son’

After losing her son, Debbie Pyka spreads awareness of the dangers of football and the need for brain donations to further research. MORE


Bonus: Bleacher Report’s Mirin Fader and the tragic story of James Ransom

Three years ago, James Ransom suffered a concussion playing tackle football. A little over a year later, he committed suicide. MORE


Ep. 3: ‘There’s something wrong with Junior’

Hear the tragic story of Junior Seau, told through the eyes of someone who knew him best — his sister Mary. MORE


Bonus: ESPN’s Tim Keown and the ‘Fearless Bailey Foley’

Reporter discusses his story of a frightening injury that caused a whole community to reconsider the dangers of football. MORE


Ep. 2: ‘Civil rights on behalf of kids’

After her son died at age 25 and was found to have brain damage, Kimberly Archie knew she had to do more to help protect young athletes. MORE


Bonus: What is CTE?

We take a look at CTE — chronic traumatic encephalopathy. MORE


Ep. 1: ‘It’s not a success story’

Grant Feasel was all set to pursue a career as a dentist, but everything changed when he was drafted in the sixth round of the 1983 draft. MORE