This history film tells the story of a game that was always dangerous, and whose dangers, though controversial, were also desired.
Since its beginnings in the late nineteenth century, football has become not just Americans' favorite spectator sport but also a supposed training for manhood; a fundamental part of the American educational system; a pathway for social and economic mobility, with millions of dollars now paid to top players and coaches; a source of personal and communal identity; an unparalleled social ritual; and some of the most powerful stories America tells about itself. But if, as we now know, football can cause long-term brain damage, the price might be too high, even for all of those personal, social, and cultural values. Just how dangerous is football now? And how safe can it be made and still be the football that Americans love?