Next, we take a closer look at the game the way it is played today. Sports writer Chuck Klosterman tells us about a sort of con at the center of the game that, he thinks, has made it the most popular sport in the US. And he points us to a deep conflict at the heart of football, even for the people who love it dearly.
For a closer look at that conflict, our producer Soren Wheeler pays a visit to Monet Bartell. Some families pass down quilts, or recipes, or a family business, but Monet's family tradition was football. Her dad played, her uncle played, her brothers played … Football gave her dad, her family, a life. So when her son Parker was born, she was ready to be a proud mom in the stands. But she has to balance that against her experience seeing the aftermath of football up close and personal.
All of which makes producer Molly Webster curious — as families wrestle to understand how the game fits into their lives, what's it like on-the-ground, in football programs across the country? What she finds goes beyond the pigskin, making us consider what sports, across generations, really reveal about us.