Frontline tackles football’s dangers

SHARE Frontline tackles football’s dangers

Frontline is one of my favorite television programs, an automatic DVR experience along with “Leverage,” “The Good Wife” and another PBS staple, “The American Experience.”

But I wasn’t sure what to make of Tuesday night’s broadcast of “Football High,” Frontline’s second episode on sports in the past three weeks. That’s a rarity for an all-too-serious documentary. The Frontline broadcast focused on Shiloh Christian, a small school football power in Springdale, Ark. Shiloh reminds me of the now-demolished Driscoll, another small school power which kept on winning state title after state title.

The program featured top prospect Kiehl Frazier, one of those mega-talented spread QBs from Shiloh with crates full of recruiting mail and plenty of rave reviews from commentators from and

But I think “Football High” tried to focus on the hidden dangers in the game. The 60-minute doc also included the stories of two Arkansas high school players, who each suffered heat stroke just days apart in 2010. Then there was the story of Shiloh running back Garrett Harper, whose career suffered a setback due to a concussion. “Football High” claimed that there are 60,000 concussions a year in high school football. That’s their claim, anyway.

Football concussions have been in the news and Hersey grad Chris Nowinski (right) has been in the forefront of brain research as a result of football-related concussions. Nowinski, a Harvard grad and former professional wrestler, is featured in the program through his work with the Boston University School of Medicine.

There was one other hidden danger about football “Football High” did not address. It’s hard to forget the stories of Rolling Meadows’ Rob Komosa and Eishenower’s Rocky Clark, each of whom suffered permanent paralysis as a result of football injuries to their spine.

You can watch “Football High” here.

The program was broadcast just a few weeks after Frontline looked at the NCAA’s March Madness with its focus on Sonny Vacaro, the coach turned Nike rep, who is responsible for the shoe deals that have rewarded men’s basketball coaches and athletic departments with wheelbarrows full of money.

That episode, “Money and March Madness,” can be seen here.

The Latest
While the Bulls made early calls on Durant after he demanded a trade from the Nets, the likelihood of KD putting on a Bulls jersey anytime soon remains more fairytale than reality. Not only do the Bulls not fit the trade profile for the star, but there’s some history there with Billy Donovan that doesn’t help.
Hunter, now sporting a new title, handles a dizzying array of duties — from managing the salary cap to assisting new players’ families — to keep the Hawks’ front office functional.
Now that his former wife is dating an old friend, he’s making false claims that the new boyfriend was her secret lover during the marriage.
On the eve of his first game as a head coach at any level, Eberflus comes in not as a dynamic savior but an old-school, driven football coach. And maybe that’s the antidote the McCaskey family has been looking for.
We cannot continue to succeed if one of our most important transportation corridors continues to fail.