Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Fourth Down and Inches: Concussions and Football's Make-or-Break Moment by Carla Killough McClafferty

From the early days of brute force football to the contemporary high-flying dynasties, Fourth Down and Inches provides readers with a concise history of the American pastime and brings awareness to the dangers of the sport. The book begins with a detailed history of the origins of college football, mentioning some of the oldest team feuds and how they originated, along with the rising popularity of the sport.  Each chapter discusses  injuries and fatalities that happened in the field and the gradual progress made towards identifying and treating concussions.  As the book moves through the years, the focus shifts to the prevention of fatalities and minimization of injuries at both the college and professional level. Although the book provides many medical terms and details the high tech equipment used to keep players healthy, it never overwhelms or confuses.

Fourth Down and Inches is filled with old and new pictures of teams, athletes and past games. The diagrams are colorfully detailed and help explain some of the equipment the athletes use and the medical analysis done to help make sure football becomes a safer sport. For those looking to learn more about football and its wonderfully dangerous history, Fourth Down and Inches is a great read.--Claudio Leon

McClafferty, Carla Killough.  First Down and Inches: Concussions and Football’s Make-or-Break Moment. Minnesota: Carolrhonda Books, 2013. Print.

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