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"Love, Zac: Small-Town Football and the Life and Death of an American Boy"

Aired on Monday, October 19th.

In late 2015, Zac Easter, a young man from a small town in Iowa, took his own life. The reason? According to the many journals and detailed writings that Zac left behind, this act of suicide was chosen by Zac because he was unable to continue his long-running battle against worsening traumatic brain injuries -- injuries that stemmed directly from the fact that Zac had been a football player, from third grade through high school. Our guest is the writer and journalist Reid Forgrave, who tells us about his new book, "Love, Zac." For this work, Forgrave was allowed to access Zac's diaries; he also spoke at length with Zac's family, friends, and coaches. How common are football-related brain injuries in America today? And what's being done to reduce these injuries? And are they now occuring more or less frequently? Exploring these questions for his book, Forgrave also spoke with leading brain scientists, psychologists, and sports historians. Per Kirkus Reviews, this book offers "an intelligent, provocative tale that will give pause to many parents of football players at any level."

Rich Fisher passed through KWGS about thirty years ago, and just never left. Today, he is the general manager of Public Radio Tulsa, and the host of KWGS’s public affairs program, StudioTulsa, which celebrated its twentieth anniversary in August 2012 . As host of StudioTulsa, Rich has conducted roughly four thousand long-form interviews with local, national, and international figures in the arts, humanities, sciences, and government. Very few interviews have gone smoothly. Despite this, he has been honored for his work by several organizations including the Governor's Arts Award for Media by the State Arts Council, a Harwelden Award from the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa, and was named one of the “99 Great Things About Oklahoma” in 2000 by Oklahoma Today magazine.
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