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League of Denial: The NFL, Concussions and the Battle for Truth Audio CD – Audiobook, Unabridged

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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Random House Audio; 1 Una edition (October 8, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804128170
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804128179
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 5.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (155 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #353,130 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Journalistically bruising." -- Peter King

"It is meticulously researched, artfully structured, engaging and well written... this is an informative, intriguing and sobering book about power and control. I recommend it strongly." - Nate Jackson, The Washington Post

"Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru's book 'League of Denial' should be required reading in secondary schools for all athletes. Those of us outside the lines will be wiser, as well, for having invested just a few hours to read it." - Tim Cowlishaw, Dallas Morning News

"Meticulously documented and endlessly chilling." - The New York Times

“'League of Denial' may turn out to be the most influential sports-related book of our time." -The Boston Globe, Best Sports Books of 2013

From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Mark Fainaru-Wada is an investigative reporter for ESPN. With his colleague Lance Williams, he co-authored the New York Times best-seller "Game of Shadows -- Barry Bonds, BALCO and the Steroids Scandal That Rocked Professional Sports." He lives in Petaluma, California, with his wife Nicole, son Max and daughter Ella.
 Steve Fainaru is an investigative reporter for ESPN. While covering the Iraq war for the Washington Post, he received the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting for his investigation into the U.S. military’s reliance on private security contractors. He lives in Berkeley, California, with his wife Maureen Fan, and son Will.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 155 customer reviews
A very thought-provoking and timely book.
Toni Molik
The NFL and the owners have done everything they could to cover up the known brain damage caused by concussion in every single game played.
Robert T. Trotta
Highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the NFL and football at all levels.
Dusty Rhoads

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

65 of 67 people found the following review helpful By sandy on October 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I write this review as the first wife of a former professional football player (quarterback).While reading League of Denial, I have cried over the stories from the players and their wives. I lived that life. My husband played serious football through high school, university, and professional ball through the 70's. As far as I know, he had at least 11 concussions during his football career. Some of those concussions put him in the hospital. Then the next day, he was back on the football field. While sitting in the stands with the other football wives I often heard the fans yelling, "Kill the quarterback". A difficult thing to listen to. My former husband has always had sever headaches. Those headaches often caused him to be an absent father to our three sons. To see your husband go from a peaceful loving man to one who at times was controlling, angry, and abusive, was no less than shattering and very confusing. His unpredictable behavior often scared me. League of Denial has helped me realize that my husband's behavior was not always his fault. Now, I understand his odd behavior and it makes sense to me. And, it makes me very sad. How sad that neither one of us knew at that time what was happening to his brain. Football does not only affect the players but it also affects the families who are involved in this game. The denial of the danger of football, by the NFL, is understandable from a monetary perspective. However, it is not an excuse. I dearly hope that the Canadian Football League players take care of themselves. By doing so, they are also taking care of their wives and children. I also dearly hope that the fans will listen to themselves when they yell in dissatisfaction at the players. The fans have no idea how hard the players are working. This is their life and ultimately sometimes their death.
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45 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 9, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Kind of unputtdownable. Recently, various sources have shone a flashlight on the problem of head injuries in football. This book directs a 2000 candle power searchlight onto the problem. After reading it, you'll wonder how the NFL is continuing to get away with what could be called murder - certainly a slow destruction of some of their players. What happened in the tobacco industry proves that no one is infallible. I'm hoping that with the information in this book, the genius grant the McArthur Foundation gave to Kevin Guskiewicz, and raised awareness , the NFL will finally be made to answer for the harm they've done and are continuing to do to their players and alums. I don't think I'll ever watch a game again without thinking of this book.
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Format: Hardcover
"League of Denial" by ESPN journalists Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru is an interesting and somehow shocking read for NFL fans, about some awful discoveries related to diseases and deaths of ex-NFL players.

The authors revealed how the NFL, for almost twenty years, had tried to cover up and even deny proofs that football players due to the lack of enough protection are far more vulnerable to brain diseases and damages.

Unfortunately, it was proven that the league didn't protected its players enough (or at all), because no matter of advanced technology usage, it wasn't possible to create shields good enough that would adequately protect their heads.

But instead to say it publicly, the whole story was a long time hidden from the media to avoid jeopardizing the entire show, and a large amount of money invested.

I suppose that the authors' intention with their book wasn't to reduce the love of fans for this exciting sport, but to illuminate some secrets that shouldn't be tolerated in any sport.

Due to that, I can recommend reading "League of Denial", a book that shows how today's athletes are real gladiators, not only in a figurative sense, and that the cost of their health and life is almost irrelevant compared to the value of entire show in which they participate.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By K. Durkin on October 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First, I will note that I myself had a concussion when I was 7 after I fell off my bicycle and fractured my skull. I was "out" for four hours and don't recall anything of the hour before the accident. It is part of the reason that I am very interested in the research.

As an avid NFL fan since the late 70s, I found this book difficult to read. The stories of what many players have had to endure after they retired is heartbreaking. The first time that I recall concussions being discussed in the media were in the time of Al Toon's retirement at the age of 29 after he said he had 9 concussions. I vaguely remember it being said then that there was a belief that having had one made a person predisposed to another and also there was a theory that some players are more prone to them, like Toon.

In reading this book, it carefully lays out what was known about concussions by whom and when. And the startling thing is that a lot of what we take for granted, still wasn't considered hard science even 20 years ago. In 1990, a team doctor wanted to keep Bubby Brister out of a game and the Steelers Coach Chuck Noll wanted to know why and on what basis or evidence. At the time, they were guidelines. But the doctor had no conclusive proof exactly how much time was necessary to heal a concussion. Healing times are different. There was no test, no baseline.

What the book does well is take the reader from that time when things were murky to the death of Mike Webster when there was a change. A Nigerian, Dr. Omalu, made the decision to study the Hall of Famer's brain even though he died of a heart attack due to what the doctor had read about the player's odd behavior over the last few years.
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