NFL

Jack Rodolico

On the field, the UNH Wildcats had a nearly perfect season, advancing into the playoffs as the top ranked team in their division. But off the field, a study using this team is trying to figure out how to reduce concussions. The big idea is to protect player’s heads by having them practice - without a helmet.

It’s no big secret that football, from the NFL down to Pee-Wee leagues, has a concussion problem. And there are lots of efforts out there to fix it: new helmets, softer turf, gentler tackling rules, even diagnostics on the field to identify concussions right after a hit.

Lambeau Field / Flickr/CC

With several players charged with domestic violence, including a shocking video showing the abuse, many are questioning the league’s culture and policies. We’re looking into how widespread the problem is and what it might take to address what some are calling a systemic issue.

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Despite lockouts, replacement referees, and a lawsuit to settle brain trauma-related lawsuits, America's passion for football remains in play. We continues our series Rethink 2014 with America's beloved pastime, football. We begin at the college level, where many professional football careers begin. Critics charge that  that the danger and violence inherent to the game have no place in academic institutions. NPR's program Intelligence Squared U.S.

Tony Verna

Watching football this weekend? Well, If you happen to step out of the living room to grab some guacamole and miss a pivotal play, don’t worry – you can bet  the network will play it again (and again) in instant replay.  But it wasn’t always so…  This is the story of how a young and rash CBS producer named Tony Verna invented instant replay in 1963 against tough odds, and revolutionized how we watch sports forever.  It’s told by freelance writer Anna Clark, who wrote about Tony Verna for pacific standard.

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The best of the best of Word of Mouth's content, rolled up into one awesome program. This week, why your company's rules about social media could be impinging on your rights, how the NFL is dealing with their foray into social media, and our Facebook find: the greatest used car ad we've ever read.

Plus, printmaker Amos Kennedy, the oldest snowshoe race in New Hampshire, and the films that won't get Oscars, yet still deserve a second look.

Increasingly, fans are taking in a second screen NFL experience on social media. The drama of this year’s football season has been echoed, and sometimes fed by the tweets of fans, players, and even players’ wives…leading to more than a few PR scrambles by the league. This is all new territory for the NFL, which only last year began dipping its heavily guarded brand into the fray of social media. Doug Tribou is a producer and reporter for NPR’s Only A Game, and he joins us from WBUR in Boston to talk about football and this season’s biggest social media trends.

Photo by VotePrime via Flickr Creative Commons

Football fans, say it along with me: “This telecast is copyrighted by the NFL for the private use of our audience. Any other use of this telecast or of any pictures, descriptions of the game without the NFL’s consent is prohibited.”