cover image League of Denial: The NFL, Concussions and the Battle for Truth

League of Denial: The NFL, Concussions and the Battle for Truth

Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru, read by David H. Lawrence XVII. Random House Audio, unabridged, 12 CDs, 14.75 hrs., $45 ISBN 978-0-8041-2817-9

While the NFL is the most profitable and popular sports league in America, it’s recently been buffeted by concerns around the long-term effect concussions have had on former players. ESPN investigative reporters Fainaru-Wada and Fainaru lay out evidence that the NFL actively obfuscated attempts by independent scientists and medical professionals to draw a connection between football’s inherent violence and chronic brain disease afflicting former players. The narrative is fast-paced and almost cinematic in the way it describes the culture of the gridiron, and in the picture it provides of the NFL research labs where scientists drew their conclusions, and the NFL boardrooms where football executives decided to go to war. Sadly, David H. Lawrence XVII’s narration undermines this brisk, exciting pace. From a technical standpoint, listeners will have few quibbles: Lawrence narrates crisply and cleanly. He perfectly pronounces every syllable. And yet, he’s oddly robotic and often monotone. For a topic as emotionally charged as the NFL, Lawrence’s stiff narration will confuse and alienate listeners. A Crown hardcover. (Oct.)