Lasting Impact

One Team, One Season. What Happens When Our Sons Play Football


By Kostya Kennedy

Read by Kevin Stillwell

Formats and Prices


Audiobook Download (Unabridged)


Audiobook Download (Unabridged)

New York Times bestselling author Kostya Kennedy sets this captivating, character-rich story against the back-drop of one of the most pressing questions in sports: should we let our sons play football? At the high end of America’s most popular game is the glittering NFL, a fan-stoked money machine and also an opaque enterprise under scrutiny for the physical dangers imposed on its players. Then there’s high school football, unrivaled for the crucial life lessons it imparts-discipline, leadership, cooperation, humility, perseverance-yet also a brain-rattling, bone-breaking game whose consequences are at best misunderstood, and, at the very worst, deadly. What is the parent of a young athlete to make of that?

The New Rochelle High School team in suburban New York is like many across the country: a source of civic pride, a manhood workshop for a revered coach and an emotional proving ground for boys of widely different backgrounds. In the fall of 2014, New Rochelle’s season unfolded alongside watershed NFL head injury revelations and domestic abuse cases (remember Ray Rice?), as well as fatalities on nearby fields.

The dramatic story of that season, for players, parents and coaches, underscores fundamental questions. Are football’s inherent risks so great that the sport may not survive as we know it? Or are those risks worth the rewards that the game continues to bestow, and that can stay with a young man for a lifetime?


  • This riveting story about a high school football team is more than just the intriguing tale of a season. It's also the crucial examination of America's passion for our true national pastime, football.
    Christine Brennan, USA Today
  • We've read about concussions and worse in the NFL and colleges, and now Kostya Kennedy examines the game at a high school rich in pride, tradition and battle scars. He paints a thoughtful, big-hearted picture of an old-school coach, players whose passion can overwhelm their judgment, second-guessing parents and yesterday's heroes, ranging from violinist to a convict. 'Make your moment memorable,' one alum tells the team. It is Kennedy, however, who does the most with that advice.
    John Schulian, editor of Football: Great Writing about the National Sport

On Sale
Oct 4, 2016
Hachette Audio

Kostya Kennedy

About the Author

Kostya Kennedy is the author of 56: Joe DiMaggio and the Last Magic Number in Sports and Pete Rose: An American Dilemma. Both were New York Times bestsellers and both earned the Casey Award as Best Baseball Book of its respective year. A former senior writer and assistant managing editor at Sports Illustrated, he is now an editorial director at Time Inc. As an on-air commentator Kennedy contributes regularly to the MLB Network, MSNBC, and other news outlets. He teaches at New York University’s Tisch Institute for Sports Management, Media, and Business and has taught journalism at NYU and Columbia University. He has edited several books, including The Hockey Book and 2015’s Super Bowl Gold: 50 Years of the Big Game.

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