â€śI hit him so hard, the clash of helmets and pads sounded like a gunshot across the field. I crushed him with the hit, held on to him, and crushed him again when I slammed him into the ground . . . I had arrived.â€ť
Arlo Brodie loves being at the heart of the action on the football field, getting hit hard and hitting back harder. Thatâ€™s where he belongs, leading his team to championships, becoming â€śStarloâ€ť on his way to the top. Arloâ€™s dad cheers him on, but his mother quotes head injury statistics and refuses to watch games. Arloâ€™s girlfriend tries to make him see how dangerously heâ€™s playing; when that doesnâ€™t work, she calls time out on their relationship. Even Arloâ€™s coaches begin to track his hit count, ready to pull him off the field when he nears the limit. But Arloâ€™s not worried about tallying collisions. The winning plays, the cheering crowds, and the adrenaline rush are enough to convince Arlo that everything is OKâ€”in spite of the pain, the pounding, the dizziness, and the confusion.
Hit Count explores Americaâ€™s love affair with football and our attempts to reconcile the clear evidence of its dangers with our passion for the game.