âI 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
Arlo Brodie loves being at the heart of the action on the football field, getting hit hard and hitting back harder. Thatâs where he belongs, leading his team to championships, becoming âStarloâ on his way to the top. Arloâs dad cheers him on, but his mother quotes head injury statistics and refuses to watch games. Arloâs girlfriend tries to make him see how dangerously heâs playing; when that doesnât work, she calls time out on their relationship. Even Arloâs coaches begin to track his hit count, ready to pull him off the field when he nears the limit. But Arloâs not worried about tallying collisions. The winning plays, the cheering crowds, and the adrenaline rush are enough to convince Arlo that everything is OKâin spite of the pain, the pounding, the dizziness, and the confusion.
Hit Count explores Americaâs love affair with football and our attempts to reconcile the clear evidence of its dangers with our passion for the game.