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'The End Zone' documentary about the future of football

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Eden Prairie football
Eden Prairie's 8th grade Red Bulls.
Photo courtesy of KARE 11 News

"The End Zone" is a documentary about the future of football. Concussions have tarnished its reputation, but it's still America's most popular sport and has the highest ratings on television.

Youth participation may have peaked, and is declining in some states. Some wonder where the next generation of players will come from. 

How can football be made safe enough and still be football? Will it have the same appeal? 

In post-Civil War America, the game of football was developed in part to teach teamwork and military preparedness skills, as well as toughen up the upper class students at places like Harvard and Yale.  

Bill Littlefield, the host of the public radio program "It's Only a Game" produced this documentary for the BBC World Service.

"It's Only a Game" can be heard on MPR News Saturdays at 9 p.m.

To listen to the program, click the audio player above.