The Season Episode 8: The Worst Part About Our Sport

How do you go from losing to winning?

2015 / Ilya Marritz / WNYC, USA


How do you go from losing to winning?

In 2015, Columbia University’s football team, the Lions, hadn’t won a game in two seasons. And so the school decided to bring in a super-successful coach to turn the team's luck around. Was that the recipe for a comeback? The question intrigued WNYC reporter Ilya Marritz who followed the Lions for 10 grueling weeks and created The Season . It's about a lot more than football.

In Episode 8: The Worst Part About Our Sport, WNYC tackles (pun unavoidable) the inherent violence in football, and the long-term risks for the young men who play it. And in a surprising twist, the central figure in this episode is beat poet Jack Kerouac, who not only played for the Lions in the 1940's, but got injured on the field.

Find out how Ilya went from knowing little about football at the beginning of this project to becoming a fan in our Behind-The-Scenes interview.

Binge-listen the entire season of The Season .

Additional credits:

The Season Episode 8 was produced by Matt Collette and edited by Karen Frillmann with Charlie Herman, Sean Bowditch, and Jim Schachter. The mix engineer was Cayce Means. Music by the Columbia University Marching Band!


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Ilya Marritz

Ilya Marritz covers business for WNYC and is the host of The Season . He has contributed to Planet Money , On The Media , All Things Considered , Morning Edition , and Marketplace .


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