Sasha Belenky on Jeanne Marie Laskas’s ‘The People V. Football’

sasha
Sasha Belenky is a senior editor at The Huffington Post.

Whether it’s negotiating murder-for-hire with a fake hit man or visiting old stomping grounds with the vice president of the United States, if you’re in the car with Jeanne Marie Laskas, you’re pretty much guaranteed that the story will be good. I’ve found myself most riveted, however, by her 2011 profile in GQ of Fred McNeill, former star linebacker for the Minnesota Vikings — which similarly begins in the car. It’s a heart-wrenching scene, with McNeill’s wife, Tia, fighting his dementia along with the Los Angeles traffic, and it’s a great example of Laskas’ gift for capturing language. As journalists continue to shed light on the concussion crisis in football, Laskas’ article stands out as one of the most personal, most devastating accounts of the long-term damage being done on the field.

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Mike Dang
Mike is the managing editor at Longreads, and the editor of The Billfold. He has written for Bloomberg Businessweek, Pacific Standard, and the Chicago Tribune, among other publications.