This series was written and reported by Kevin Van Valkenburg and Lem Satterfield. It follows a cast of characters through a football season, focusing on one central game. It explores the ways that football provides opportunities for the best players and improves the lives of many more. It’s built on strong scenes, character portrayal and particularly effective dialogue.

We were interested in the structural function the important game serves. The piece builds toward this game, even though it happens only part way through the season. It’s not, in terms of plot, an obvious choice—but this is a character-driven piece, interested in young men’s senses of themselves, and the game is key to their development.

Read “The Big Game,” by Kevin Van Valkenburg and Lem Satterfield

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