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Zac Easter wanted people to view his death as a way to spread awareness about CTE

Talk of Iowa, hosted by Charity Nebbe

Zac Easter of Indianola loved football. He was driven to be the best, but concussion after concussion led to the end of his football career and ultimately ended his life. Many believe that Easter suffered from CTE, chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

Easter started playing tackle football in third grade. He went full throttle through high school, but the injuries he repeatedly sustained meant he could go no further on the football field. The price Easter paid for his love of the game is chronicled in the new book "Love, Zac: Small-Town Football and the Life and Death of an American Boy"

In this edition of Talk of Iowa, Host Charity Nebbe is joined by author Reid Forgrave, Zac's mother and his former girlfriend to remember Zac's life and to discuss the culture surrounding American football.

This program was originally produced on September 14, 2020.


  • Reid Forgrave, author of "Love, Zac: Small town football and the life and death of an American boy" and reporter at the Minneapolis Star Tribune
  • Brenda Easter, Zac's mother
  • Ali Epperson, Zac's former girlfriend
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Rick Brewer was a producer for IPR's Talk of Iowa and River to River