Fourth Down and Inches

Fourth Down and Inches Cover

Fourth Down and Inches

Concussions and Football's Make-Or-Break Moment

By Carla Killough McClafferty

Carolrhoda Books, Library Binding, 9781467710671, 96pp.

Publication Date: September 1, 2013

When the 1905 football season ended, nineteen players were dead and countless others were critically injured. The public was outraged. The game had reached a make-or-break moment fourth down and inches. Coaches, players, fans, and even the president of the United States had one last chance: change football or leave the field.

Football's defenders managed to move the chains. Rule changes and reforms after 1905 saved the game and cleared the way for it to become America's most popular sport. But they didn't fix everything.

Today, football faces a new injury crisis as dire as 1905's. With increased awareness about brain injury, reported concussions are on the rise among football players. But experts fear concussions may only be the tip of the iceberg. The injuries are almost invisible, but the stakes couldn't be higher: the brains of millions of young football players across the country.

About the Author
Carla Killough McClafferty grew up on an agricultural farm near England, Arkansas. My elementary school didn t even have a library. Bookshelves underneath the windows that spanned one side of each classroom were the substitutes. To this day, libraries inspire me with awe and appreciation. I always loved to read, but it never occurred to me as a child that I would become a writer. As a matter of fact, I have no background or training to be a writer.

After high school I graduated from Baptist Medical Center School of Radiologic Technology in Little Rock, then worked in local hospitals. After my children were born, I was a stay-at-home mom except for occasional freelance work as a radiologic technologist in orthopedic clinics.

I began writing after the death of my fourteen-month-old son, Corey, which left me struggling to answer impossible questions like Why did this have to happen? I wrote a book about how God brought me through this difficult period in my life titled "Forgiving God" (Discovery House, 1995). I found through that experience that I loved to write and have been writing ever since.

Ms. McClafferty s first book of nonfiction for children is "The Head Bone s Connected to the Neck Bone: The Weird, Wacky, and Wonderful X-ray". Through an engaging text and numerous photographs, McClafferty tells the history of the X-ray, from its discovery to its applications today, covering such things as the use of X-rays to study art, Egyptian mummies, astronomy, and paleontology, just to name a few. In manuscript form, "The Head Bone s Connected to the Neck Bone: The Weird, Wacky, and Wonderful X-ray" won the 1997 Work-in-Progress Grant from the Society of Children s Book Writers and Illustrators.

In "Something Out of Nothing: Marie Curie and Radium", Ms. McClafferty gives the scientist s life and work a fresh telling, one that also explores the larger picture of the effects of radium in world culture, and its exploitation and sad misuse. "Kirkus Reviews" says the book gives readers a terrific sense of Curie s state of mind as she worked and loved. There are many biographies of Curie; this one stands out in its shared focus on her discovery and its legacy.

Ms. McClafferty is a frequent speaker at church, writers, teachers and school groups. She lives in North Little Rock, Arkansas, with her husband Pat. They have three children, Ryan, Brittney and the late Corey McClafferty.