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Big Hits, Broken Dreams

CNN's Sanjay Gupta in Greenville, NC

Football is much beloved for both its violence and its grace, but it’s the former that often keeps fans glued to their seats. Unfortunately, violence has consequences, and in the case of football and other sports, concussions are one of them. There was a time when athletes were told to "shake it off," when they suffered a big hit, but some high-profile deaths and injuries have begun to change the way the sports world sees concussions. Neurosurgeon Sanjay Gupta explored the issue of concussions by joining the J.H. Rose High School football team in Greenville, North Carolina for its 2011 season. A documentary about his time there will premiere this Sunday at 8 p.m. on CNN. Host Frank Stasio talks to Gupta, CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent, about "Big Hits, Broken Dreams."

Alex Granados joined The State of Things in July 2010. He got his start in radio as an intern for the show in 2005 and loved it so much that after trying his hand as a government reporter, reader liaison, features, copy and editorial page editor at a small newspaper in Manassas, Virginia, he returned to WUNC. Born in Baltimore but raised in Morgantown, West Virginia, Alex moved to Raleigh in time to do third grade twice and adjust to public school after having spent years in the sheltered confines of a Christian elementary education. Alex received a degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also has a minor in philosophy, which basically means that he used to think he was really smart but realized he wasn’t in time to switch majors. Fishing, reading science fiction, watching crazy movies, writing bad short stories, and shooting pool are some of his favorite things to do. Alex still doesn’t know what he wants to be when he grows up, but he is holding out for astronaut.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.