REQUIEM FOR A RUNNING BACK (2017): Review by Georgiana E. Presecky

Director Rebecca Carpenter pays tribute to her late father, former NFL player Lewis Carpenter, in the informative, emotional and timely documentary Requiem for a Running Back. After his family donated his brain to a Boston University study, they discovered that Carpenter suffered from a degenerative brain disease that caused erratic behavior they couldn’t explain before. Reminiscent of a well-produced episode of 30 For 30, Requiem for a Running Back is an intriguing scientific study balanced with a moving tribute to a husband, father and athlete. (GEP: 4.5/5)

Review by Social Media Manager Georgiana E. Presecky

Lew Carpenter spent 10 seasons in the National Football League as a player and several more as a coach. His daughter Rebecca credits the NFL for teaching her family “commitment, pride and sacrifice.” But she discovers over the course of the documentary that it robbed them of much more.

The film provides a clear explanation of his posthumous diagnosis: chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which subtly but progressively affects the brain and its function, especially in athletes. What was perceived as behavioral changes were actually symptoms of a serious brain injury caused by more than a decade of playing football.

Carpenter’s excellent interview subjects provide the foundation for the film, from doctors to players to outspoken critics of football culture. But it’s her discussions with other retired NFL players impacted by CTE that are especially heartbreaking and painful to witness. These men are people with families who must deal with the aftershocks of their playing days long after retirement. Former player John Hilton suffers from dementia and struggles to find the words for Carpenter’s questions, and it reduced me to tears. Other players committed suicide or suffered in silence.

Moments like these, juxtaposed with scientific evidence and personal anecdotes, are what makes this film especially poignant. It’s both educational and heartbreaking, carefully balancing a brief history of football, the progression of a difficult disease, and the impact of one man’s life.

Neurological explanations for severe brain injuries caused by repeated blows to the head will make you think about your Sunday afternoon a little differently. But so will Carpenter’s story; it gave me a whole new respect for the men and lives beneath the jerseys whose colors we wear so proudly as sports fans. And it made me think even more deeply about an ever-evolving American truth: that this game doesn’t quite seem worth it.

But what makes Requiem for a Running Back special is Lew. Rebecca sees her father through the eyes of other family members, former teammates and friends. His family rediscovering his life and journey through the lens of this disease is beautiful to witness and will be especially resonant for fathers and daughters. She asks early on, “How do I use his life to make some meaning? To make it worth something?” I’d say Carpenter has done that and more with this important, fascinating film.

© Georgiana E. Presecky (11/10/17) FF2 Media

Top Photo: Lewis Carpenter during his playing days.

Middle and Bottom Photos: Carpenter and his family.

Photo Credits: Rebecca Carpenter

Q: Does Requiem for a Running Back pass the Bechdel-Wallace test?





  1. I was wondering if you ever considered changing
    the page layout of your website? Its very well written; I love
    what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better.
    Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or
    2 pictures. Maybe you could space it out better?

  2. Hmm it looks like your website ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up
    what I had written and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog.
    I as well am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to the whole
    thing. Do you have any suggestions for inexperienced blog
    writers? I’d genuinely appreciate it.

  3. Howdy, There’s no doubt that your blog could possibly be having internet browser compatibility problems.

    Whenever I look at your web site in Safari, it looks fine however,
    if opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping
    issues. I simply wanted to give you a quick heads up!
    Other than that, excellent blog!

    Feel free to surf to my webpage; poker deposit pulsa

  4. Simply wish to say your article is as amazing. The clearness on your submit is just excellent and that i can think you’re
    a professional in this subject. Well with your permission let me to clutch
    your feed to keep updated with coming near near post. Thank you a million and
    please carry on the enjoyable work.

  5. First of all I would like to say terrific blog! I had a quick
    question in which I’d like to ask if you do not mind.
    I was curious to know how you center yourself and
    clear your thoughts before writing. I’ve had a hard time clearing my thoughts in getting my ideas out there.

    I do enjoy writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are wasted just trying to figure out how
    to begin. Any suggestions or hints? Thanks!

  6. That is very fascinating, You’re an excessively skilled blogger.
    I have joined your rss feed and look forward to in the hunt for
    extra of your magnificent post. Additionally, I have shared your web site in my social networks

  7. Hi there! This blog post couldn’t be written any better!
    Looking through this post reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He continually kept talking about this. I’ll send this post to him.

    Pretty sure he will have a great read. I appreciate you for sharing!

  8. Have you ever thought about adding a little bit more than just your articles?

    I mean, what you say is fundamental and all. Nevertheless
    think about if you added some great graphics or video clips to give
    your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with pics and
    clips, this site could undeniably be one
    of the very best in its field. Good blog!

  9. Hi there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that
    it’s really informative. I’m going to watch
    out for brussels. I’ll appreciate if you continue this
    in future. A lot of people will be benefited from your writing.

  10. I don’t even know the way I finished up right here, but I believed this publish
    was great. I do not recognise who you are however certainly you’re going
    to a well-known blogger for those who aren’t already. Cheers!

  11. I am really enjoying the theme/design of your blog.
    Do you ever run into any browser compatibility problems?
    A handful of my blog readers have complained about my blog not working correctly in Explorer but looks great in Firefox.
    Do you have any suggestions to help fix this issue?

  12. Hello colleagues, how is everything, and what you wish for
    to say concerning this paragraph, in my view its actually remarkable in favor of me.

  13. Hi there! This is my first visit to your blog!
    We are a team of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community in the same niche.
    Your blog provided us valuable information to work on. You have done a outstanding job!

  14. Hmm it looks like your site ate my first comment (it was super long)
    so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I submitted and
    say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I as well am an aspiring blog
    blogger but I’m still new to the whole thing. Do you have any helpful hints for
    inexperienced blog writers? I’d really appreciate it.

  15. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own weblog
    and was wondering what all is needed to get setup? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny?

    I’m not very internet savvy so I’m not 100% certain. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.


  16. Hi there! Quick question that’s entirely off topic.
    Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly?
    My blog looks weird when viewing from my apple iphone.
    I’m trying to find a template or plugin that might be able to resolve this issue.

    If you have any suggestions, please share. Cheers!

  17. I like the valuable information you provide in your articles.

    I will bookmark your blog and check again here frequently. I am quite certain I will learn many new stuff right here!
    Best of luck for the next!

  18. I’m gone to say to my little brother, that he should also visit this web site
    on regular basis to obtain updated from latest reports.

  19. Hi! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this site?
    I’m getting tired of WordPress because I’ve had problems with hackers and I’m looking at options
    for another platform. I would be great if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

  20. Everyone loves what you guys tend to be up too. This sort of
    clever work and reporting! Keep up the fantastic works guys I’ve you guys
    to my own blogroll.

  21. An outstanding share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a coworker who had been doing a little research on this.
    And he actually bought me lunch due to the
    fact that I discovered it for him… lol. So let me reword this….
    Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending the time to
    discuss this matter here on your web page.

  22. Hi there! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any trouble with hackers?
    My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing several weeks
    of hard work due to no backup. Do you have any solutions
    to protect against hackers?

  23. We stumbled over here by a different website and thought I should check things out.
    I like what I see so i am just following you. Look forward to finding out about
    your web page for a second time.

  24. excellent issues altogether, you simply gained a
    brand new reader. What would you suggest about your submit
    that you made some days ago? Any certain?

  25. Greetings! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could get a
    captcha plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having trouble finding one?
    Thanks a lot!

  26. What’s Going down i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this I have found It positively useful and it has helped me
    out loads. I am hoping to give a contribution &
    assist other customers like its helped me. Great job.

  27. Wow that was strange. I just wrote an extremely long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up.
    Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again.
    Anyways, just wanted to say great blog!

  28. Hiya! Quick question that’s completely off topic. Do you know
    how to make your site mobile friendly? My weblog
    looks weird when viewing from my iphone. I’m trying to find a template
    or plugin that might be able to fix this problem. If you have any suggestions, please share.

    With thanks!

  29. Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is a very well written article.
    I will make sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful info.
    Thanks for the post. I will definitely return.

  30. Hello it’s me, I am also visiting this site regularly, this web site is actually nice and the users
    are in fact sharing fastidious thoughts.

  31. No matter if some one searches for his vital thing,
    therefore he/she desires to be available that in detail, thus that thing is maintained over here.

  32. I am really inspired along with your writing skills as neatly as with the
    structure to your blog. Is this a paid subject or did you modify it yourself?
    Either way keep up the excellent quality writing,
    it’s rare to look a nice weblog like this one these days..

  33. Greetings! Very useful advice within this article! It’s the
    little changes that make the most important changes.
    Many thanks for sharing!

  34. Today, while I was at work, my sister stole my apple ipad and tested to see if it can survive a twenty five foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My apple ipad is now broken and she has 83 views.
    I know this is completely off topic but I had to share it with someone!

  35. Attractive elekent of content. I just stumbled upon your siite and iin accession capital to assert
    that I get in fact enjoyed account youur weblog posts.

    Anyway I wikl be subscribing to your feeds or even I success you get entry to constantlyy fast.

    Also visit my blog – Chaturbate

  36. Hello my friend! I want to say that this article is amazing, nice written and include
    almost all significant infos. I would like too look more posts like this

    Also visit my web page – free xxx

  37. We are a gaggle of volunteers and strting a new schheme in our community.
    Your web site offered us with valuable information to work on. You’ve performed an impressive job and our whole group will likely be thankful to you.

    Look att my web-site … XXX online

  38. I doo not even know how I ended up here, butt I thouight this post was great.
    I do not know who you are but definitely you are gking to a famous blogger
    if you are not already 😉 Cheers!

    my webpage – teen nude

  39. Its like youu read my mind! You seem tto know so much about this, like you
    wrote the book in it oor something. I think that you can do
    with some pics to driuve the message home a
    little bit, buut other than that, this is excellednt blog.
    An excellent read. I will certainly be back.

    my web-site :: example of Chaturbate

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *