Syndicated from Kottke: According to an upcoming book by ESPN reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru, the NFL “conducted a two-decade campaign to deny a growing body of scientific research that showed a link between playing football and brain damage.” Excerpts of the book are available from ESPN The Magazine and Sports Illustrated. An episode of Frontline based in part on the book airs next week. Interestingly, ESPN was collaborating with Frontline on this program, but they pulled out of it in August. (Sidenote: The authors of this book are the same guys who broke baseball’s steroid story wide open.)

+ In somewhat related news, 49ers safety Donte Whitner is changing his name to Dante Hitner. When a reporter suggested that changing one’s name is a big decision, Hitner responded: “Not really. I think one word is not as big as ten words. That’s what I do.” (Oh well, as long as he’s given it some critical thought…)