News media coverage about Growing Up On the Gridiron:

"The life of former Parkland standout Owen Thomas reveals the good and back of football, new book shows" by Keith Groller, The Morning Call, Allentown, Pa., September 17, 2020. Read the story at

“From Meyers to Parkland to Penn: Exposing big risk in high school football" by Mark Guydish, Times Leader, Wilkes-Barre, PA, October 17, 2020. Read the story at

Interview on ArtScene, by Erika Funke on WVIA Radio, NPR Affiliate, October 4, 2020. Listen to Part One of the interview on Soundcloud.

Part 2 of the interview with Erika Funke on ArtScene, NPR affiliate can be heard here.

Healthwatch 16: CTE and Football, interview with Julie Sidoni, WNEP TV, ABC-affiliate, October 5, 2020, Scranton, Pa. Watch the segment at



 Vicki Mayk has appeared on the following podcasts talking about about Growing Up On The Gridiron:

Chatter Up podcast, co-hosted by Bobby Rubin and Jared Wiesel. Vicki Mayk discusses her new book "Growing Up On The Gridiron" and how concerns about head injuries may be changing our love affair with football. Listen to the segment here. 

Write Now podcast produced by the Writers' Colony at Dairy Hollow, Eureka Springs, Ark. Vicki Mayk talks about the process of writing her new book, "Growing Up On The Gridiron," which she began writing while in residence at the Writers' Colony. Listen to it at



 What they are saying about Growing Up On the Gridiron:

“There have been other books about football and concussions, but none quite like this. In Vicki Mayk’s hands, the tragic story of Owen Thomas is simultaneously a cautionary tale about playing the game and a love letter to a sport that means so much to so many young players. Deftly walking that fine line, Mayk produces a main character you won’t soon forget.”
—John Eisenberg, author of The League: How Rivals Created the NFL and Launched a Sports Empire

“The case of Owen Thomas will rock your world and break your heart. For critics of football, Growing Up on the Gridiron is a vital story to know and share widely. For lovers of football, you have a responsibility to read this book. We must put our heads in the sand no longer, because Owen’s story demonstrates to us all what is truly at stake.”
—Dave Zirin, sports editor, The Nation

“Vicki Mayk’s compelling book should be a wake-up call for all involved in youth football—coaches, parents, and players. Not a predictable diatribe, Growing Up on the Gridiron is beautifully written and nuanced yet completely frightening for those concerned about our children’s brains.”
—Mark Hyman, author of Until It Hurts: America’s Obsession with Youth Sports and How It Harms Our Kids

“During his brief, spectacular life, Owen Thomas was a devoted son and brother, a beloved and empathetic friend, and a brilliant, ferocious UPenn football captain. Writing with a brisk, fluent style, Mayk depicts his tragic demise in this deeply researched and poignant story with admirable candor and compassion.”
—J. Michael Lennon, author of Norman Mailer: A Double Life

“Eloquently written, Growing Up on the Gridiron is a journey inside the unbreakable bonds of football brotherhood and the brains of an extraordinary player. A must-read for every parent whose son is contemplating football and every school that puts young men on the field . . . The real touchdown is confronting gaps in how society can help boys become happier and healthier men.”
—Warren Farrell, PhD, author of The Boy Crisis

Book cover of Growing Up on the Gridiron showing Owen Thomas

Growing Up on the Gridiron is Available Now From These sites

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