Steel City Gridirons

( 2 )


A veritable smorgasbord of pigskin pleasures. Stories of all things football from the high schools, the colleges, the pros, and the earliest days of the game.

Does the world really need another book about Western Pennsylvania football? Well, yes. And not just people with a Western Pennsylvania connection. Professional football was born here, the Hall of Fame almost wound up here, and the region's high ...

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A veritable smorgasbord of pigskin pleasures. Stories of all things football from the high schools, the colleges, the pros, and the earliest days of the game.

Does the world really need another book about Western Pennsylvania football? Well, yes. And not just people with a Western Pennsylvania connection. Professional football was born here, the Hall of Fame almost wound up here, and the region's high schools and colleges are true factories, turning out some of the greatest coaches and players the game has known.

Steel City Gridirons by Dave Finoli and Chris Fletcher is the first book that brings together all aspects of the sport as it's played here, from the first club games in the 19th century up through the 2004 season-that's three centuries of football in one giant, 450 page collection of stories, facts, photos and opinion by two of the region's most avid football fans.

A Fan's Feast.

Whether you follow the game on the high school, the college, or the pro level (and for the true fan, it's probably all three), there are stories and information within these pages to satisfy the stats geek, the fan, the historian and those looking for human interest sagas (look no farther than Pitt's Bobby Grier, the first African American to play in the Sugar Bowl, or the tale of Lt. Jesse Grapes, former CMU Tartan, who joined the military after 9/11).

Includes a timeline of significant events and milestones of Western PA football history from 1890 to the present.

The authors give many reasons to love Steel City football:
* Even when the Steelers sucked, they still beat the living snot out of their opponents.
* We had a Supreme Court justice ("Whizzer" White) play here.
* We've had great nicknames, including a quarterback named "Bubby" and a coach called "The Emperor".
* The need for a "spotter" - the guy in the press box who tells the announcers who the ball carrier was and who made the tackle - was created when the 1908 Pittsburgh Panthers became the first college team to wear numbers.
* The first pro game was played in Latrobe, PA, a town that was the originally selected site for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
* Western PA is a quarterback and coaching factory even to this day.

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What People Are Saying

Anne Madarasz
"Football, more than any other sport, has defined Western Pennsylvania and cast an indelible image of Pittsburgh to the world. Steel City Gridirons explores the game and the cast of characters that have made it happen. It's a fun read for those fascinated by football; a must read for the serious fan."
Western PA Sports Museum at the History Center
Rich Lackner
"[by] telling the Carnegie Mellon football story, you honored our university, our football program, my profession and a true American hero, Jesse Grapes!"
Carnegie Mellon University football coach
Stan Savran
"Football isn't bigger than life in Western IS life! And that's what Steel City Gridirons is all about."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780977042913
  • Publisher: Local History Company, The
  • Publication date: 10/1/2005
  • Pages: 450
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Section I:
1. 21 Reasons We Love Steel City Football: a Manifesto
2. 27 More reasons We Love Steel City Football
Section II: Black & Gold Legends (and purple and orange ones, too)
3. Latrobe's Troubled Place in Pro Football History: a Tale of What Could Have Been
4. Remembering the Steagles
5. The Steelers' First Postseason Game
6. Giant Killers
7. Rah Raw
8. Huddle Diplomacy
9. The NFL's Greatest Mystery: the Immaculate Reception
10. A Picture-Perfect Draft
11. The White Stuff
12. The Defense Never Rests
13. Reflections on Joe Gilliam, Pittsburgh's Pioneer Quarterback
14. Defending the honor of the Steeler Nation: the Maulers' Home Opener
15. The House of Thrills
16. The Feel-Good Football Story of 2004
17. Shoe-in
18. Redecorating the Hall-with Steelers
19. The Ultimate List: the 20 Greatest Pittsburgh Steelers
20. The Numbers Game
21. Get Back-Then Get Going
Section III: Panthers on the Prowl: the Legends of Pitt Football
22. Match-ups of Mythological Proportions
23. The Greatest Day in Pittsburgh Collegiate Football History
24. Bobby Grier, Reluctant Pioneer
25. An Irish Feast
26. Which Were Better: the 1976 or the 1980 Panthers?
27. A Prelude to Excellence
28. Tug of War: Academics Versus Athletics at Pitt
Section IV: On Campus: Western Pennsylvania's College and High School Heroes
29. An Introduction to Small College Football in Western Pennsylvania
30. Shoo Shoo Rah Rah: the History of Duquesne University Football
31. No Ordinary Joe
32. How to Build a Powerhouse in One Easy Step: the History of Robert Morris University Football
33. What's in a Name: the History of Slippery Rock University Football
34. Coming Home: the History of Indiana University of Pennsylvania Football
35. A Higher Calling
36. The Techsters: the History of Carnegie Mellon University Football
37. The Rise and Fall-and Rise Again: the History of Washington & Jefferson Football
38. There Used To Be a Football Team Here: the History of Saint Vincent College Football
39. The Quarterback Factory
40. Football Over the Bridge
Section V: 2004: a Pigskin Odyssey
41. Battle of the Titans: Recapping the 2004 WPIAL and City League Seasons
42. The Walt Zone: Recapping the 2004 Year That Was in Western Pennsylvania College Football
43. The Football Gods Must Be Smiling: Recapping the 2004 Steeler Campaign The End Zone
Timeline: Evolution of Western PA Football

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2006

    A Must Read For PGH Football Fans

    I got this as a Christmas gift and read it in one sitting. Great collection of football stories--Steelers, Pitt, small colleges and high schools. Who knew the Steelers were the first NFL team to have cheerleaders? Or that the Pro Football Hall of Fame was originally supposed to be in Latrobe and not Canton? Lots of great football tales.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2005

    Its what Western Pennsylvania football is all about

    Football is religion in Western Pennsylvania and Steel City Gridirons brings it all to you with unique perspectives that makes this quite simply the greatest book about the sport in this area that I have ever read. It is a must for the true football fan from the Steelers to legendary history of high school football to every college that calls this area home.

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