Playing Through the Whistle
Steel, Football, and an American Town
This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.
In the early twentieth century, down the Ohio River from Pittsburgh, the Jones & Laughlin Steel Company built one of the largest mills in the world and a town to go with it. Aliquippa was a beacon and a melting pot, pulling in thousands of families from Europe and the Jim Crow south. The J&L mill, though dirty and dangerous, offered a chance at a better life. It produced the steel that built American cities and won World War II and even became something of a workers’ paradise. But then, in the 1980’s, the steel industry cratered. The mill closed. Crime rose and crack hit big.
But another industry grew in Aliquippa. The town didn’t just make steel; it made elite football players, from Mike Ditka to Ty Law to Darrelle Revis. Pro football was born in Western Pennsylvania, and few places churned out talent like Aliquippa. Despite its troublesmaybe even because of themAliquippa became legendary for producing football greatness. A masterpiece of narrative journalism, Playing Through the Whistle tells the remarkable story of Aliquippa and through it, the larger history of American industry, sports, and life. Like football, it will make you marvel, wince, cry, and cheer.
SL Price is one of the greatest sports writers of all time. It doesn't matter if he is writing about baseball players from Cuba, Patrick Kane, or football players from Aliquippa, PA.
This book started off as a article in Sports Illustrated. SI quickly turned it into a video that went viral. The idea of a longer book was born and after years of waiting it's here.
Mr. Price tells a story of a small town outside of Pittsburgh that has given birth to NFL players TY Law, Revis, Ditka, and others. Over the years and the fall of the steel industry this small town has continued to win. Price tells the amazing story as only he could. It's worth every dollar.