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The Ones Who Hit the Hardest: The Steelers, the Cowboys, the '70s, and the Fight for America's Soul Paperback – Bargain Price, August 30, 2011
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I am not a fan of football and I really never have been, but I recognize its place in the social history of modern America. And this could have been an outstanding study of the sport and how it played off the Sunbelt and the Rustbelt and what those football teams represented for their regions and the economic fortunes of their fans. Unfortunately, what we got in "The Ones Who Hit the Hardest" was a blow by blow account of the building of the two franchises into powerhouse teams that dominated football in the 1970s and met in the Super Bowl. We learn a lot about Art Rooney, Chuck Noll, Terry Bradshaw, Mean Joe Green, and other players on the Steelers side and Tex Schramm, Tom Landry, Roger Staubach, and other players for the Cowboys on the other, but not that much about the stories of the two cities. There are some chapters on steel workers, the union, and the like, as well as oil men and the birth of the American Football League but not much attempt to put it all together.Read more ›
I liked the angel focusing on the steelworkers and how the union was struggling just as the Steelers were emerging as a powerhouse. I find the one glaring error in this story is that there is no post script to tell us how things ended up for the majority of the Steelers players, the union leaders and the steel industry itself. That in my mind is the major weakness of this book.
All in all a good and enjoyable book. One I am sure Steeler fans will enjoy!
The authors do a good job of explaining how Chuck Noll's unique personality and drive were instrumental in building the Steelers dynasty. The football narrative smoothly interweaves with the decline of the steel industry and its impact on Pittsburgh. The chapters contrasting the origins and development of the Cowboys provide enough detail to reinforce my dislike of "America's Team". Landry was uptight and unable to connect with his players, and the Cowboys had some jerks like Cliff Harris and Thomas Henderson. The good guys definitely did win in Super Bowls 10 and 13.
The only issue I had with the book was that there were times when I felt like I was reading transcripts from NFL Films and the "America's Game" series in particular. Some of the quotes and anecdotes were direct lifts from those shows. Which is ironic since the authors actually manage to get their facts wrong in places (for instance, Cliff Harris didn't give Terry Bradshaw the concussion in SB10, nor did Roger Staubach's final pass that game fall incomplete - it was intercepted by Glenn Edwards). A little more original research, some new interviews and better fact-checking would have made this good book really great.
The 70's Steelers were a once-in-a-lifetime team, where the good guys (Rooneys, Noll) managed to assemble a tremendous group of athletes who beat some fine but flawed teams - especially the self-promoting Cowboys.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As a Pittsburgh native, the son of a son of a steelworker, I had high hopes for "The Ones Who Hit the Hardest", Chad Millman and Shaun Coyne's examination of the classic... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Matt R. Lohr
was a great read and even though i lived rhere and during alot of those times i learned so muchPublished 15 months ago by gary seibel
Three independent stories in one. The birth of the Steelers, then the Cowboys behind Tony Dorsett, and a vivid look at the death of the steel industry around Pittsburgh.Published 17 months ago by Steven G. Folmar
Very good book about my favorite football team that gives not only the football side of things but a personal glimpse of the players and a feel for thePublished 19 months ago by Bill