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Their Life's Work: The Brotherhood of the 1970s Pittsburgh Steelers Paperback – October 21, 2014
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*Starred Review* As a young reporter in 1981, Pomerantz was assigned to ask key members of the Pittsburgh Steelers, especially those remaining from the 1970s dynasty, if the glory days (three Super Bowl wins in the 1970s and another in 1980) were over. Those interviews later became the first stage of this book. He begins with a history of the franchise and its colorful founder, Art Rooney, but moves quickly to 1972, when the team began to gel under taciturn coach Chuck Noll. Pomerantz conducted more than 250 first-person interviews to escort readers through the glory years—the camaraderie, the anguish of losing, and the exhilaration of winning and glory. He emphasizes two themes: the personal bonds forged among these men, and their lives after football. Melancholy infuses the second half of the book as an unusual number of players passed away much sooner than expected. Their Life’s Work will be compared to Roger Kahn’s The Boys of Summer (1972), a nostalgic look back at the 1950s Brooklyn Dodgers. As good as Boys is, this is better. It’s less sentimental and more harshly objective in its portrayal of the toll sports extracts from its players. A wonderful book. --Wes Lukowsky --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"I've been waiting for a book, written in an exhilarating and cogent and intelligent way, on the best football team of my adult life, and now it's here. I loved the Steelers way back when, and now that I know them in their middle age and beyond, I love their story. That's not just because Joe Greene and Terry Bradshaw and Jack Lambert are compelling figures. It's because Gary Pomerantz wrote it the way Roger Kahn wrote 'Boys of Summer.' This book will be 'Men of Fall' for my football generation.'' (Peter King, senior writer, Sports Illustrated.)
"What sets Their Life's Work well above other books that tell us about teammates in their glory and their dotage, is that Gary Pomerantz not only brings such flair to the Steelers' glory days, but he also instructs us so vividly how, in football, teammates don't just grow old, they grow in pain and fear." (Frank Deford)
"What has become of the best team ever? Pomerantz has the story, the lowdown and the afterglow. A wealth of prime Steeler stuff." (Roy Blount Jr., Author of About Three Bricks Shy of A Load)
"Their Life's Work is that rare book that is brutally authentic, vigorously reported, smoothly written, and hauntingly sympathetic all at the same time. Sport , coach, team, city, sensibility all powerfully rendered." (David Maraniss, Author of When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi)
"Their Life's Work is a behind the scenes and revealing look at what I consider one of the three greatest NFL football teams since World War II. Having competed against the 1970s Pittsburgh Steelers, I didn't think it was possible to learn more about this team, but Gary Pomerantz has uncovered so many intriguing details on how this great ball club was masterfully put together, along with fascinating new insights into the great characters who played on these championship teams, I see them in a new light. This is one great football book." (Ernie Accorsi, Former General Manager of the New York Giants, Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Colts)
“This is a special book about a special moment in a special town. You cannot understand one of America's great cities today without understanding the special place the Steelers hold in Pittsburgh—and, unless you have season tickets, you cannot fully understand Pittsburgh without Their Life's Work.” (David M. Shribman, Executive Editor, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and The Pittsburgh Press)
“[Pomerantz] goes beyond straight-ahead sports writing to achieve intricate storytelling.... By describing the players’ unique on-field and off-field relationships, Pomerantz reveals a brotherhood that transcends wins and losses.” (Publishers Weekly)
"Their Life’s Work will be compared to Roger Kahn’s The Boys of Summer (1972), a nostalgic look back at the 1950s Brooklyn Dodgers. As good as Boys is, this is better. . . A wonderful book." (Booklist (starred))
“Gary Pomerantz's Their Life's Work: The Brotherhood of the 1970s Pittsburgh Steelers is the vessel in which the current generation can travel back to those days and immerse itself in the history of this franchise…. [A] dramatic, inspiring and wondrous tale of brotherhood, camaraderie and spirit…. It's the text book for Steelers 101. It's the Bible for Steelers Spirituality 201. It's the reading material necessary to pass a citizen's test for entry into Steeler Nation, and all residents should be issued it upon their arrival.” (Neal Coolong Behind The Steel Curtain)
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The reality is that they may be extraordinary athletic specimens but they are human and do get injuries that affect them for the rest of their lives.
In this book, Gary M. Pomerantz gives us a view of the 1970's Steelers and how they became perhaps the greatest team in NFL history. It is stirring stuff to read about these legends but it is also very sobering as the author gives us a real glimpse into their lives, warts and all.
The stars of yesteryear paid a tough price for the fame and the 4 SuperBowl rings, their bodies were sacrificed and some have paid the ultimate penalty for this abuse.
This is a brilliant book, along with America's Game by Michael McCambridge, one is shown the NFL and it's players in a very clear and objective light.
I am a lifelong Steelers fan and I have read several books about the greatest team ever, the Chuck Noll lead Steelers of the 70's and early 80's, none compare to this masterpiece that delves into not only the Football side of things but the lives and successes off the field by so many like John Stallworth, Lynn Swann, Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, LC Greenwood, Joe Greene, Mel Blount, Donnie Shell, Tony Dungy and also the toll that football took on guys like Mike Webster (My idol and in my opinion the greatest center to ever play the game bar none) Jefferson Street Joe Gilliam who both died much too young.
Thank You Gary Pomerantz for a true Masterpiece that all Steelers fans and true football fans should read.
The greatest team ever assembled in the NFL by the greatest coach and one of the finest owners of any sport who in my opinion was years ahead of the curve in race relations and fighting for equality that should have been embraced years earlier. Thank You Mr Rooney and Thank You Chuck Noll for changing the lives of many and brightening a city and giving hope to so many when the economy was failing and not much good was happening to the wonderful city of Pittsburgh.
These are the heroes of my youthful adult years - and Pommerantz made them come alive again - not only as they were then, but as they are now.
I would highly recommend as a "companion" to this book, watching "NFL: America's Game - Pittsburgh Steelers: The Story of Six Championships", at least the first four Super Bowls.
Most recent customer reviews
Words to live by - Your life's work.