Playing Through the Whistle

  • by S. L. Price
  • Narrated by Joe Barrett
  • 15 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

From a Sports Illustrated senior writer, a moving epic of football and industrial America, telling the story of Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, its now-shuttered steel mill, and its legendary high school football team
Aliquippa, Pennsylvania is famous for two things: the Jones and Laughlin Steel mill, an industrial behemoth that helped win World War II; and football, with a high school team that has produced numerous NFL stars, including Mike Ditka and Darrelle Revis. But the mill, once the fourth largest producer in America, closed for good in 2000. What happens to a town when a dream dies? Does it just disappear?
In Playing Through the Whistle, celebrated sports writer S. L. Price tells the story of this remarkable place, its people, and its players and, through it, a wider story of American history from the turn of the 20th century.
Aliquippa has been many things - a rigidly controlled company town, a booming racial and ethnic melting pot, and, for a brief time, a workers' paradise. Price expertly traces this history while also recounting the birth and development of high school sports, from a minor pastime to a source of civic pride to today, when it sometimes seems like the only way out of a life of poverty, drug abuse, and crime. Playing Through the Whistle is a masterpiece of narrative journalism that will make you cry and cheer in equal measure.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

This is not a football book

Do not be fooled, this is not a book about football. It is a touching history of the USA Steel mill towns. What it meant to live football. So many famous, and interesting people came from Aliquippa. It's a history of America, the unions, the gangs, and the breakdown of the American family...no this is one of the best surprises I have found! Thanks to my husband who recommended it, and to John his friend who have it to him as s gift.
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- radchick

Aliquippa: The story of industrial America in the 20th century

Price is ambitious, and largely effective in realizing his ambitions, in telling the poignant story of Aliquippa and 20th century industry's rise and fall in America.
Reliance on many personal experiences ,told in the voices of the principals, makes the story more immediate.
The role of football in defining the town is essential to its character.
Barrett's narration is, as usual, excellent.
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- Bill

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-04-2016
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.