The Ones who hit the hardest

Wow, been longer than I realized since I ventured into the electronic realm. Things have changed vastly since I took my new job. Also, I am spending large amounts of time reading, biking, hitting balls, working out...and less time writing. Probably more over the winter.

So I sit here this morning pondering one of the great questions of life; to Cinnabon or not to cinnabon.

We all know one of the great joys in life is devouring a warm, dripping with butter cinnabon washed down with the nectar of the Greek gods, Mountain Dew.

Opposite that indisputable, iron-clad ultimate TRUTH, is the inconvenience that to acquire said perfection would require traversing nearly 2.3 miles of road, round trip. Is perfection worthy of effort? I will have to get back to you on that.

Meanwhile, I wish to express my dissatisfaction.

The old saying goes, "Don't judge a book by its cover."

Fair enough. I should think you can, however, divine somewhat of a book's intent by the title.

The Ones Who Hit the Hardest; The STEELERS, The COWBOYS, the '70s, and the FIGHT for AMERICA'S SOUL by Chad Millman and Shawn Coyne.

At the risk of losing many readers, the Cowboys have been my favorite football team ever since when I was about 8 my foster brother Larry let me read his football digest. reading about the thrilling exploits of guys with cool names like Tony Dorsett, Roger Staubach, Preston and Drew, having always loved the west, westerns, cowboys, etc., the name resonated with me.

Knowing what I do about the game of football and the cities of Pittsburgh and Dallas, it was obvious from the title this book was meant to explore the battle to see if America would be blue-collar, rugged, hard working or flashy, shallow, glitzy, white-collar.

The book starts well, explaining the steel industry that drove the growth of Pittsburgh...and the misery of working in it, being locked into a mill for your entire life by the system designed to essentially turn the workers into industry slaves. It is a dark corner of our nations history that should and does still bring shame, even though it is far in the past when conditions were like that.

It then starts explaining how the football Steelers were built.

The way the book is formatted, it will discuss unionizing issues in the steel industries such as who was leading the unions, the path taken by the Steelers as they developed their dominating teams of the 70s, and occasional flashes to how the Cowboys were founded by oil money, how they built their team.

It just never finished or delivered on the promise. It allowed the unionizing story to peter out. It universally praised everything Steeler and killed everything Cowboy. I could live with that if it delved into the issues surrounding why the Steelers and Cowboys were different and would appeal to different fan bases.

I could have forgiven the shortcomings if it looked at any of the issues or completed any of the lines of inquiry they began.

Instead it is just a series of episodic writing about specific elections, specific drafts, and specific games without ever addressing the underlying issues which were promised in caps on the jacket cover.

It is rare a book disappoints me so much that I rail against it...but this one managed it. I would not care if it had not shown so much promise...but promise unfulfilled is so much more disappointing.

1 comment:

Riot Kitty said...

Sorry, I just don't understand the appeal of watching sports. I like to play some of them, but football looks painful!