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Cover of Steel City Gridirons by David Finoli and Chris Fletcher, Stories of all things football from the high schools, the colleges, the pros, and the earliest days of the game. Western Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh Steelers
Title: Steel City Gridirons.

by: David Finoli.
and Chris Fletcher

List Price: $24.95,
ISBN 0-9770429-1-X
A Veritable Smorgasbord
of Pigskin Pleasures.
Stories of all things football from the high schools, the colleges, the pros, and the earliest days of the game.

“Football, more than any other sport, has defined Western Pennsylvania and cast an indelible image of Pittsburgh to the world. Steel City Gridirons explores the game and the cast of characters that have made it happen. It's a fun read for those fascinated by football; a must read for the serious fan.”

Anne Madarasz, Director,
Western PA Sports Museum at the History Center

“Football isn't bigger than life in Western Pennsylvania - it IS life! And that's what Steel City Gridirons is all about.”

Stan Savran,

“. . .[by] telling the Carnegie Mellon football story, you honored our university, our football program, my profession and a true American hero, Jesse Grapes!”

Rich Lackner,
Carnegie Mellon University football coach.

ISBN 0-9770429-1-X, ©2005, 6x9 in., color, 450 pages, trade paperback, 28 per carton. Subject categories include sports, football, Western Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh, non-fiction.


Does the world really need another book about Western Pennsylvania football? Well, yes. And not just people with a Western Pennsylvania connection, either. Professional football was born here, the Hall of Fame almost wound up here, and the region's high schools and colleges are true factories, turning out some of the greatest coaches and players the game has known.

Steel City Gridirons by Dave Finoli and Chris Fletcher is the first book that brings together all aspects of the sport as it's played here, from the first club games in the 19th century up through the 2004 season--that's three centuries of football in one giant, 450 page collection of stories, facts, photos and opinion by two of the region's most avid football fans.

Includes a timeline of significant events and milestones of Western PA football history from 1890 to the present.

A Fan's Feast. Whether you follow the game on the high school, the college, or the pro level (and for the true fan, it's probably all three), there are stories and information within these pages to satisfy the stats geek, the fan, the historian and those looking for human interest sagas (look no farther than Pitt's Bobby Grier, the first African American to play in the Sugar Bowl, or the tale of Lt. Jesse Grapes, former CMU Tartan, who joined the military after 9/11).

The authors give many reasons to love Steel City football, and here are just a few:

Even when the Steelers sucked, they still beat the living snot out of their opponents.

We had a Supreme Court justice ('Whizzer' White) play here.

We've had great nicknames, including a quarterback named 'Bubby' and a coach called 'The Emperor'.

The need for a 'spotter' –- the guy in the press box who tells the announcers who the ball carrier was and who made the tackle -– was created when the 1908 Pittsburgh Panthers became the first college team to wear numbers.

The first pro game was played in Latrobe, PA, a town that was the originally selected site for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Western PA is a quarterback and coaching factory even to this day.

About the Authors

Dave Finoli (left) has authored four well-received sports books, three on baseball and one on football. He has done freelance work for Pittsburgh Magazine and contributes to Chris Fletcher (right) is a senior content consultant for a technology company and prior to that served as vice president of publishing and Internet services for WQED. (Photo by Kevin R. Cooke).

Steel City Gridirons authors David Finoli and Chris Fletcher in thier favorite Pittsburgh Steeler shirts. Two of Western Pennsylvania's most avid football fans.

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