How a Pennsylvania Steel Town Made Football Legends

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New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) tackles New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker (83) during the second quarter of an NFL football game at New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford,

In the early 20th century, the small town of Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, was home to the Jones & Laughlin Steel Company. But when the steel industry declined and the mills closed, the town faced unemployment, followed by a spike in drugs and crime. At the same time, the town was churning out remarkable pro-football players, from Mike Ditka to Darrelle Revis. In Playing Through the Whistle: Steel, Football, and an American TownS.L. Price, a senior journalist at Sports Illustrated, explores how in the midst of a social crisis, Aliquippa became legendary for producing gifted athletes.