Here’s my review of Chad Millman’s and Shawn Coyne’s The Ones Who Hit the Hardest: The Steelers, the Cowboys, the ‘70s, and the Fight for America’s Heart. Read it on Goodreads.com or right here:
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
I’m not a big fan of sports books. That might sound strange if you know me, as I love sports. But it just rarely works for me to read about sports in book form for whatever reason. Yet, my brother bought me The Ones Who Hit the Hardest after I gave in to my Steelers envy a while back. The book offered some decent behind-the-scenes stories about the Steelers and football from the 1970s. Ironically, the most interesting part of the book was about Tony Dorsett, who grew up in Pittsburgh, but became a great player for the Dallas Cowboys—a big rival of the Steelers years ago. It was also interesting to read that Steelers Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw really wasn’t that highly regarded early on in the “Steel City.” And it was good to get some in-depth knowledge of the Steelers history. But the book just never quite grabbed me. I actually did something I never tried before—switching back-and-forth between two books—just to get through it. (The second book was the Bill O’Reilly book that I reviewed in my previous Goodreads.com review, which I read much more quickly.) The Ones Who Hit the Hardest was just very dry, and never lived up to its subtitle, The Steelers, the Cowboys, the ‘70s, and the Fight for America’s Heart. Now, I put the book down for a year or two after reading about 50-75 pages, so I may not recall some stuff. But I don’t remember much at all in the book on the Steelers-Cowboys rivalry outside of their Super Bowl battles. There wasn’t any in-depth look at why Dallas was dubbed “America’s Team” and not Pittsburgh. Plus, the look at the steel industry in Pittsburgh, complete with details about the steelworkers union, was unexpected and very difficult to get through. I read the book because I thought it was about football; I just didn’t care about the steel industry. Except for a few references to steelworkers rooting for the Steelers, the two subjects were never brought together. I felt like I was reading two different books, and I can’t recommend either one.
No starred review here because it just wasn’t my type of book, so I don’t think it would be fair to rank it. Pittsburgh natives may love it.