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Last Team Standing:

How the Steelers and the Eagles - the "Steagles" - Saved Pro Football During World War II

How the Steelers and the Eagles - the 'Steagles' - Saved Pro Football During World War II
Paperback (288 pages), kindle
With the army drafting their players, the Steelers and Eagles kept football alive by merging to become the "Steagles" for the 1943 season.

Last Team Standing:

During World War II, the National Football League faced a crisis unimaginable today: a shortage of players. By 1943, so many players were in the armed forces that the league was forced to fold one team (the Cleveland Rams) and merge two others: the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Philadelphia Eagles. Thus were the Steagles born. The Steagles included military draft rejects, aging stars lured out of retirement, and even a couple of active servicemen who managed to get leave for the games. The center was deaf in one ear, the wide receiver was blind in one eye (and partially blind in the other), and the halfback had bleeding ulcers. One player was so old he'd never before played football with a helmet. Yet, somehow, this motley bunch managed to post a winning record--the first in the history of the Eagles and just the second in the history of the Steelers.

But Last Team Standing isn't just about football. It's also about life in the United States during World War II, a time of fear and hope, of sacrifice and momentous change. It's about rationing, racism, and Rosie the Riveter. It's about draft boards, bond drives, the A-bomb, and movie stars. Above all, it's about the men and women of the Greatest Generation who couldn't fight, but helped win the war in immeasurable ways.

Sports and World War II...

Related Scanning WWII dates...

  • 22 Jun 38: Joe Louis defeats Max Schmeling with TKO in the first round
  • 01 Jan 42: Fears of a west coast attack moves the Rose Bowl game to the east coast
  • 15 Jan 42: FDR writes "Green Light Letter" to Commissioner of Major League Baseball
  • 18 May 42: New York City suspends night baseball games for rest of the war
  • 02 Oct 43: Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles merge as the "Steagles"

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