Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Aliquippa, PA & High School Football by S.L. Price

Great story from S.L. Price in the Jan 31 issue of Sports Illustrated.

Titled "The Heart Of Football Beats In Aliquippa", the piece looks at the hardscrabble community of Aliquippa, PA (some 20 miles outside Pittsburgh) and import of football to the town. It's an extremely well written story on a place portrayed as dangerous, but that's also turned out a disproportionate number of big-time football stars... including Tony Dorsett, Darrelle Revis, Ty Law and Mike Ditka.

In many ways Price's writing reminded me of a Nov 2009 SI feature by Austin Murphy. That story was "The Muck Bowl" (which I posted on here) and rather than being about football economically depressed Western Pennsylvania... Murphy's story looked at the Central Florida towns of Pahooke and Belle Glade.

In both areas, violence or the possibility of it seem a part of everyday life, but for many (sadly, not all), football an even bigger part.

A lot of parallels between the two stories... including really solid and interesting writing.