Sunday, September 09, 2007

Why We Love Football
Grace and idolatry run crossing patterns in the new American pastime
Eric Miller

It's a warm and hazy day, and Frank and I are at our sons' Little League practice, watching baseball but talking football. Nothing could be more typical of metro Pittsburgh in June. The Pirates, at 10 games below .500, are ambling toward their 15th straight losing season. The Steelers' training camp starts in six weeks. Hallelujah.

Frank knows football, and certainly knows western Pennsylvania football. He is Frank Namath, nephew of the man who some 40 years ago made our steel town, Beaver Falls, almost a household name. When "Uncle Joey" got big, Frank tells me, his mother had to move out of town and into a tiny house on a hill that overlooks it. Strangers from all over the place had been besieging her, gawking, poking, prodding. She, blue collar through and through, found herself suddenly the mother of an icon—presumably no easy thing. Especially here.
the rest photo


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