The Story of the NFL's Dayton Triangles

The Story of the Men Who
Integrated Pro Football,
In Their Own Words


One year before Jackie Robinson broke the color line in major league baseball, four men became the first black pro football players of the modern era. While blacks had played in NFL in its early days, none had since 1933.

In GRIDIRON GAUNTLET: The Story of the Men Who Integrated Pro Football, In Their Own Words, twelve players who began their careers after World War II reminisce about the opposition they faced, the segregated hotels and restaurants, and the hostility that comes with being a trailblazer. They also recall players, coaches and others, black and white, who assisted and supported them.

“Vivid and fresh, this is a terrific addition to the secret history of sports we all need to know if we are to understand today’s players and games.” Robert Lipsyte, sportswriter, The New York Times

“Gridiron Gauntlet is a captivating reprise of lived history, an engaging, highly informative sojourn through the post-World War II reintegration of professional football as experienced and recalled by the sport’s “second wave” of black players, the men whose sometimes ignored, mostly forgotten contributions and sacrifices were critical to the game we see today.” Harry Edwards, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, University of California

… humorous, disturbing, angry, sad, and uplifting. An involving and essential read.” Library Journal


About the Author: Andy Piascik is an award-winning writer who has written for Z, The Indypendent and many other publications. His book The Best Show in Football: The 1946-1955 Cleveland Browns, Pro Football's Greatest Dynasty earned him the Nelson Ross award of the Pro Football Researchers Association.

You may order Gridiron Gauntlet: The Story of the Men Who Integrated Pro Football, In Their Own Words directly from the author by sending a check or money order for $32 (includes postage) payable to Andy Piascik at 25 Cartright Street, Bridgeport CT 06604

Piascik’s previous book, The Best Show in Football, explores the leading role the Browns played in sports integration and the link between their being the first to hire black players and their being the best team ever. You may purchase both Gridiron Gauntlet and The Best Show in Football from the author for $55 (postage included). Contact Andy at: andypiascik at 
or (203) 362-1761.


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