Thursday, September 10, 2009

Why Football Matters

As is the case with Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, football has always been – and will always be – a big part of life in Pittsburg, Kansas. Unlike its more metropolitan namesake, Pittsburg, Kansas, has no ‘H’ at the end, and this town of just under 20,000 is located northwest of Joplin, Missouri, across the state line in southeast Kansas.

Pittsburg sits off the northwest corner of the Ozark Plateau, and the area is heavily wooded – even swampy in some parts – with another organic feature similar to western Pennsylvania: coal mines. These mines once dense and rich throughout southeast Kansas offered employment for European immigrants coming to America around the turn of the 20th century, and many Italians, Austrians and other Balkan refugees found their piece of the American dream in the middle of the Midwest.

They poured into southeast Kansas (commonly known as SEK) from Ellis Island by the hundreds leading up to World War I, giving Pittsburg its strong ethnic identity and a heritage that still lingers today.

(Continue to Sport Imitates Life)
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