Honored to have my column in the Courier

In truly one of the highlights of my career, The New Pittsburgh Courier asked me to write a short column about Bill Nunn Jr. and why I wrote about him in The Color of Sundays. It’s in this week’s edition. We’re excited to see Nunn get inducted this weekend into the Steelers’ Hall of Honor.


“a well-researched and welcome addition” — Pittsburgh Magazine

The latest copy of Pittsburgh Magazine has a nice review of “The Color of Sundays”

Pittsburgh Magazine“Andrew Conte’s “The Color of Sundays” is a well-researched and welcome [addition] to Steelers scholarship. A book about Bill Nunn Jr. certainly was overdue…”

Reviewer Kristofer Collins didn’t love that I took several side trips — to boxing, Civil Rights, Jackie Robinson, etc. But to me, they were critical to the overall story. Not just of Nunn’s life and contribution to the Steelers, but to the larger story of integrating American life.

Check out the full review here. And decide for yourself by checking out the book here.

Thanks for being awesome

First Heinz Field Steelers game with my daughter. As they say, Go big...

First Heinz Field Steelers game with my daughter. As they say, Go big…

Thanks to everyone who made The Color of Sundays such a success this fall. Because of the book, I have met so many interesting people, heard so many important stories and learned a lot about myself. I’m really grateful to be surrounded by a loving family and so many terrific friends.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


‘The Color’ LIVE — Appearance on KDKA-TV

I had a great talk with Brenda Waters and Jon Burnett on Pittsburgh Today Live. Jon played football at the University of Tennessee in the 1970s, and he brought a little of that personal experience to the discussion. You can see the full segment (and more of my red socks) here.



Pittsburgh Today Live — Friday morning

I will be making appearances on KDKA-TV over the next several days.

I’ll be visiting with Pittsburgh Today Live on Friday morning. I suppose it will be live (as the name suggests), so tune in at 9 a.m. to see if I goof up.

And then I’ll be visiting with Lynne Hayes Freeland on her show, which airs at 7 a.m. Saturday on the CW and at 6 a.m. Sunday on KDKA. We had one of the best discussions yet about The Color of Sundays. We talked pretty openly about race, which ironically does not come up often during my book appearances.

Because I know all of you won’t be setting your alarms, I’ll be sure to link to the shows here as well!

You can find the book at Barnes & Noble stores, online at Amazon.com, at lots of local retailers or directly through me

Me hanging out with Lynne Hayes Freeland.

Me hanging out with Lynne Hayes Freeland.

Pittsburgh Sports Report features ‘The Color’

Pittsburgh Sports Report has posted a nice write-up about The Color of Sundays

Conte found motivation for the book after meeting Nunn, as well as hearing stories from men of Nunn’s generation who experienced the segregation first hand. Conte felt it was important to record these stories for today’s fans and future generations.


Steelers.com reviews The Color

Bob Labriola at Steelers.com knew Bill Nunn Jr. personally and has done more over the years to chronicle the team than almost anyone. It was especially important for me then to see what he would say about The Color of Sundays. His review is out today, and I really appreciate his kind words and deep understanding of the book and its themes…

Bob Labriola

Bob Labriola

“Bill Nunn is one of the most significant men ever to be involved in the scouting aspect of professional football, and his skill at this job is evident in the names etched on those six Lombardi trophies on display at the Steelers practice facility. Conte tells some of that story, but the real value of his effort is the context of the time in America when Nunn was growing into manhood.”


Check out the full review at Steelers.com. Reminder: I will be talking about some of the stories behind the book at 6 p.m., Thursday, at Point Park University, Downtown. Registration: https://colorofsundays.eventbrite.com.


City Paper’s take on The Color of Sundays

Author event — 6 p.m., Thursday, 10/29 @ Point Park University. Registration: https://colorofsundays.eventbrite.com

Pittsburgh City Paper has a great take on The Color of Sundays… The reporter Jodi DiPerna took the time to read the book, talk with me and understand the nuances of the narrative. Check out the full review here.

CityPaper“Pure football fans will learn how Nunn found key pieces of those dynastic Steelers teams…

“But the book is also about race in America and race in sports. It’s about the Pittsburgh Courier. And it is about the segregated era of the NFL (1934 to 1946), an era that many fans are unaware of and that the NFL is happy to keep swept under the carpet.” 

Art Jr. talks about Chuck Noll’s job interview with the Steelers

Me with Art Rooney Jr.

Me with Art Rooney Jr.

Art Rooney Jr. summoned me to his office. When you’re a Pittsburgh kid and that happens, you go. Every time.

We had a terrific conversation. He told me about the day Chuck Noll came into the team’s offices at the old Roosevelt Hotel, Downtown, for his job interview. The other guys — including Art Jr.’s dad and older brother, Dan — were lobbing softball questions. Noll had been working as an assistant coach to Don Shula with the Baltimore Colts. The guys wanted to know whether Noll had been watching the Orioles baseball team, who he knew throughout the league, stuff like that.

Art Jr. walked into the room and elbowed his way into the conversation. He asked first how Noll felt about the BLESTO scouting combine — in which the Steelers shared information about college prospects among other NFL teams. Noll said that was fine as long as the team had good scouts of its own.

Art Jr. made postcards from the fight program of the Conn-Louis bout.

Art Jr. made postcards from the fight program of the Conn-Louis bout.

Then, Art wanted to know something else. By then, he had decided the Steelers could not win by excluding black players. A previous coach Buddy Parker had been notorious for getting drunk after every team loss and then berating the players — using the N-word at times to talk about the black players. He also had been the coach when the team drafted black quarterback Roy Curry — who never got to take a snap under center. Curry ended playing wide receiver and then getting injured.

Art Jr. asked Noll point blank: How do you feel about black players?

Noll, who had played under Paul Brown in Cleveland, was ready: I don’t care about the color of a player’s skin, he said. Noll said he was more interested in whether a guy was intelligent about the game — and whether he would be a team player.

What if an assistant coach didn’t go along with that approach?, Art Jr. asked.

I’d fire him on the spot, Noll answered.

During my work on The Color of Sundays, Bill Nunn Jr. was adamant that Noll’s openness about black players was every bit as essential as Nunn’s own ability find them. The team could have scouted all of the best black players in the world but it wouldn’t have mattered if they never got a chance — especially at key positions. By all accounts, Noll was as good as his word.

Art Jr. gave me another of his books -- about Steelers great Jack Butler. And inscribed it with another nice passage.

Art Jr. gave me another of his books — about Steelers great Jack Butler. And inscribed it with another nice passage.