During World War II, the National Football League faced a crisis unimaginable today: a shortage of players. By 1943, so many players were in the armed forces that the league was forced to fold one team (the Cleveland Rams) and merge two others: the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Philadelphia Eagles. And so the Steagles were born, with a roster that included military draft rejects, aging stars lured out of retirement, and even a couple of active servicemen who managed to get leave for the games. The team’s center was deaf in one ear, its wide receiver was blind in one eye, and its halfback had bleeding ulcers. One player was so old he'd never played football with a helmet. Yet, somehow, this motley bunch managed to post a winning record—the first for the Eagles and just the second for the Steelers. But Last Team Standing isn’t just about football. It’s also about life in the United States during World War II, a time of fear and hope, of sacrifice and momentous change. It’s about rationing, racism, and Rosie the Riveter. It’s about draft boards, bond drives, and movie stars. Above all, it’s about the men and women of the Greatest Generation who couldn’t fight, but helped win the war in immeasurable ways. Matthew Algeo is the author of Harry Truman’s Excellent Adventure and The President Is a Sick Man. An award-winning journalist, Algeo has reported from four continents for public radio’s All Things Considered, Marketplace, and Morning Edition.