In November, 1970, virtually the entire football team and coaches of Marshall University (Huntington, W.V.) die in a plane crash. That spring, led by Nate Ruffin, a player who was ill and missed the fatal flight, students rally to convince the board of governors to play the 1971 season. The college president, Don Dedman, must find a coach, who then must find players. They petition the NCAA to allow freshmen to play, and coach Jack Lengyel motivates and leads young players at the same time that he reexamines the Lombardi creed that winning is the only thing. The father and the fiancée of a player who died find strength to move on. Can Marshall win even one game in 1971? Written by
Six weeks before the Marshall plane crash, one of 2 chartered planes carrying the Wichita State University football team, en route to a game in Logan, UT, crashed into the side of a mountain in Colorado. The plane carried the upperclassmen, the head coach, other team staff, university officials, and several boosters. Thirty-nine people died, about half of them were players. Nine people survived, including the co-pilot. The surviving team members, plus some freshman, played the remainder of the season See more »
After recruiting the new players, the coaches talk about having a quarterback named John Cady. When they go to the field to practice, Lengyel asks about his options for quarterback, and no one mentions John Cady. See more »
[West Virginia University coach, referring to the green cross and MU on the back of his own players' WVU helmets. Sincere and smiling]
Colors clash a bit, don't they?
That's first class, Coach. First class.
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There are no opening credits, not even a title. See more »
As a parent of an existing student at MU, I feel every currently enrolled student, potential future student and their parents should see this film. Prior to my daughter's enrollment at MU, I had no idea of this tragedy. Even though one of the assistant coaches killed lived 5 minutes from me. In my daughter's years so far at MU, I've learned MU stands for tradition, history, and pride. This film depicts that in a most inspiring way. Matthew Fox deserves an award for his portrayal of Coach Red Dawson. Matthew McC. brings Coach Lengyel's personality alive on the big screen. The Director, McG, truly captured the emotion of the entire town. After seeing this film, I will never sit at that football stadium again without feeling the presence of 75 people looking down upon that field and smiling.
I have never been in a theater where complete silence occurred. Within 10 minutes of the start of the movie, the only sounds you heard were the sniffles of the audience. Yes, its tragic but this movie shows you never let the "licks" life hands you get the best of you and win. Not only on the football field but in real life. Go see the movie but bring tissues.
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