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
In a report issued April 14, 1972, the National Transportation Safety Board concluded that the crash was "the result of a descent below Minimum Descent Altitude during a non precision approach under adverse operating conditions, without visual contact with the runway environment. . . .two most likely explanations (for the greater descent) are (a) improper use of cockpit instrumentation data, or (b) an altimetry system error." See more »
When Dedmon is calling potential coaches, his list includes a man with a (478) area code and one with a (573) area code. This area codes were not established in 1970 -- they were established in 2000 and 1996 respectively. See more »
I hate football, but I loved this movie! I went to see it because Nate Ruffin was my Supervisor for several years and was the most supportive, understanding human being I've ever known. He often told anyone who would listen how his life took a downward spiral after the crash because he felt so guilty for surviving. But he got his life together and decided the best way he could honor his former teammates was to be an inspiration to others, and he was more than that! Anthony Mackie portrayed Nate wonderfully and caught his spirit of leadership and caring! Nate knew from experience what hardship could do to a person's life and used his story to help many of us through major upheavals in our lives.
The movie matched much of what Nate told us throughout the years, and I think he would be ecstatic that the story was finally told and told this well!
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