At the NFL Draft, General Manager Sonny Weaver has the opportunity to rebuild his team when he trades for the number one pick. He must decide what he's willing to sacrifice on a life-changing day for a few hundred young men with NFL dreams.
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
From the 1971 team, no player and only Asst Coach Mickey Jackson have been elected to the Marshall Athletic Hall of Fame. See more »
All the characters, including Coach Lengyel, consistently pronounce Wooster College's name as though it rhymes with "rooster" - whereas the college's (and the town's) name is actually pronounced by residents and students, like "Worcester" as in Worcester, Massachusetts (or England), i.e. "wuss-ter." See more »
Suite: Judy Blue Eyes
Written by Stephen Stills
Performed by Crosby Stills & Nash (as Crosby, Stills & Nash)
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
By Arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing See more »
My family and I saw We Are Marshall Christmas night. I grew up in a Marshall family (Mom & Dad, M.U. grads; my oldest sister was in school at M.U. at the time of the plane crash, as well as her future husband). Dad worked in the newspaper business at the time; and my mom's father passed away the night of the crash (while we were glued to radio and T.V. reports from Huntington.)
A year later, I was fortunate enough to see the Xavier game portrayed in the film at Fairfield Stadium in person. It is still the single most heart-stirring moment in sports I've ever been around.
Attending Marshall myself just a few short years after the tragedy, we cheered for first downs by the Thundering Herd and agonized through fighting to be just competitive. Not all were mindful of the journey.
The film seems to capture the shock of the crash on the school and the community and the hopelessness both experienced in the times immediately following the crash. Due to time restrictions and to keep the story moving, the struggle to come up with representative football players was kind of oversimplified in the film, but the men who did play in those years are just as important as the heroes of the winning era at Marshall decades later. Not sure if the real Jack Lengyel was as tongue in cheek as portrayed in the movie, but it seems to work.
I think the movie will grow on people across the country not familiar with the story or who had no ties to Marshall/Huntington, in the vein of Hoosiers or Remember The Titans. My wife and sons have heard about it for years...that's why we wanted to experience the movie together.
The most incredible sports story I'll ever witness. I thought about the 75 when Marshall played in Detroit in the Motor City Bowl in 1999 and finished in the top 10 in the country. I think about them every time I visit the Marshall Student Center and see the 1970 team picture on the wall. I knew their names from the newspaper stories and the radio coverage of the era. It is quite a personal memory for me, and one I know I share with thousands, and now, many, many more.
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