Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Express

Confused as to why I would want to go see a football movie? Well first of all I went to Ernie Davis Jr. High here in Elmira, although I don't think it was called that then. Actually that building would have been Elmira Free Academy, in the movie I guess they just called it Elmira High so people don't think it was a private school, it's not. Anyway I want to see this for that reason but his story is practically made for the big screen. And it's about more than just football.

The movie coming out got me wondering if people outside of this area know the story of Ernie Davis? Maybe some die-hard sports buffs but I would guess not too many. If you really want to know then go see the flick, it really should be good. Lets see heres the uber quick version, oh and if you know nothing about the guy, then theres a bit of a spoiler about how the story ends. He grew up here in Elmira, went to Syracuse University a couple hours away, was the best football player of the day, won the freaking Heisman Trophy, and he was black at a time when that a wasn't socially acceptable. So it should be a moving story about overcoming diversity and racism. So it'll have the usual up's and downs of any good drama, the low's when they flay the confederate flag in his face and drop N-bombs like it was Vietnam, but then highs when he scores the winning touchdown in their faces, that sorta shit. But this story does have one final twist, one that I've been told they only briefly mention in the movie. Now for the Spoiler Alert, if you don't know Ernie Davis's story and plan to see the movie, stop now.

For those still reading, how is it that the first black Heisman Trophy winner is someone you've never heard of? I mean this kid was good, he signed on with the Cleveland Browns and Jim Brown took him under his wing and expected him to be amazing, but it didn't happen. He was never able to play a single pro-game. He died of Leukemia, but the story goes that at one of the first games of the season he came to the stadium, and when he walked onto the field the entire stadium stood up and gave him a ten minute standing ovation. I hope they were able to incorporate that part into the film.

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