By Brandon Burkhart
The 1961 Heisman Trophy winner is... the only way you are going to know the answer to this is by watching this movie.
In this movie, running back Ernie Davis (Rob Brown) and coach Ben Schwartzwalder (Dennis Quaid) have themselves quite a football team at Syracuse University. Even though they have a great team they have numerous challenges that could stop them along the way.
It all starts when Ernie Davis was a boy. When Ernie was young he was always up for a challenge and didn’t let anything get in his way. He didn’t even let him being an African American get in his way with segregation and the Civil Rights movement separating races.
Ernie first lived with his Uncle because his mother didn’t have a job and couldn’t support him. When Ernie was eight, his mother finally appeared one day and Ernie had to move in with her.
At his new home Ernie was first able to play football and he was a star from the beginning! He was a star at every level he played in. In high school he was just too fast for the competition.
For Ernie to get recruited by a college to play football was a huge deal because it rarely happened in that time period. But there was one interesting thing getting recruited by Syracuse, it was same place that the great Jim Brown had played at and achieved so much.
Ernie wasn’t the only African American on the Syracuse team there was also an offensive lineman that had to go through the same torture that Ernie was soon to discover.
Ernie instantly had a huge impact on the team and they were winning ball games left and right. But during the games when Ernie was running the ball he would experience getting hit by cheap shots, getting punch, and also getting spit on just because he was an African American. This happened in all of the football games and it was especially worse when they had to travel to the south to play.
Syracuse had a perfect record and they went into the Cotton Bowl to play the number one team in the nation, the Texas Longhorns. With all this happening Ernie was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy winner.
I thought this was a very inspiring movie because of how Ernie handled racism, segregation, and hatred. It was also one of my favorite sports movies because of the hard hitting action and sweet plays.