Wednesday, October 8, 2008

"The Express" Unfairly Attacks West Virginia

Normally I wouldn't care about something like this, especially not for this blog. But this incident is on a whole different level, and deserves to be mentioned in defense of our rival.

Matthew Thompson of the Charleston Daily Mail wrote an article about this today. "The Express," the new movie about Ernie Davis's year with Syracuse when they won the national championship in 1959, portrays a vicious game between Syracuse and West Virginia where the fans in Morgantown were shouting terrible racist things at the Orange.

The problem? The two teams did not play in West Virginia that year. Worse, when they did the next year, almost everyone from Syracuse players to West Virginia players and media don't remember that. In the Thompson article, Dick Easterly, the Orange quarterback in the 1960 game, even said "The scene is completely fictitious."

I understand movies take poetic license, but this is way over the line. This means someone decided to paint West Virginia in a racist light for no reason at all and just make up a game that never happened. This is just outright terrible. What if Glory Road, a great movie about the 1966 Texas-Western team that won the 1966 Championship, had made up a game against someone else and painted them as racist? The movie would have been cheapened. Obviously with a movie like this, a poetic license would have been taken with opposing crowds, but to make up a game that paints a school as racist is just awful.

(Photo credit of 1959 West Virginia Mountaineers Football Team: Jim's Vintage)

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