We Are Marshall (2006)

Matthew McConaughey,Kate Mara,Robert Patrick,Ian McShane
On the evening of November 14, 1970, Southern Airways Flight 932, a McDonnell Douglas DC-9 chartered by Marshall University to transport the Thundering Herd football team back to Huntington, West Virginia following their 17-14 defeat to the East Carolina University Pirates, clips trees on a ridge just one mile short of the runway at Tri-State Airport in Ceredo, West Virginia, and crashes into a nearby gully, killing all 75 people on board.The deceased include the 37 players; head coach Rick Tolley (Robert Patrick) and five members of his coaching staff; Charles E. Kautz, Marshall's athletic director; team athletic trainer Jim Schroer and his assistant, Donald Tackett; sports information director and radio play-by-play announcer Gene Morehouse; 25 boosters; and five crew members. 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.In the wake of the tragedy, University President Donald Dedmon leans towards indefinitely suspending the football program, but he is ultimately persuaded to reconsider by the pleas of the Marshall students and Huntington residents, and especially the few football players who didn't make the flight, led by Nate Ruffin (Anthony Mackie). Dedmon hires Jack Lengyel (Matthew McConaughey) as head coach who, with the help of Red Dawson (Matthew Fox) (one of two surviving members of the previous coaching staff) manages to rebuild the team in a relatively short time, despite losing many of their prospects to West Virginia University. Dedmon travels to Kansas City, where he pleads with the NCAA to waive their rule prohibiting freshmen from playing varsity football (a rule which had been abolished in 1968 for all sports except for football and basketball, and would be permanently abolished for those sports in 1972). Dedmon returns victorious.Jack Lengyel(Matthew McConaughey ) motivates and leads young players at the same time that he reexamines the Lombardi (Ex coach) creed that winning is the only thing. He uses every trick in the book, including visiting a rival coach for their playbook to prepare his team.The new team is composed mostly of the 18 returning players (three varsity, 15 sophomores) and walk-on athletes from other Marshall sports programs. Due to their lack of experience, the "Young Thundering Herd" ends up losing its first game, 29-6, to the Morehead State Eagles. The loss weighs heavily on Dawson and Ruffin, who had been hurt on the first play of the game. This sets the tongues rolling that it is disrespectful to the dead players to set such an inept team on field. But Lengyel believes in his team & prepares them for their first home game. he sees that the town is still behind its team. The Marshall's pull off a stunning come from behind win & win the town's heart (The Herd's first post-crash victory is a 15-13 win against Xavier University in the first home game of the season) while erasing the painful memories of the crash.They don't manage to win another game the rest of the season, but their determination to keep the program running delivers huge success in the 80's with 5 championships. All thanks to the courage of those few men who stood up & kept the football going when no one else was willing to do so.
  • 12 Dec 2006 Released:
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