Friday, January 13, 2006

Reviews of "Glory Road" and an interesting one among the pile

First off, thanks to the El Paso Times for reprinting and publishing online several vintage articles, including one by sportswriter, Roger McKown, who covered the winning game. UTEP :: Don Haskins and Ray SanchezIronically--or not, there is no mention of the racial makeup of either team, although McKown compares their height. In addition several other 1966 articles are published at the Times website, both here and here.

What interests me though, is this review from Lexington, Kentuck's Herald-Leader. It is very generous in its even-handedness, because hey, if anyone should distainfully look at the film, it's a Kentucky paper. But Mr. Clay did not, and in fact sees virtue in the film and encourages his readers to see it. As a side notation, it is also not coincidentally that the film opens the weekend of Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday and Monday holiday.

Now, it's certainly no secret we've been on pins and needles for years about this project, with its David v. Goliath accomplishment, especially after forty (40!) years. At first, we wondered why don't they, then maybe they will, and finally, yes! they approved the project. Next we wondered who could play Coach Don "The Bear" Haskins. First it was Ben, then not Ben, then finally Josh.

And now, finally the day has come, but without Bobby (BJ) Hill, who died in 2002. At the time my former co-workers and I attended his beautiful service, with its marvelous choirs and accolaides. Never had I seen such sadness and rejoicing all at the same time--all for a man with so many friends from all walks of life.

Man, he would have loved all this fuss, all the interviewing and the articles. Of course, he would have said he was just "survivin.'"

BJ's gone, but many remain, especially Haskins, who last night sat the city on his knee and gave an "intimate" one-on-one storytime at the Chavez Theatre. And while he can't gripe about the various departures from reality in the Disney sports flick, "Glory Road," others already can and have in their reviews. But I certainly don't have to give them links from this blog.

(Note: the image was shot at the UTEP bookstore this past fall when Coach Haskins and Ray Sanchez, former sportswriter and author of the book, Glory Road, gave about a 45 minute Q & A, followed by a booksigning.)

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