The Express Script - Dialogue Transcript

Voila! Finally, the The Express script is here for all you fans of the Dennis Quaid football movie. This puppy is a transcript that was painstakingly transcribed using the screenplay and/or viewings of the movie to get the dialogue. I know, I know, I still need to get the cast names in there and all that jazz, so if you have any corrections, feel free to drop me a line. At least you'll have some The Express quotes (or even a monologue or two) to annoy your coworkers with in the meantime, right?

And swing on back to Drew's Script-O-Rama afterwards -- because reading is good for your noodle. Better than Farmville, anyway.

The Express Script

21 straight lines,
five yards apart,

that's a football field.

But there are other lines,
ones you don't see,

that run deeper and wider,
all the way through a country,

and aren't part of any game.

Strong load right,
42 shovel pass. On one. On one.

- Break!

Whiskey, whiskey, 33!

Been waiting for this, spook.

I'm gonna kick your black
ass back to Africa, boy.

I found another Pepsi.

Pepsi Cola
hits the spot

12 full ounces, that's a lot
- 12 full ounces, that's a lot

Twice as much for a nickel, too
- Twice as much for a nickel, too

Pepsi Cola is the drink for you
- Pepsi Cola is the drink for you

America has been riding
the crest of a wave of a peaceful prosperity.

I believe
in this world to come.

I think it's going to
be a pretty good one.

"When you say 'Budweiser,'

"you've said it all."
- "You've said it all."

What are you boys doing
north of Union Street?

One of you better answer.

Just collecting bottles.

These are our
bottles up here.

Hey, guys!

Ain't but one
thing to do here.

Ernie, you
listening to me?

Ernie, now!


Ernie! Ernie!

This one must be stupid.

I'll tell you what,
you give us those bottles

and we won't
kick your black ass.

Got something to say?



Not only stupid,
but retarded.

And a nigger,
how sad is that?

Look, you've got three
seconds to drop those bottles.




Get him.
- Get him.

Dear Mr. Martin, it feels
strange to write about my life.

I can't tell you the exact moment
I knew what it was I wanted to be

or how I wanted
to make my mark.

Maybe it just felt
real good to run,

or maybe one day,
out of the corner of my eye,

I saw tacklers reaching out
for me and dropping behind.

Back in 1949, at the age of
10, one thing I did know was,

I sure didn't want to be
remembered for running too slow.

People in town would always
ask, "What you running from?"

Hey, Will!

I didn't know
then what I know now,

that I wasn't running from,
I was running to.

After dinner we gonna
have an ice cream eating contest.

What do you
say about that?

Yeah, I like it.


First Corinthians 15:10.


Yes, Grandpa.

Why don't you read tonight?

You can do it.


"by the..."

Ernie, take a deep breath.

Okay, now try it again.

"But by the

"grace of God I am what I am.

"And his grace...

"His grace...

"...which was bestowed..."

"...which was bestowed upon me

"was not in vain."

"But I labored more
abundantly than they all,

"yet not I,

"but the grace of
God which was with me."

The words, I know
they're in there

but they don't come out
straight all the time.

That'll bring
Jackie Robinson up.

He's wearing a Brooklyn
Dodgers uniform.

He's Negro and he's playing
for the Brooklyn Dodgers?

That's right, boys.
That there is Jackie Robinson.

The windup
and the delivery.

And the drive deep into left field.
And it's a home run!

Jackie Robinson with a home
run, his 12th of the year,

and the crowd
roars at Ebbets Field.

Now what? You gonna
stare at it all night?

This here is a man
who's doing a lot

without saying nothing.

- Hey, Ernie.




It's great
to have you back!

So you still got that Chevy?
And what year is that?

It's a '39,
and you, too, Mama.

A '39 Chevy.

So, Marie, you have
some news for us?

Yes, sir. Mama, Daddy,

Ernie, I got married again.

To a very nice man.

The main thing is I can
support you now, baby.

I want you to come back
and live with me in Elmira.

How far away is Elmira?

It's not far at all, baby.
It's just a few hours away.

I think you'll like it.

You gonna love it, baby.

Bye, Will.

Bye, Ernie.

So, I'll see you soon.

Come on, boys. Line up! Line up!
I got some new jerseys here for you.

Wait till you see these.

Here you go,
Mike, Aaron, Nick.

Patrick, there's
one for you.

You been waiting for these, I know it.
Here you go, Peewee. Put it on.


I'm sorry, boys.
That's all there are.

Don't worry. The other team won't
have any trouble recognizing you.

Come on! Huddle!



Just give him the ball.

- Ready!




That your son?

Yes. Yes, it is.

Al Malette,
Elmira Star-Gazette.

What's his name?

His name is Ernie Davis.

Ernie Davis.


So you're the man
who owns Jim Brown.

I own the team.
He's his own man. Hey, Jim!

I think you've
done enough of that.

Mr. Modell,
just a few more?

This is the last time he's
gonna be on this field.

You've got plenty, Rex.
Boys, thank you very much.

That's good, we got it.
Jim, come over here.

All right, fellas.
Take a couple like this.

Nice big smile, Jim.

Hey, Jim, you
think you're ready?

Right here, Jim, look
here. Right here...

So Jim Brown's gonna be wearing
a Cleveland Browns jersey.

How's it feel?

It feels right.

Jim? Right here, Jim.

Dan Boyle,
Chicago Sun.

You had a terrific year
here at Syracuse, Jim.

Seven yards a carry, broke records,
took your team to the Cotton Bowl,

number one draft choice,
signed a big contract.

I'm guessing you're pretty happy
with the way things turned out.

I could be happier.
You left something out.

You talking about
the Heisman Trophy, Jim?

I didn't win that.
Actually, no Negro has ever won it.

And you're saying
you should have?

Now, if I say that

the papers tomorrow will tell
the story of the angry Negro

who doesn't
know his place.

I know my place,

It just may not be
where you like it.

Next question.

Hey, Coach.
Coach, let me ask you something.

How do you ever expect
to replace Jimmy Brown?

Glen Boyd, Cedar Rapids
High. Team won state.

He has a C average
but a tested IQ of 120.

That means he's lazy.

Ben, the kid has
a five-yard average.

I don't care.
He's lazy. I don't want him.

- Wally Purdue,

Bridgeport Academy,
six varsity letters.

He's healing from
an ankle fracture but...

But bullshit!

Anybody else? Maybe someone
who isn't hurt or lazy?

Isn't there
a kid from Elmira?

Yeah, Ernie Davis.
Elmira Free Academy.

Running back, 1,yards on 179 carries.

Led his team to a state championship.
Why the hell didn't we look at him first?

Well, he's a
Negro boy, Ben.

Is this a new trend,
or is it just my luck?

It's a new trend.

He might remind you
of somebody we know.

Too old to butt heads
with another Jim Brown.

Roll it.

There he is
on the left, number 55.

Right now, he's...
Now watch him here.

He breaks through both tackles and
look at that, into the secondary.

There he goes,
30-yard line,

40-yard line, 50,

40, 30, 20, 10.

Touchdown. Wow!

He have any offers yet?

About 50.


It's all chrome
inside there. Feel that.

No, no, no. Not that, that's the gas.
Better step on the brake.


There you go. You got tiny legs.
She's gonna love this, right?

Mighty nice
car, Jim.

Do me a favor,
wait upstairs.

Okay then.

What's on your mind, Coach?
I take it this isn't a social call.

All right, look, there's this kid,
and I want you to help me recruit him.

You want me to help you?

You're leaving us a
hell of a hole, Jim.

And we are up against the big boys.
We've got Pitt, UCLA, Texas.

You mean he's colored.

He's a Negro, yes.

You can't talk to Negroes?

I can't...

I'm not good at that salesman stuff.
Not much of a dancer, you know that.

I know this wasn't the most welcoming
place for you, but that's not my fault.

I can only control what happens
on 100 yards of gridiron.

But I do know Cleveland never
would have heard of you

if you hadn't come
here to play for me.

What I did here was on
my back and my sweat.

What good would
your time be here

if you're not willing to help
the next kid get his chance?

A kid like you.

He's got talent, Jim.

Maybe even your
kind of talent.

Didn't mention anything in your
telegram about bringing Jim Brown.

I hope you don't mind signing
a couple hundred autographs.

Ha! Jim loves to sign
autographs, don't you?

You know, Jim, I'm a
Syracuse man myself.

Class of '31.

You don't say.

Is that Bill Clark
from Notre Dame?

been here all week.

Yeah, not enough he steals Ramsey
right out from under my nose.

That's your man
right there, Ernie Davis.

11 varsity letters.
Plays baseball, too.

In fact, there's not
a sport he doesn't play.

Try it one more time.

Let's see what he does.

He's too fast
for these kids.

He's too fast
for anybody.

Ben Schwartzwalder.
Head coach, Syracuse University Orangemen.

Pleasure to
meet you, sir.

Pleasure to
meet you, son.

Do you know
why I'm here?

Same reason as
Notre Dame, sir?

Yeah, same reason.

But don't just take my
word for it. Jim! Jim!

I'll be right back.
- Thank you.

There's another fan
who'd like to tell you

how much he'd like to
see you come play for us.

- Brown.

2,091 rushing yards,
5.8 yards of carry,

132 yards and three
touchdowns in the Cotton Bowl.

We lost the Cotton Bowl.

But that sweep where you
cut back to the middle?

My mama and me watched that game on
a television set in Sears and Roebuck.

She's a big fan
of yours, too.


Is she?

Mr. Brown?
I hope you like caramel cake.

I do, thank you.

Here you go.

I understand you're from
Pennsylvania, Mr. Davis.

What brings you up
here to New York?

I asked him to come.

To help me make up my mind.

That's good to have
family like that.

You close to your family,
Mr. Schwartzwalder?

I have a wife
and two daughters.

And they never ask my
opinion about anything.

Seems to work.

Mr. Brown?

Yes, sir.

Were you the first in your
family to go to college?

Yes, sir, I was.

And what's it like at
Syracuse for men like us?

It's great.
It's good.

I suppose I'd say it's not that
different than a lot of places.

This cake is delicious.

I want you to go out. Keep going.
Back. Back. All right.

Mr. Brown, I'm not
real big on lacrosse.

- Jim.

Okay, let's see
what you've got.

It's not as easy
as it looks, is it?

I'm all right.

You see, lacrosse
isn't just a sport.

The Indians used it to settle
their conflicts and heal the sick.

They also played it as
a preparation for war.

Make no mistake, there's
a war in this country,

but for men like us, it's
not on the football field.

So if all you nice folks
are offering the same thing,

what makes you different?

Well, Syracuse...

Not Syracuse. You.

I'm not sure I follow
you, Mr. Davis.

My grandson might be spending the
next four years listening to you,

learning from you.

So, I suppose what I'm
asking, Mr. Schwartzwalder,

is what kind
of man are you?

I just want to be the best
player I can be, you know.

I want to be
like you, Jim Brown,

first-team All-American
then straight to the NFL,

and I need you to tell me exactly
where I gotta be to get there.

Look, if you go to Syracuse,
it's not gonna be easy for you.

But Schwartzwalder, he's one of
the best coaches in college ball.

Now you're fast,
but he'll make you faster.

You run hard, he'll show
you how to run harder.

And you're good,
but he'll make you better.

And if you ever
tell him I said that,

I'll jump on the first plane from
Cleveland and come and wring your neck.

Now let's get out of here.

Let me tell you something about Jim
and I, we had our differences at times.

So whatever he told you about me, I
would take it with a grain of salt.

Even if he said you
were a good coach?

Well, in that case, son, I would tell
you that too much salt is bad for you.

Ernie? Ernie Davis?

How'd you guess?


I'm Lew Andreas, the
athletic director. Come on!

I'll give you a tour of the
campus on the way to your dorm.

All right.
- Syracuse has a storied

academic tradition, Ernie.
- Really?

Steven Crane attended
the university in 
and wrote The Red Badge of Courage...
- Hey, Lew!

Harry! Sorry, I'll be
right back. Right back.

- How are you?

No one from here has ever won,
if that's what you're looking for.

No harm in dreaming,
right, Coach?

It's not about winning trophies,
Davis. It's about winning games.

I'll see you at practice.

Get up! Get up!

That was plum awful!
Now, last one runs a lap.

Let's go!

Run a lap.

five, six...

Youmans, you move
like a walrus.

Come on! Like a big,
old elephant walrus!

Gerhard, goose-step.
Make your ancestors proud.

Ease up, Davis.

What are you smiling at?

This fine institution is
giving you three hots and a cot.

I do not intend to let
them waste their money.

Get them up, come on.

Right about now,
I bet you're wondering

what happened to that nice
gentleman that visited your house

and begged you
to come here, huh?

Let's go! Now make
no mistake, gentlemen.

No matter what anyone else tells you,
you are not here to just play football.

You are offside.

You are here at
Syracuse to win games.

And you can't win games if you
can't out-perform the other team.

Don't you step on
my All-Americans.

If you step on my All-Americans,
I will reach down your throat,

grab your donuts and
tie them to your tonsils!

Good hit!

Take him down!

So, you're the
next Jim Brown, huh?

Yeah, I can see
the resemblance.

Yeah, except Brown was
always mad about something.

Don't be fooled
by the smile.

Well, he's funnier
than Jimmy.


Well, maybe he can entertain us.
You dance, Davis?

Not as good
as me, Lundy.

Come on! Get up!
Move! Move! Move! Move!

You should know,
you never call Coach, "Sarge."

He was a captain, jumped out of
airplanes, stormed a bridge in Normandy.

Killed people,
won medals.

By the way, I'm Gerhard
Schwedes, halfback.

Roger, everybody calls
me Hound Dog though.

Maury Youmans, center.

I'll be keeping your
jersey clean next year.

He embarrassed you!
Embarrassed you!

I want you to move Davis
from freshman to varsity.

But he won't be eligible
to play in any games, Ben.

Why don't we just let him catch
his stride with the other freshmen?

First, when he does
become eligible next year,

I want him to hit
the ground running.

Second, he's gonna
raise everybody's game.

He'll probably be the best
running back they face all year.

I got you.

Third, that's just
the way I want it done.

Jack Buckley, right tackle,
sophomore. Call me JB.

I was a defensive end
in high school. Philly.

But I think they're
gonna move me to tackle.

What we up to?
Three miles?

Don't know.
Never count.

You hear a train?

Is it making you nervous?

No, I'm not nervous.

Can we get off
these tracks?

Yeah, I'm sorry.
I'm just used to it.

And when you use your meal
voucher in the student union...

- ...stay away from the meatloaf.

What else?
- Girls.

You'll find a Negro polar bear
before you find a Negro coed.

Good morning, sir.
Beautiful day, isn't it?

I swear, sometimes you feel
like you're on the moon here.

Yes, yes,
that's her sister.

Sarette, what did Petey
say about that broad?

Yeah, it's her
little sister.

I don't know about our team yet,
but theirs is in mid-season form.

At least her sister is.

wanted to see me?

He's in his office.


You wanted to
see me, Coach?


Davis, my system
is simple.


And on my team, I expect every
player to know his job.

Know his place on the field.

Quarterback, running back, lineman.

That way, nobody
steps on anybody's toes.

Same holds true
off the field.

I'm not sure how
you mean, Coach.


There are some lines that some
people don't care to see crossed,

just like there are some toes
that shouldn't be stepped on.

And I expect my players
not to cross those lines.

Now, you must have a
girlfriend back home, right?

fellow like you.

You might want to
keep in touch with her.

You're a smart kid, Davis.
I don't have to spell it out for you, do I?

Anything else, Coach?


May I go now?


We call that,
"The white girl speech,"

and don't worry,
we all get it.

That's funny. I don't remember seeing
that in the campus brochure, JB.

Avatus Stone.

Avatus what?

Avatus Stone.
Quarterback. Negro.

First one Schwartzwalder
recruited here.

What happened to him?

He got run off.

What do you mean,
"Run off?"

One night, just
disappeared. Gone.

And then Jimmy
Brown shows up,

and all Jim hears is,
"Don't be like Avatus Stone.

"Whatever you do, don't
be like Avatus Stone."

Wait. But what did he do?
Did he kill somebody?

Worse. He dated
a white girl.

Majorette, blonde.

Schwartzwalder wouldn't even give Jim
a scholarship until sophomore year.

Made him prove himself.


Just goes to show, Coach likes
winning more than he dislikes Negroes.

A little.

See you
at the room.


Excuse me,
Hound Dog.

Would you look
at that, boys?

If it isn't enough they let a
freshman dress in the varsity locker,

now they went and anointed him
the second coming of Jim Brown.

What's your
problem, Lundy?

My problem is I was raised to believe
you should have to earn things.

That's not all you were
raised to believe, now was it?

You got a big mouth, JB.

Yeah, I do.

How about
the next play, Ben?

This'll be strong load
right, 42 shovel pass.

We can use
this third short.

Strong load right.
- Right, 42 shovel pass.

What you got there, Davis?

It's this jersey, Coach.

What, something
wrong with it?

Yeah, I...

What is it?
Too big? Too tight, what?

Oh, no. Not at all. It's just...

Then what is it?

Somebody made
a mistake.

They gave me
the wrong number.

Mr. Davis, I put that
jersey in your locker.

Are you accusing me
of making a mistake?

No, sir.
- Well then, what?

Coach, I'm...

I'm not Jim Brown.

God, I hope not!

And, God, I hope so.

That is your number.

The day you're not up to it,
I'll take it away as quick as a hiccup.

Now, get out of here.

Tight right, 34 right dig.
On one. On one. Ready.


Offense, I want to see
you fire off the ball.

Fire off the ball.

- Sir!

Are you in
or out there?

Strong left,
strong left!

Strong left. Why don't you
watch the sweep, right there?

- Ready?

On one.

God damn it!

Lundy, you got
yourself planted.

Get off your heels and get after it.
That was embarrassing.

Davis looks good.

Looks good, Ben.

Five, three,
cover two. Ready?


Double tight, double tight.
Watch the sweep left! Watch the sweep!

That was a cheap shot.

Oh, he's gonna get a lot worse
than that before he's done here.

You've got something to say, 44?

You all right?
- Yeah.

You can't let him treat you
like that and not say nothing.

That's all right. I do
my talking on the field.

Hey, hey! Come on!

Hey, come on!

All right, all right, all
right, all right, all right.

Don't ever make me
look bad again.

Back to the huddle, Lundy.

You got away with a lot back in high school
'cause you were bigger than everybody else.

Those days are done.

You got it?
- Got it, Coach.

Good block.

Now listen up.

If you practice half-assed,
you will play half-assed.

Now, we have Boston
College in two weeks

and I would like not to get
blown out in our own stadium.

Now play football.

Let's go. Good work.

Surprise, surprise.
Will you look at this?

They're saying Pete Dawkins
is gonna take home the Heisman.

Well, he rushed for over 1,000 yards, and
has almost as many receiving yards, JB.

He's gotta
be real good.

Yeah, well, he's
definitely real white.

This thing's
like a love letter.

JB, look.



Negro polar bears.

Who knew they
traveled in pairs?

- For what?

You're not ready. Come on,
let's go. Which one do you like?

Which one do you like?

The one on the right.

Good evening, ladies.

Good evening.

I'd like a Pepsi.
- The same.

And could you bring us
some of those deviled eggs?

You don't even be
eating no deviled egg.

I'm so sorry.
- You go to Syracuse?

I didn't know.

Yes, we go to Syracuse,
but if you'd like,

we can jump in the kitchen, whip
you up some grits and gravy, ma'am.

Get them, Ernie.

I'm Gloria.
This is my friend...


She's visiting
from Cornell.

Gloria and Sarah. Okay.
I'm Jack Buckley, but you call me JB.

- JB.

And this is my
friend, Ernie.

How do you do?

Very well.

So, what are you
guys studying?

Well, a little bit
of everything.

Math, basic literature...

We're on the
football team.

And that.


I don't really know
too much about football.

Neither does he.

All kidding aside, Gloria,
would you care to dance?

All right.

So, Sarah, what
are you studying?

I'm majoring in education,
with a minor in social sciences.


And you?
What are you studying?

Just some basic courses
right now, some math,

some English.

Look, I know what
you're thinking.

That since I'm not here
because of my grades,

or my money,

that I'm not
a serious person.

You're wrong.

So, you know what
I'm thinking, do you?

Fine, Mr. Serious.

What am I thinking
right now?

Rain still coming down
steadily here at Archbold Stadium.

The last chance
for the Orangemen.

The Orangemen can really use
a little help out there.

Let's hope their recruiting is
better than their running game.


And for the Syracuse faithful,
there's a sense of disbelief,

as Holy Cross has knocked
off the mighty Orangemen.

Let's go, ladies.
Pick it up!

Let's go.
Knees up. Knees up.

Pain is how you learn.

Come on!

Gentlemen, it is not okay
to lose to an inferior team,

especially on our home turf!

Now, we gave no effort out on that
field tonight, so we should feel it now!

Don't you puke
on my gym floor!

Varsity practice only, Ernie.
You don't have to be here.

I know.

I just heard you called
a midnight practice, Coach.

I'm sorry I'm late.

Well, go ahead.
Get in there.

Yes, sir.

Gentlemen, do you think you
played good football last year?

Think again.

You think you're here just
to wear a varsity jacket

and impress the ladies?

Think again.

If you think you know
what pain is, think again.

This is what pain is for.

Now, does anyone
know the last year

that Syracuse won a
national championship?


You're right.
We've never won one.

You are here to
change all that.

Ladies and gentlemen,
please welcome to the field

your Syracuse
University Orangemen.

Welcome to Archbold
Stadium, Syracuse, New York,

where the Orangemen
begin the 1959 campaign.

The expectations for Ben Schwartzwalder
and the Orangemen are enormous.

This is a football team
that could go unbeaten.

Hut one!

On first down, Ernie
Davis gets his first carry

as a member of
the Orangemen.

Welcome to
Syracuse football.

Will... Will, he said
his name on the radio.

Sure did. I heard it.
I heard it, Pops.

Ernie Davis certainly has
some big shoes to fill here today.

And after an unsuccessful
series of downs by the Orangemen,

Kansas takes over on
its own 28-yard line.


Let's get after it!
Come on, let's get after it!

The receiver is leveled by
veteran linebacker Bobby Lundy.

I'm doing your job, 44.

Huddle up!

Ball at the Syracuse
10-yard line.

First down and goal
to go for Kansas.

- Did he get in?

Did he cross the goal line?

Here's the official signal.

Touchdown, Kansas.

What kind of
pig slop is that?

We haven't gotten
a call all day!

Jayhawks jump
out to a 7-0 lead

here at the very,
very quiet Archbold Stadium.

Here in the second quarter,
Kansas on top of Syracuse, 7-0.

Six regular!
Six regular!

The Orange faithful still waiting
for something to cheer about.

Hut one!

Sarette back to pass.

Throwing downfield.

It's complete
to his tight end

down near the
Kansas 30-yard line.

Way to pick up
the blitz, Ernie!

A superb block on the play,
turned in by Ernie Davis.

Second down, eight yards
to go for the Orangemen.


Toss play once
again to Ernie Davis.

Get him out there!

Davis to the
Kansas secondary.

Go, Davis, go!

Look at that young man go!

The Elmira Express virtually
walks into the end zone!

The Syracuse Orangemen,
now on top of Kansas, 14-7.

Go for one.

And what an impression Ernie Davis has
made on this crowd here at Archbold.

The Orangemen just may have
found their next great halfback.

Hey, Ernie.

Hey, fellas,
how you doing?

You guys
coming or going?

Hey. Welcome home, Ernie.


They give you
some time off?

Yeah, yeah,
long weekend.

Look at you,
all college boy.

You're just gonna dirty
up my college jacket.

Come on, come on, let's go inside.
You're too good to hug me?

Look at this!

Let me carry that.
Give me your bag.

If they'd run you more
last week against Navy,

you would have blown
them jokers off the field.

Will, we won.

Seems like that coach of
yours like to pass the ball.

I'll get my carries.

Yeah? He promise you that?

No. Thank you, ma'am. But eventually...
- No?

How are your
grades, Ernie?


They're good, Pops, thanks.
I'm keeping them up.

I like history, and I'm
taking a business course.

That's good.

'Cause football
is just a game.

It's that degree that's
going to count for something.

Gonna get you a good job.

Where you gonna get a good
job at, a Negro with a diploma?


It's football that's
gonna take him someplace.

Otherwise, he gonna be
working right here with us,

cutting coal,
and you know it.

I wanna apologize for him.

You ain't got to
apologize for me, Pops!

Don't you start
it tonight, Will.

Pops... Guys!
-Don't start it tonight.

Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!


You're both right.

Now, my plan A is the Cleveland Browns.
Now, if that doesn't work out,

plan B is the
New York Giants.

Come on, Ernie.
We don't wanna be late.

Sorry, my dear, we got
things to do, people to meet.

I'll meet you
outside, Ernie.

Jim Crow is alive and
well right here in Pennsylvania.

Yes, it is.

But we can no longer
willfully close our eyes

and pretend that we cannot see
that he sees us as beneath him.

- No, we cannot.

And we can no longer stay silent
when he tells us that we cannot speak.

- That's right!

Abraham Lincoln stood
in a field at Gettysburg,

and spoke of a new nation.
- That's right.

Uniontown is 100 miles away
from his Gettysburg.

We are still
yet to be equal.

That is why the NAACP is calling for
a nationwide boycott of Woolworths.

That's right!
That's right!

All right.

Come on.

Boycott! Boycott!
Boycott! Boycott! Boycott! Boycott!

Come to Washington
with us.

There's a bus going
down from the church.

We gonna organize
with Martin Luther King

and let the people know this
country has got to change.

I don't think I can be a part of
what you want me to be a part of

right now, Will.
All this.

What you saying?

I got a scholarship.

I can't risk losing it, and
I don't wanna invite trouble.

I see. Did Emmett Till invite trouble?
Did Rosa Parks?

Who told you this,
your coach?

You don't understand.

It's a different
world up there.

Is it?

You know, your coach
sound a lot like Pops.

No understanding whatsoever with
the troubles in this country.

"You boys got no business north
of Union Street, you hear me?"

Now, leave Pops
out of this, Will.

Now you got a white man telling
you what you can and can't do.

Wait a minute. Hold on.
Watch how you talk to me.

That man don't care
nothing about you, Ernie.

You're not there.
You don't know him.

You just his educated nigger.

You don't know what you're talking about.
- Tom can toe the line

and carry the ball, but that man
will turn on you. Just you wait.

You don't think I'm reminded
every minute of who I am at school?

Everybody there is watching me, and
waiting for me to make a mistake.

You Ernie Davis.

You got your
name in the paper.

Now that's something for colored folk
around here to open up a newspaper, Ernie,

and see your name,
your face.

And say, "I know him.
I went to school with him."

They gonna be
looking up to you.

I think you owe them more
than just running a ball.

The play action
pass was there all day.

It won't be
there the next time.

Why not?

'Cause Boston College is watching
the same damn game that we are.

All right, we start out double
tight. Tight in here, tight in there.

Just a normal
double tight.

Just like from the
beginning of time, Simmy.

Now, we're gonna take Schwedes
out of the wing position,

and we're gonna move him
into a three-back formation.

Only shift it over like this.

All right, defense. What
do you do when you see this?

Now the defense,
they have to shift.

We move to the right.

That's right. Even if it's shading
from nose up to opposite shoulder.

Our right tackle?
He goes on the left side.

I'm gonna leave the huddle,

and you're gonna start out
right, just like normal.

Go left, go left!

Except before we're set,
you're gonna run left.

He runs left,

and you're gonna line
up on the left side.

And he sets up
on the left side.

And it's evident that
Boston College is confused

by the offense
Syracuse is running.

You lost me, Ben.
The right tackle moves to the left,

he covers the tight end.

But if he's on the left side, we cover
the tight end, I can't pass to him.

The Holy Cross defenders are
desperately trying to position themselves

to best play against
this formation.

Petey, am I talking
French here?

Tackle lines up inside
the tight end, does he not?

It's unbalanced, right?
Do we shift again, Coach?

Yes, they shift.
They all shift.

They have to shift.
They must shift.

Shift, shift, shift.

All right, so you've got
everybody and their dog

shifted over to
the left. Now what?

We are going to run it...

We are going to run it... the right. the right.
- To the right, Coach?

But that's away
from our strength.

The weak side of the field.

So, we're going to
run to the weak side?

I like the way that
you think, Mr. Davis.

Gentlemen, when you have a thoroughbred,
you do not lock him in the barn.


I will take one-on-one
out here all day long.

That just might
work, Coach.

Damn right.

"Ernie Davis is a bull-necked,
steel-shouldered running back

"from Syracuse University, who
can run a football field's length

"in 10 seconds flat."
- 10 seconds?

Okay, put that
away now, please.

Don't you be modest.

Thank you.
- Be proud, Ernie.

You're in the same
magazine as Reverend King,

that's something.
- Yeah.

That is something, but Sarah, it looks
like you didn't read the best part.

"In his spare time, the bull-necked
Ernie Davis enjoys sewing,

"baking lasagna, and writing
songs for his church choir."

Ernie, you never invite me to church.
- Very funny, very funny.

I'm hurt. What is that?
- Ernie? Ernie.

Can I have a word
with you, please?

Make me some lasagna.

He can take it.

Good to see you.
- That's Mr. Andreas.

Just turn left there.

"He maketh me to
lie down in green pastures.

"He leadeth me
beside the still waters.

"He restoreth my soul.

"He leadeth me in the paths of
righteousness for his name's sake.

"Yea, though I walk through the
valley of the shadow of death,

"I will fear no evil,
for thou art with me.

"Thy rod and thy staff..."

40 years, Pops worked underground.

Seems wrong to put him
right back in there.

And the drive deep into
left field. And it's a home run!

"And his grace which was
bestowed upon me was not in vain."

"His grace
which was bestowed..."

"... upon me
was not in vain."


Now, we barely got by West Virginia
when we played them here last year,

and they've been licking their
chops waiting for us ever since.

They play by a
different set of rules.

It will be hostile.

Their fans are unruly,

especially when they're
playing against a team that

looks a little
different than they do.

Now, load up.

God damn it!

Hey, Squirrel!

Didn't I tell you to
put new laces in these?

I forgot. I'll do it now.

His name is Donald.


His name is Donald.

Hell, Squirrel,
I don't know which one's worse.

But you see, Davis, around here,
Squirrel finishes the laces.

If it makes you happy,
you can shine them for me.

Hey, come on!

Get him off!

Hey! Knock it off!


What the hell's
going on in here?

Where are you going,
Davis? Davis!

I'm talking to you!

Hey, you guys all saw it.
Coach, he went crazy on me.

All right,
everyone, listen up.

Everyone is to keep their
helmet on at all times,

whether you're in
the game or not.

I don't want anyone
hurt by flying bottles.

Davis, Buckley, Baker, you
stay in the middle of the pack.

Keep your heads down.

It must be Halloween,
'cause here come the spooks!

We'll be safer
out on the field.

All right, let's go!

Come on, boys!
Let's go!

The unbeaten
Syracuse Orangemen

have made the journey
to Morgantown, West Virginia.

They'll face a rugged
Mountaineer team.

And there's the boot. Baker
takes the football up to the 20,

the 30, the 40 and he's finally
brought down at the 47-yard line.

Offense, let's go.
- Look alive, let's go.

A full house. 495 dive
on two, on two. Ready?


Okie. Okie.


The Orangemen break the
huddle, first and 10.

Out of the full-house

The give is to Ernie Davis.
Davis spins at the line of scrimmage

where he's met by a host
of West Virginia tacklers.

Get him off him!
Play football!

Huddle up, 70.

We will get no justice
from the refs tonight.

All right, guys. We're gonna
run it till they stop it.

Right, full house. dive, on one, on one. Ready?

- Break!

Same play! Same play! Same hole.
Run it. Same play, same hole, on one.

Run it.
- Strong left!

- Set!

Second down at
six yards to go.

Hut one!

The Orangemen go back to Ernie Davis.
Davis is met with a wall of Mountaineers.

And Davis reverses field
with a tremendous move.

What's he doing?

Davis picks up a big block

and with a stiff arm, gets free
into West Virginia territory.

Shit, he's going in.

He's at the 20,
the 10, inside the 5!

No! Knee down, right here.

It certainly appeared
from our vantage point here

that Ernie Davis has
scored on this play.

I got you
down at the 1.

You were down!

No, I got in,
Mr. Official.

Sir, I got in.
You saw me...

You want a
penalty, boy?

Get back in
that huddle now.

Brokaw, come here!
- Yes, Coach.

Come on, son.
Go get us six. Go!

Davis, come in!
Come in, son. Come in.

Come on, son. Let's go.
- For me?

You're holding up the game. Let's go.
- I got it.

First down Syracuse.

Why'd you pull me, Coach?
I took it down there. Let me score.

If I let you carry that
ball across the goal line,

all of us, we might not get
back on that bus in one piece.

That's the way they
do things down here.

Sarette hands off to Brokaw,

who punches the ball home,

and the Orangemen
have grabbed a 6-0 lead

against the Mountaineers
on their own home turf.

Go home, blackie!

First down for the Orangemen.
Ball at the West Virginia 42-yard line.

Sarette with the fake.

Ernie Davis across the left side breaks
the tackle and gets into the open field.

Good run! Good run!

Brokaw, come here.
- Yeah, Coach.

Strong right, fullback
wedge eight. Go!

Ernie, Ernie!

Brokaw, get in there!

Right full house, 40 broom.
On one, on one. Ready.

- Break!

get off the field.

Now, you got a white man telling
you what you can and can't do...

... one hundred years
away from here...

Ref, time out. Time out.

You don't have any more.

We are still not yet...

You're just his
educated nigger.

They gonna be
looking up to you.

I think you owe them more
than just running a ball.

What the hell do you
think you're doing?

What did I tell you
about the rules down here?

What are you... We just scored.
- Bullshit.

You scored! We're a team.
I'm the coach.

You're a goddamn running back.
You're my goddamn running back,

and you will do what I tell
you, when I tell you to do it.

Now, you plant your ass
down on that bench.

Am I invisible?

- Am I invisible to you?

Am I an X, an O in your goddamn playbook,
or do you see a person standing here?

Am I Avatus Stone?
Am I Jim Brown?

Just a running back?
That's bullshit!

You're about
this close, Davis.

Come on, let's go.

You know, maybe,
just maybe, Coach,

the rules down here
are your rules, too.

That's enough.
Come on.


You all right?


Good game.

Good game, Ben.
- Mike?

I tried not to
run up the score.

I know. You just had
our number tonight.

Say, Ben, how many coloreds
you got playing for you?

Three, why?

You just be careful, Ben.
They got no discipline.

Too many of them and they'll
take the team away from you.

Now, you give my
best to Reggie.


Can I sit down?

I'm sorry I lost my temper.

But I'm not sorry I stayed in the
game, and I'm not sorry I scored.

Now, what kind of
an apology is this?

I've never walked off
the field for anybody.

These people down
here, they're dug in.

They're set in their
ways. We got...

Coach, that...

You're just hiding
behind those words.

I have a responsibility
to my team, Davis.

That's not how
it has to be.

Yes. Jack, Art and me,
we're all a part of your team.

But we can't run across that
goal line down here without you.

It doesn't mean a damn
thing unless you're with us.

Is that it?

And in college
football, the Syracuse Orangemen

continue their dominance of the
Eastern Conference with a 29-0...

Fans, I wish
all of you could be here

to see what these eyes
have just witnessed.

... brilliant displays of athletic
talent I've seen on any gridiron.

Come on, guys!
Sustain your block!

... led by Ernie Davis,
from Elmira, New York.

Another jaw-dropping
performance here at Navy Memorial Stadium.

I tell you one
thing, he's electrified this crowd.

The unbeaten
Syracuse Orangemen...

who has been

nothing short of brilliant
today, reserves the victory

for coach Ben Schwartzwalder
and the Syracuse Orangemen.

... nothing
but a hound dog

You know it!

Crying all the time

Well, you ain't never
caught a rabbit

And you ain't no
friend of mine

Settle down.
Listen up, boys.

All right, listen up.
Listen up!



Undefeated with a number one
ranking is something to be proud of.




Mr. Andreas
has informed me

that we have been offered
two different bowl games,

the Orange Bowl in Miami

and the Cotton
Bowl in Dallas.

Now, in Miami, we would play
Georgia, ranked ninth in the polls.

And in Dallas, we would play Texas,
ranked second, right behind us.

If we win either game, we
will be the national champions.

Texas is the tougher
opponent, the tougher team.

But to be the best, I believe
you have to beat the best.

So, I guess you know how I would
vote, but this is your vote.

This is your team.
Your decision.





- Texas.

- Texas.





Looking forward to it!
- Texas.

- Texas!

- Texas.


A lot of people think
the Texas Longhorns

are the best team
in the nation.

One big reason is Clay Taylor.

All-American, best Division
One tackle in the nation

three years in a row.

Now, some folks even think that the
only reason that we are undefeated

is because we have not met
Clay Taylor and his teammates.

I want everyone to take a good long
look at what we're up against here

because in Texas,
football is a religion.

You think we been south?

We ain't been south
till we go to Texas.

give me a goose-step.

We are now faced
with a far different problem.

The forcible integration of the
public schools of Little Rock

against the overwhelming sentiment
of the people of the area.

Two, four, six, eight!

We don't want to integrate!

Two, four, six, eight!

We don't want to integrate!

We still have
the attitude of love,

we still have the method
of passive resistance

and we are still
insisting emphatically,

that violence is

That he who lives by the
sword will perish by the sword.

This is quite a ruckus.

Hey, Ernie,
Roger Page, Channel Nine.

They're calling this game
the North against the South.

In light of what's
going on in this country,

do you feel added pressure
to represent change?

We don't concern
ourselves with politics.

We're just here to
play a great football game

and take home
the championship.

To be honest, Mr. Page,
when I'm out on that field,

I only think about
winning the game.

But that doesn't mean I don't
know the color of my own skin.

Let's check in.

We've got a problem, Ben.


The Aristocrat Hotel does not
allow coloreds to stay here.

I need my team together, Lew.

Now, you do whatever it takes
to make that happen.

What's the problem?
What's the problem here?

Right this way, gentlemen.

Fellas, looks like we once
again found the Negro wing.

State seven!
State seven!

- Double tight! Double tight!

Wing left,
watch it.


Do you think it is
the New York City Ballet

that's going to be running
up your ass on New Year's day?

These are the goddamn
Texas Longhorns!

If you cannot fight off
blocks better than that,

let's just get on
the bus and go home.

Run the play again!


My hamstring!

This may be
a blessing in disguise.

Look at these.

Where did you get these?

Where did I get them?

They were sent to the
hotel to your boys.

Scare tactics.

Doesn't have a goddamn
thing to do with football.

We shouldn't play him.

Maybe not even Art or Jack
but especially Ernie.

The NCAA is on my back.

Even the Mayor of Dallas is
nervous, afraid of race riots.

Lew, you hired me to win.

Well, I'm here at
the goddamn Cotton Bowl,

and this time
we're gonna win it.

So why don't you tell that
to the Mayor of Dallas?

I'm playing. You hear me?
I'm playing.

You're goddamn right you are.

There's an electricity
in the air today in Dallas.

And, as you can see from
the clear skies behind me,

it's not
a local thunderstorm.

All eyes are on the field
as undefeated Syracuse,

the Beast from the East,

takes on Texas, the power
of the Southwest Conference.

Do I need to say anything?

Come on, it's on!

Come on, it's on, the
Cotton Bowl. Come on, Marie.

Come on. Come on. Come on.

All right, all right.

Get two ice teas,

And the Cotton Bowl.

Drop your heads.

Our Father,
who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come,
thy will be done...

fancy seeing you here.

You taking a look at Davis?

I've seen him.


In a Redskins uniform?

I think he'd look better
in a Cleveland uniform.

Now, wouldn't that
be something?

Ladies and gentlemen,
please give a warm Texas welcome

to the Syracuse
University Orangemen.

With a phenomenal record
of 10-0,

Ben Schwartzwalder and his
mighty Orangemen of Syracuse,

ranked number in the nation,

take the field here at the
historic Cotton Bowl in Dallas

to face Darrell Royal

and the second-ranked
Longhorns of Texas.

You ready for this?

I'm ready.

Get off the field!

If the Orangemen are going to
be successful moving the football today,

they're going to have to go
through Clay Taylor and Pete Logan,

two very dominant
football players

and the defensive leaders
for the Longhorns.

Davis, hamstring.


Syracuse receives!

That's what we wanted.

Go, boy.
- Get them.

Ernie, if you get the ball,
go all the way.

Let's go!Let's go!
- Let's go, four-four.

And the Cotton Bowl is underway.

Offense! Let's go!

An incredibly
enthusiastic crowd on hand

as Syracuse lines up
for its first series.

I've been waiting
for this nigger.

Okie. Okie. Set!

I'm about to kick your black
ass back to Africa, boy.

Oh, yeah?
Too bad I'm from Philly.

The give
is to Ernie Davis.

He gains two yards and is brought
down quickly by Taylor and Logan.

We're in the Cotton
Bowl, not the cotton patch, boys.

Personal foul, ref!
- 84!

84, ref.

The handkerchief
on the field.

There appears to be some late
contact by both Taylor and Logan.

Holding, offense!

That's bullshit.
- Will!

But there, did you see that?
- I saw it.

You don't stop this quick,
it's gonna get out of hand.

That's one.
You've been warned.

"I've been warned."
What are you, my first grade teacher?

Sophomore Davis is
clearly favoring his right leg

as he moves back to
the Orangemen huddle.

Okay, on one,
on one. Ready?

The Orangemen
facing first and 20.

It's to Davis.

Runs to his left.
Looks to throw.

Now cuts back to the right

with a dazzling spin move,
and sheds the tackler.

He turns the corner.
He's in the clear. He's gone!

Quick. Go! Go! Go! Go!


He's drilled out of
bounds at the 3-yard line.

And now Davis, who's lying
prone on the sidelines,

appears to be
either exhausted or hurt.

I can't believe
they caught him.

Ernie, get up!

Ernie! Ernie!

Ernie, you all right?

Davis is finally
helped to his feet

by All-American
tackler Jack Buckley.

One has to wonder

just what kind of shape Ernie Davis is in.
- I told you.

Syracuse, first down
at the Longhorn three.

The give is to the right
halfback, Gerhard Schwedes.

Outstanding block by Davis.

He crosses the goal line
to put Syracuse on the board.

Here in the second quarter

Coach Ben Schwartzwalder and his
top-ranked team find themselves

on top of
the Texas Longhorns, 7-0.

- Break!

The Orangemen are knocking
on the door once again.

State seven!
State seven!

Set! Hut one.

The give is to Ernie Davis and
the sophomore finds the end zone,

as the Orangemen increase
their lead on the Longhorns!

So precisely when is it
you're going to

start kicking my
black ass back to Africa?

Hey, Buckley!

Hey, come on, stay cool.

They're baiting us.
- They're baiting them.

Hey, Logan, Taylor,
44 is embarrassing you.

And after a successful
two-point conversion

the Orangemen of Syracuse
lead the Longhorns of Texas

by a score of 15-0.

McKinley on
a sweep to the right.

Bobby Lundy steps up and
there's a huge hit on McKinley.

And the ball is loose,
recovered by the Orangemen

and Syracuse takes over.


that's a cheap shot.

A late hit by Talbert
on Ernie Davis

after the play
was whistled dead.

Back! Everybody,
back! Back! Back! Back!

You all right, son?
You okay?

I'm all right, Coach.

All right. You sure?
- Yeah.

Offense on the field.
Let's go!

Told you this would get out
of hand. This is bullshit.

Syracuse will run
one last play before halftime.

Pack your bags, spook.

Scoreboard, eight-four.

Come on,
let's just play ball.

You defending this nigger?

How you gonna call yourself
a white Christian?

I'm Jewish.

Hut one!

That's another late hit.

And once again,
Ernie Davis is pummeled!

Break it up, ref!

Come on, ref,
do something.

And both teams
are clearing their benches

and heading to
the middle of the field.

Ref, I told you to
do something about this.

This has become a fiasco.
It's a donnybrook.

My God, no.
- This...

This is no longer a football
game, ladies and gentlemen.

Is somebody
gonna stop this?

... ugly display...

Get off! Get off the field!

Hey, Coach!

Get off of him!
- Break it up!

Petey, you all right?

You guys see
what happened?

Come on,
cozy up to the blackboard.

You see what happened,
Lundy? That's what I'm telling you.

You can't let people
talk to you like this,

be pounding on your leg
the whole time.

I know, but you'll
get ejected. They won't.

You're done for the day.

We're up by 15.
We can take it from here.

Coach, I can still get
back out there and play.

No, I want you to
put some ice on that leg.

I had a halftime speech
all planned out.

It seemed pretty good
up till about 10 minutes ago.

It was all about victory
and champions and glory.

But this is not
just a game anymore.

We're fighting something else
out on that field right now.

And I can see it
just as clearly as you.

And that's why
winning this one

means nothing
if you lose yourselves.

Don't give this one away.

Keep it. Hold on to it
for yourselves

and for everyone
in this room.

It's here. It's right here.

And no one can
take it from you, gentlemen.

Not the officials,
not the crowds

and certainly
not the other team.

It belongs to you, gentlemen.

Don't you let anyone
steal history away from you.

- Glory!

As play resumes
here at the Cotton Bowl,

Ernie Davis has not joined
the rest of the Orangemen

for the second half.

Down 15 to nothing,
the Longhorns are

desperate to get
something on the board.

Bobby Lackey
drops back to pass.

And it's complete
to Bobby Gurwitz

for a 69-yard
Texas touchdown!

What a throw by the Heisman-hopeful
quarterback from Texas.

A 69-yard touchdown pass
caught by number 24, Bobby Gurwitz.

Goal line,
goal line. Ready?

Darrell Royal and Texas
opt to go for the two-point conversion.

Another walloping tackle
by Syracuse's Bob Lundy.

That'll mean
something later on.

through the third quarter,

Syracuse protecting a 15-lead against the Longhorns.

- Hut, hut!

Sarette with a fake to Baker.

Options to Schwedes.

Schwedes is hammered by
Muehling and coughs up the ball.

All right! Let's go!

Protect the ball!

And watch out! The Longhorns
are building some momentum.

Texas, knocking on the door
at the goal line.

Bobby Lackey calls his own
number and finds the end zone.

The Longhorns have suddenly given
us a football game here in Dallas.

Lackey drops back to pass,

and it's complete to Paul.

Syracuse 15, Texas 14.

The Longhorns have made it
a one-point game.

Tough break.

I mean, they probably
got it in hand.

Baker, Schwedes,
they're good backs.

But no sense in
getting hurt worse, right?

Entering the fourth
quarter of play,

the tension level here at
the Cotton Bowl is palpable.

We let them
right back in the game.

Coach, Davis.

All right, boys, keep your heads
in the game. Don't worry about it.

Ernie, what are you doing?

I need to talk to you, Coach.
I need you to ice that leg.

I already have. I need
to talk to you for a sec.

No, no, you are not playing.
- Just listen to me for a sec.

You can watch,
but you cannot play.

Just hear me out, Coach.

Coach, on the trip down here I saw
a lot of things out that bus window.

Now, we get to Dallas,
they got me, Jack and Art

in a tiny room with cots.

We can't use the elevator 'cause
we might scare the white folks.

Can't even walk in
the front door of a hotel.

Now, all those people
who did that,

who believe that's right,
are watching.

But you know what,
so are they.

Can you even run?

Yes, sir.

I don't want to
hurt you anymore.

I'm ready.

All right.

Strong load right,
42 shovel pass.

- Let's go, Ernie.

And now the 76,000 fans at
the Cotton Bowl are stunned!

Ernie Davis has
returned to the playing field.

Let's go.

Man, that's Ernie Davis!

Strong left.

Six regular!
Six regular! Tight.

The Orangemen,
ball on their own 40-yard line,

are desperate
for a first down

to keep the ball
out of the hands

of Longhorn quarterback
Bobby Lackey.

And the ball comes loose.

Texas has recovered.

His knee was down, ref.

First down, Texas!

Bad call, ref.

My knee was down, sir.

They're trying to steal it from us.
- I was down.

Franklin, Franklin,
get in there for Davis, go.

No. Get back. I'm staying
in. I'm staying in.


Texas on the 40-yard line with
the ball and with the game's momentum.

Bobby Lackey
drops back to pass.

Throws downfield,
he's got a receiver open.

Go! Go!

All the way!
All the way!

That's the way.
Offense, offense, let's go!

Let's take advantage.

Get out there. Let's go!

First down,
10 yards to go from the 13.

Syracuse has to
move the chains

and keep the clock
ticking down

or put this game away
with another touchdown.

Hut one.

Yeah! Yeah, go, go, go!

He's behind you. Go!

That's it! That's it.

He got this. Go!

unbelievable play!

Ernie Davis scoring

on an amazing
87-yard catch and run!

With the final seconds
ticking away...

Stay in the game.

Stay in the game.
It's not over.

... the Longhorns are looking
to tie this game up

with a last chance
shot at the end zone.

All right, ladies, settle down. Settle
down. Give me your undivided attention. Hey!

It's just been announced,

the 1960 Cotton Bowl MVP.
Congratulations to Mr. Ernie Davis.


Come here.

Congratulations, brother.

All right,
everybody, listen up.

This gentleman
wants to say something.

Go ahead.

What the man is trying to say is
that the trophy ceremony in our honor

will be held at Oak Hill
Country Club tonight.

- Very nice.

Unfortunately, the Oak Hill
Country Club is color restricted.

Which means
that three of us,

including the player who was awarded
the Cotton Bowl MVP today, cannot attend.



Now, how do we
feel about that?

I don't know about you,

but I hear they have some
great barbecue down here.

You read it.

"To Syracuse University
department of athletics.

"This is to inform
you that Ernest Davis

"has been selected as one of
the three finalists for the..."

Congratulations, Ernie.

We're ready
for you, Mr. Davis.

... or witnessed more closely...

Good luck, Mr. Davis.

Thank you, sir.

... the importance of the gridiron
or effected more change in the game...

... than John W. Heisman. So,
it is with distinct pleasure...

No matter what
happens up there,

I want you to know that I'm
really proud of you, son.

... the memorial
trophy bearing his name.

The first is Ernest R. Davis
from Syracuse University.

Our next nominee is Robert Ferguson,
Ohio State University.

Our third nominee is James Saxton,
the University of Texas.


Thanks, man.

The Heisman Trophy has,

since 1935, represented everything that
is great about collegiate athletics.

And these three fine young men
represent their teams, their schools

and their families
with honor.

The voting for this year's
award was the closest in history

and each of these
players is deserving.

That said, the winner of this
year's Heisman Memorial Trophy is

Ernest R. Davis from
Syracuse University.


Thank you.


I appreciate it.

Congratulations, Ernie.
- Thank you.

You did great.

First, I'd like to thank
the Heisman committee.


my family,




And Pops for
believing in me.

And Jim Brown for letting
me wear his number.

I'd also like to thank my
head coach, Ben Schwartzwalder,

for making me better,
being a good teacher,

and for being a good man.

Thank you, everyone.

Where exactly
are we going?

Right this way.

Ernie, I was in town and I wanted
to get a chance to meet you.

I know today is a proud day for you.
You've really accomplished something here.


Thank you, Mr. President.

Fourth down, 9 yards.

Must be nice having the number
one draft pick, huh, George?

I'm sure Ernie Davis
is a fine boy,

but I'll start signing Negroes when the
Harlem Globetrotters start signing whites.

Mr. Modell, George Marshall from the
Washington Redskins is on the phone.

Of course he is.

George, what a surprise
to hear from you.

You do?
Okay, I'm listening.

It's all
over the wire.

The Redskins just traded their
number one pick to Cleveland.

You're a commodity now.

Yeah, you should listen to your lawyer,
man. He's right. It's all business now.

Have you been sick recently?

No, I feel great.

I may be a commodity, but this
commodity is playing for Cleveland.

Me and Jim Brown in
the same backfield.

You're gonna steal
his number again?

Oh! Oh!

Stop it.

I don't want to leave.

You don't have to leave.

I do.

I should bring you with me.

Just jump in my suitcase.
You know you can fit.


Oh, no.
- Oh, I slipped.

I'm sorry.

That was a mistake, too. I'm sorry.
- Uh-huh. Uh-huh.

I have to get
you a new blouse.

Look at you.

What are you doing?

He's at the 10.

The 20, the 30...

The 40...

Is that another
nose bleed?

You know, Hound Dog
says he gets hit so hard,

he wakes up with blood on his pillow.
Doesn't even know where it came from.

But you haven't been hit.

Ernie, you haven't
been hit. What...

Bus leaves for practice
in a half hour.

Be here when I get back?

I'll be here.

Right two to Maury,
right two to Maury.

Set? Go!

Change your block, change your block.

Behind me, the East team led by
Syracuse's Ben Schwartzwalder.

Ernie Davis goes
through the paces

in preparation for Saturday
night's All-America game.

Davis look a little sluggish to you?

He'll be fine.

Tight right,
34 wide dig. Ready?

Come on!
- Break!

Okie. Okie.

Watch. Strong left.
Strong left!


Six box!
Six box! Set!

Hut! Hut!

All right, let's run
it again. Let's go.

It's all right.
You'll get them next time. Come on.


Ernie? You okay?

He's got to have another transfusion.
He's lost quite a lot of blood.

How'd he do that?
- We're not sure.

He's gonna need
further tests.

So test.
- Gentlemen.

Now what am I supposed
to tell the press?

- What?

He's got a bad
case of the mumps.

That's good.

Double tight!
Double tight! Down!


Blue 3-21!

Blue 3-21!

Hut! Hut!

Hey, Ernie!

The man wants to see you.

All right, get back.
- Let's go.


Hey, Mr. Modell.

- How are you?

I'm good. I've been
watching you.

I'm still trying to
find my rhythm out there.

You know, new system and all.
- Yeah, listen, Ernie.

All I need is some rest.
- Yeah, the system is...

Once I get used to it...

All right.
Ernie, Ernie, Ernie,

I spoke with
Dr. Hewlett and...

Look, he doesn't know what it is, but
they know something's not right, Ernie.

I should have told you earlier, kid.
I really can't clear you for practice.

If I can't practice,
how am I gonna play?

You're not gonna
play. Not now.

And maybe not
this season.

Well, when?

I don't know.

I don't know, kid.

Get better, okay?
Your job is to get well.

Mr. Modell,
you don't understand.

Everything I got is
because of football.

I need to play.


Mr. Modell, please, sir.

Next year, kid. We're counting
on you next year. Really.

Thank you.

Thank you, sir.

Did you hear back from
the teaching job yet?


They offered it to me.

That's great.

I told them I had
to think about it.

What's to think about?

The distance between
Cleveland and Oakland for one.

Take it.


Take the job, Sarah.

You've always said you want
to do something with your life.

You didn't just come to
school just to find a husband.

You're beautiful, smart.

Stick to that dream.

How sick are you, Ernie?

Look at me.


Ernie Davis?

I hate to disturb you, but would
you sign an autograph for my son?

He's 12, and you're
his favorite player.

Gonna be great to see
you with the Browns.

Thank you.

You're welcome.


It's a word that
jumps out at you.

I know when I first
heard it myself,

I was...

I was scared.

But I got a lot of
people in my corner,

good people,

standing beside me.

My doctors are confident.

They tell me I'm responding
well to my treatment.

So, things are good.

And you know me. I'm an
optimist. I'm gonna fight it.

I hope to get on that field and see
you all in that press box real soon.

Real soon.

Mr. Davis, Tom Martin,
Saturday Evening Post.

I saw you play in the
Cotton Bowl two years ago.


I'm wondering if you'd like
to write an article for us.

You want me to
write an article?

I don't know whether
you know this,

but you're an inspiration
to a lot of our readers.

There he is,
number 77.

He's as good as me?

Maybe better.

Hey, Ernie.

Ernie, this is Floyd Little.
Floyd, this is...

Ernie Davis.

2,386 yards,
360 carries,

6.6 yards a carry.

You good at math, huh?

You see, my plan
is to be just like you,

best Negro running
back in the NCAA,

Heisman Trophy
all the way.

Then the NFL,
make some money.

You got it all
figured out, don't you?

What kind of bottle
do you think this is?

Don't know.
Don't have a label.


It could be a soda bottle,

it could be a beer bottle,
it could be anything.

No label.

You see, I never set out to be
the best Negro running back.

I just wanted to be
the best running back.

The best football player
I could be. Period.

Look, now I'm...

Floyd, I'm never gonna
play for Cleveland.

Or any other team.

My playing days are over.

So don't you look at that poster
of me on your wall and tell me

you want to be like me,
because that isn't enough.

You're gonna have to
do better than that.

You think you can?

Yes, sir.


But the thing is, I told Notre
Dame I would sign with them.

Floyd, you know how Notre
Dame loves their passing game.

My fear is a talented
runner like yourself

may get stuck polishing that
Notre Dame bench with your butt.

You don't want that.

I want to know something.


What the hell did you
say to Floyd Little?

Why? What happened?

Well, I'll be damned,
he backed out on Notre Dame.

He's coming to Syracuse.

Well, let's see. I told him
you like your runners lazy,

and you like players
who backtalk.


Anything else?

I told him you
were a good coach.

I'm not gonna
lie to him, Ernie,

because I know how hard
it's gonna be for him.

And I promise,
if he works hard,

he can run for that end zone whether
he's in Boston or Mississippi.

And I won't tell him that
he's the next Ernie Davis,

because there won't
be another Ernie Davis.

Can you believe they suited me up
to run on the field and take a bow?

I'll be right
here with you, son.

welcome to the field,

number 45, from Syracuse
at halfback, Ernie Davis.

Mr. Martin, in the end
it turns out you did me a favor

when you asked me to
write this for The Post.

You see, yesterday
was my 23rd birthday,

and compared to some, that doesn't seem
like a whole lot of life to talk about.

Thing is, I don't know how
much more is in front of me.

And as you see from the number
of pages, if you've read this far,

I did have a few things to say,
and I'm not sure how to end this

or even if I want to.

It's funny. Most people think my
life has been all about football.

I've even thought
that myself.

But football is just a game.

What matters is
what you play for.

Sometimes, when the game is close
and everything is on the line,

that's when you forget
the crowd and the noise.

That's when it's just you against
somebody else to see who is the better man.

That's what I like about the game.

Because at that
moment you are friends

and you are enemies

and you are brothers.

Special thanks to SergeiK.