Morning Buzz: Ready For A USC-Alabama Movie?

Does there need to be another movie on the USC-Alabama game in 1970?

Apparently, the answer is yes.

The USC Cinema School is partnering with Village Roadshow Entertainment to develop an original film on the game and its social implications.

Perhaps an encouraging sign is USC professor John Watson, who is a movie producer, is going to work with other USC alumni to write and develop the project.

That will hopefully mean the movie will be accurate and jettison the false tales that emerged like Alabama coach Bear Bryant taking USC fullback Sam Cunningham into the Crimson Tide locker room and belittling his own players. It never happened.

There have been plans for other movies on the USC-Alabama game for years. Showtime did a documentary titled “Against the Tide” in 2013 while HBO offered “Breaking the Huddle” in 2008.

Of course, whether the game had the impact of the legend is dubious. Six SEC schools had integrated by the 1970 season.

If you want to read a debunking of the USC-Alabama mythology, writer Tom Shanahan did it with this article.

Excerpt: “In 1968, Southern Methodist’s Jerry LeVias scored 8 points in a rout at Auburn. He integrated SEC end zones with his score two years before USC played Alabama, Also, in 1968, Tennessee’s Lester McClain scored six touchdowns. In 1969, Kentucky’s Wilbur Hackett was the first SEC Black team captain. And since Tennessee was a bitter Alabama rival, the Volunteers’ 1969 rout of of the Crimson Tide should be viewed as creating more of a stir than a non-conference 1970 game against USC.”

USC defeated Alabama, 24-14, in 1978 en route to the national title.

23 thoughts on “Morning Buzz: Ready For A USC-Alabama Movie?

    1. I’m waiting for the True Life Adventure show that’ll be aired on ABC on November 19th….

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Disagree.
    ….I was but a wee lad in 1970, but I snatched the LA Times Sports page early each morning from dad (not a sportsfan) to read up on “everything sports” in LA and Nationwide. Count Chocula or Frankenberry along with Jim Murray was a great start to a kid’s day. In 1967 I took my first visit to the deep South by a very decent daddy, who showed me the segregated drinking fountains and restrooms STILL IN USE AT THE BACKWATER parts of the region. I recall him telling me, “Son, this is just wrong.”

    Bear Bryant and Bama football was deemed the royalty of CFB in 1970.
    Old school journalists fawned over the Bear. Hell, they were still doing it late in the decade when they awarded him his last Natty.

    To have an “upstart” school from THE LIBERAL THINKING WEST COAST come TO THE DEEP SOUTH and humiliate royalty WAS the tipping point. Having a few men of color in other SEC schools compete was not going to “push the needle” much–if at all. McKay lead his team into a hostile environment where CFB is their one-and-only TRUE religion and he fed them the Gospel.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. I hear ya…. but take heart: The rest of the country has had a belly full of California, Washington, Oregon and New York.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I think the Blogger gets it wrong, albeit inadvertently.

    Those other SEC schools that had a black player was fine and the right move.

    But he significance of USC’s visit and thrashing of Bama was because Blacks played a game in Alabama without getting shot or lynched.

    Whatever happened around the rest of the SEC probably foreshadowed that Blacks would be allowed to play in the South but it wouldn’t become “official” until a Black played inside the State of Alabama which was ground zero for alot of civil rights incidents.

    Those other teams didn’t bring a Black inside Alabama to play the game. But USC did. And then they were able to leave the state without the rednecks getting all annoyed.



    Liked by 3 people

  3. How much longer does USC stay in the Pac-12? If I am Bohn/Sosna/Riley, I am thinking of going independent (football only). I would still play maybe 5 games against Pac-12 teams in a year – UCLA, Washington, one of the Arizona teams, Stanford or Cal and one more team (probably Utah or Oregon), but I would stop playing teams like Oregon State, Washington State and Colorado because the media markets just are not big enough.

    Of course we would play Notre Dame every year. Then begin to foster rivalry games against Texas, Michigan every year. And with the rest of the games focus on other big media markets. Play a team or two in the northeast, a team in Florida. Build a schedule that is 100% focused on creating the biggest media contract in college football.

    And dont share the revenues with the Pac-12 schools. They all screwed us for years. Let them share in the revenues from our other sports. Not football.

    Time to put on the big boy pants.

    – Every year:
    #1 recruiting class and transfer class
    CFP playoff appearance
    Top media contract

    The rest of the college football teams either want to downplay the potential of USC, or they have just not been woken from their perfect dream, where USC is not a powerhouse.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Current Pac-12 rules state that if you leave the conference then all of your other campus teams must do so also.

      So, if USC football leaves the Pac-12, basketball, baseball and all sports, even USC women’s sports, have to leave, too.

      USC won’t do it because of how hard it would be to schedule games for all the other sports. Being in the Pac-12 conference gives teams a built in schedule. Kind of tough to have a full schedule for the volleyball team (and all other teams) if you had to pick and choose teams at random.



      Liked by 1 person

      1. True.
        Alternate Plan: Organize Million Man March —dismantle Pac 12 offices brick by brick….then drive their staff deep into Tijuana dressed as girls, doused in perfume….

        Liked by 1 person

  4. “Against the Tide” was pretty well done. It focused on the McKay-Bear Bryant friendship, and how that led up to the games.

    It has some great interviews with Sam Bam, which sadly, can’t be a part of the new production. He talked about how as a soph he didn’t even think he would get onto the field, much less have the day he did have. The ‘Bama O lineman and NFL HOF, John Hannah, IMHO, steals the show. He is interviewed several times, he has this slow drawl, in which he laughs his head off about just how big and fast and strong the USC team is. That they had never seen anything like that before. That after just one series, they knew it was over, there was no chance whatsoever they could compete. That they only stayed out on the field because they had to.

    There is an interview with some of the ‘Bama defensive assistant coaches from that time as well, who said “We told Coach Bryant we couldn’t stop Cunningham. That we didn’t think we could slow him down but we would try. We hoped silently that maybe we will get lucky and he will trip over a blocker.”

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I hope they do make the movie. It will help USC’s recruiting especially among the blacks. You might say that it is not accurate. But what is accurate? Can you believe anything that comes out of CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC or MSNBC or even ESPN. If you’re going to use mis-information, you might as well use it to your advantage…….that’s what all the dems do.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.