Books and Movies Reviews

We are Marshall: Tragic Plane Crash That Killed Most of Marshall University’s Varsity Football Team

The 2006 film We are Marshall opens with the tragic plane crash that killed most of Marshall University’s varsity football team. Everyone on the flight died including the coaching staff. The college president plans on canceling Marshall’s football program, not just because of the tragedy but also because of his conflicts with the NCAA. However, the students and residents of the West Virginia town rally in support of the Marshall team. A few players who were not on the flight due to illness also champion the team’s revival, partly out of respect for their fallen teammates but also for their passion for the sport.President Dedmon finds a new coach, Jack Lengyel (Matthew McConaughey), who tries to get the team back up and running in spite of all that has taken place.
Following in the footsteps of a recently deceased coach is tough work, especially after a huge tragedy like the one that affected Marshall. Moreover, Lengyel is young and inexperienced. The film is based on a true story, and many of the character and gameplay depictions seem realistic. What makes We are Marshall stand out is the way the filmmaker weaves in the issues related to the NCAA and the political imbroglios that college sports–or any sports management–encounters. The NCAA temporarily suspended a rule, for example, that prevented freshmen from playing on varsity teams and later that rule would become permanently scrapped. for historical reasons, the film is interesting for coaches to watch to see what professionals have to deal with in the course of their careers, unrelated to the field or to the locker room. More than many other sports-related movies, We are Marshallfocuses on psychological and political issues that affect coaching staff. Therefore, the film is well worth watching to lend insight into some of the extraneous issues coaches deal with as leaders and as professionals. Coaches are not just about motivating team members to succeed, leading them to v…

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