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The Express [the Ernie Davis story]

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  • The Express [the Ernie Davis story]

    Hey, we're all sports nuts here, aren't we?

    Then go see The Express NOW!!!

    The story sticks pretty close to the facts, which is a good thing, because his story was epic all on its own. Very predictable, but if you're a sucker for sports biopics like me, you'll love it![/i]

  • #2
    I bet its great - Ernie Davis was a great college running back and little remembered - hopefully the film will help correct that somewhat.

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    • #3
      A must see!

      What I never understood however was why the Cleveland Browns would draft him? They already had the greatest back in the game and had traded away another great back in Bobby Mitchell, who might have been even better than Davis. Made no sense.

      Bob Furgeson a rugged fullback at Ohio State was the guy Davis barely beat out to win his Heisman. So we were going to have an African American win it that year.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Texas
        What I never understood however was why the Cleveland Browns would draft him? They already had the greatest back in the game and had traded away another great back in Bobby Mitchell, who might have been even better than Davis. Made no sense.
        Made lots of sense in the context of its time. My sense is that Pete Rozelle and the NFL office may have had a hand in the trade, or at least wanted to see it occur.

        First off, Davis was drafted by Washington, not Cleveland. The NFL draft was only a couple days after the AFL draft, and Davis had been picked by the Buffalo Bills.

        Before 1962, Washington had never had a black player. Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall had told Redskins owner George Preston Marshall that the DC Gov't (or the Federal Gov't, not certain which) would intervene and cancel his stadium (Griffith Park?) lease if he didn't integrate the team.

        As a team which had never had a black athlete, Washington was not in a great bargaining position for the best black collegian in the country, but Cleveland was. Cleveland coach Paul Brown had been at the forefront of reintegrating pro football, and Syracuse alum Jim Brown and Davis were good friends.

        Beyond that, this was to be the third year for the AFL, and Buffalo was looking at a local (Davis attended Elmira Free Academy and Syracuse U., both in upper state New York) as the star attraction to sell out the stadium.

        I think the NFL saw Cleveland as having the best shot at winning the bidding battle for Davis because of their integration history and the Brown-Davis connection. And Cleveland had the enormous Municipal Stadium with plenty of unsold tickets, so another star attraction presumably could only help.

        About a week or ten days after the NFL draft, Cleveland sent Bobby Mitchell and the rights to their No. 1 pick, running back Leroy Jackson, to Washington for the rights to Davis. Cleveland signed Davis another two weeks or so later: $80,000 over three years, the highest guaranteed rookie contract ever to that time.

        At least that's the way I heard the story from Philly locals whose daddies still worked in the NFL office after it had moved from Philly to New York.

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        • #5
          dj

          I've read more than once that Davis was drafted by the Browns...nope! You cleared that up. That was great...thanks!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Texas
            d
            I've read more than once that Davis was drafted by the Browns...nope! You cleared that up. That was great...thanks!
            That was made clear in the movie. You mean you haven't seen it yet??!! Boo!!!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Marlow
              Originally posted by Texas
              d
              I've read more than once that Davis was drafted by the Browns...nope! You cleared that up. That was great...thanks!
              That was made clear in the movie. You mean you haven't seen it yet??!! Boo!!!
              My ..must see..was to myself. I will see it!

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