Some of my favorite moments from ‘We Are Marshall’

·2 min read

Notre Dame has “Knute Rockne, All American” and “Rudy” to be associated with. The Irish’s upcoming opponent, Marshall, has “We Are Marshall”, which was born out of circumstances far more tragic than those of a legendary coach or an inspiring walk-on. This movie deals with the aftermath of the plane crash that killed nearly every player and coach for the 1970 Herd. The effort to rebuild the program makes you get behind it.

I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t one of my favorite football movies. I guess I’m just a sucker for these feel-good movies, even if this one doesn’t happen against the best backdrop. After all, this isn’t something anyone in their right mind would wish on any community.

With the Irish and Herd about to have their first meeting, I thought this would be a good time to look at a few memorable moments from the flick:

Freshmen allowed to play

To make it easier for the Herd to rebuild their program, the NCAA allowed them to play freshmen on the varsity team. While that waiver wasn’t as hard to come by as the movie makes it out to be, this is an inspiring moment nonetheless:

Bobby Bowden helps coaches learn Veer

Marshall’s new staff learned about Bobby Bowden’s first-class nature years before millions more would. Not only did he help them figure out the offense they chose to run, but his players at West Virginia memorialized the tragedy on the backs of their helmets. What a dude he was:

'My shoulder's fine'

Reality quickly sets in that the young Herd are not ready to match up with most of their opponents. Captain Nate Ruffin, one of the few returning players who wasn’t on the plane, is dealing with a shoulder injury, but something else clearly is hurting him far more and has ever since the crash. This is a scene up there with Gale Sayers’ speech in “Brian’s Song” and Boobie Miles’ emotional breakdown in “Friday Night Lights”:

Pregame speech at cemetery

The first home game of the season means reminding the 1971 Herd what they were born out of. Coach Jack Lengyel opts to take his players to where a few members of the previous year’s team are buried. Check your pulse if you’re not ready to run through a brick wall at the end of this:

Story originally appeared on Fighting Irish Wire