2010 1227 xwam 204

Randy Snyder/The Herald-Dispatch Actor Matthew McConaughey performs push-ups with a football on Saturday, June 10, 2006, prior to filming sequences of "We Are Marshall" at Herndon Stadium at Morris Brown College in Atlanta. The movie depicts the fight to maintain Marshall's football program following the 1970 plane crash that claimed 75 lives, including Marshall football players, coaches, community members and flight crew. McConaughey portray Marshall head football coach Jack Lengyel.

HUNTINGTON -- Sports and movies are linked.

Athletes want to be movie stars and actors want to be athletes, wrote Todd Pataky, a contributor to the Bleacher Report website (www.bleacherreport.com).

Pataky's sampling of some of the best lines from sports movies listed "Caddyshack" and "We Are Marshall" at the top.

Funnyman Bill Murray as greenskeeper Carl Spackler in "Caddyshack" delivered the quip "It's in the hole" in a scene where he pretended to be playing in The Masters as he chopped the heads off flowers outside the pro shop at "Bushwood Country Club."

Although former Marshall University football coach Jack Lengyel didn't actually say it, one of the lines delivered by actor Matthew McConaughey, the actor playing Lengyel in "We Are Marshall," also made the list.

"We Are Marshall" covered the Marshall football team plane crash on Nov. 14, 1970, through the Young Thundering Herd's victory over Xavier at home in its second game of the 1971 season. The chartered jet bringing the team back from a loss at East Carolina crashed short of the runway at Tri-State Airport in Kenova. All 75 aboard died.

The movie has a scene where Lengyel (portrayed by McConaughey) addressed the team at Spring Hill Cemetery the morning of the Xavier game and said, "The funerals end today!" Six members of the 1970 team who could not be identified are buried at Spring Hill.

Lengyel: "When you take that field today, you've got to lay that heart on the line, men. From the soles of your feet, with every ounce of blood you've got in your body, lay it on the line until the final whistle blows. And if you do that, if you do that, we cannot lose. We may be behind on the scoreboard at the end of the game but if you play like that we cannot be defeated. Now we came here today to remember six young men and sixty-nine others who will not be on the field with you today, but they will be watching. You can bet your ass that they'll be gritting their teeth with every snap of that football. You understand me? How you play today, from this moment on is how you will be remembered. This is your opportunity to rise from these ashes and grab glory. We are. ... "

Young Thundering Herd: "Marshall!"

Lengyel: "We are. ... "

Young Thundering Herd: "Marshall!"

Lengyel: "We are. ... "

Young Thundering Herd: "Marshall!"

Lengyel: "The funerals end today!"

Lengyel said he talked with script writer Jamie Linden about the Young Herd visiting the grave site each year before the first game. Lengyel said he told no one about the trip. Only the team, coaches, trainers and managers went at 6 a.m. No administrators, boosters or fans.

McConaughey paraphrased the comments Lengyel gave to Linden. Lengyel said he did not use the "funerals end today" line.

"I said that to the universities we were playing because each were respectfully wanting to hold a memorial service when we played them," Lengyel said in an e-mail. "So I told them and the newspapers that the funerals have to end. Also, I would never had a cheer "We Are Marshall" at the grave site."

Lengyel noted that "We Are. ... Marshall" cheer didn't materialize until years later.

Marshall, which led 3-0 at halftime against Xavier, scored on the final play of the game to pull off the upset, 15-13.

"My last words I gave to the team were that they had in their hands the opportunity for one of the greatest upsets in the history of college football," Lengyel said.

"All we need is 30 more minutes of perseverance/dedication and tough, hard-nosed football and you will have a memory that will last a lifetime."

The sports movie lines "It's in the hole" and "The funerals end today" were one-two on the Bleacher Report list.

Tags

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.