The Spectacle Blog

Glory Road forty years onward

By on 1.15.06 | 12:51AM

Most enjoyed Glory Road this evening, a recognizably friendly sports flick, recreating the back country El Paso underdogs rising with heroic sweat to win the big game of the NCAA championship in 1966. The heartfelt reason to see the movie is the music, a medley of Motown from the time that makes for sweet memory. It was fretful and puzzling to be seventeen years old in 1966, with LBJ, Vietnam, Cold War, civil rights, rock and roll, marijuana, and the perennial mystery of romance; but sitting in a suburban Philadelphia theater at Narbreth in a wet snow storm in 2006 while watching the turbulent sixties on the big screen with Smokey Robinson and the Temptations as accompaniement, I felt magical to have been there, even as a boy-man spectator. I think I remember watchng the actual victory on black and white tv, Texas Western defeating the imperial Kentucky, a black Cinderella ascending to the throne. Forty years passed like a Koufax fastball.

Forty years on, the same sports movie may feature a pickup soccer game in Djibouti or Karbala or Kandahar, and the montage will spin from the WTC falling to Saddam falling to Tehran falling, and the music will be the sentimental grousing of Eminem and T.J. Kool, and my son may duck in to watch it from a sudden storm, and he will think, forty years like a Rocket fastball..

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