Friday, December 22, 2006

We Are Marshall

When Mandy and I lived in West Virginia, we had the privilege of meeting and becoming friends with Allen and Jeannie Meadows and their boys, Eric and Todd. Allen and Jeannie were sterling examples to Mandy and me of godly parenting and leadership. We learned from their example, their commitment to their children, and their love for life.

During his collegiate years, Allen's claim-to-fame was being a member of the "Young Herd," the 1971 Marshall University football team whose story has inspired the movie "We Are...Marshall" which debuts nation-wide tonight. Bobby Ross has written an excellent piece here about Allen, the movie, and the invitation of the Norway Avenue church to all the 1971 Herd team members.

On Monday, the Fresno Bee had a piece drawing the Fresno State/Marshall connection in the person of Jack Lengyel. Lengyel, played by Matthew McConaughey, coached the Young Herd in the aftermath of the 1970 plane crash that ripped apart the Marshall football program and Huntington, West Virginia. Lengyel eventually left Marshall and wound up in the central Valley as the Athletic Director at Fresno State.
I just called Toney Stowers, the most avid of Thundering Herd fans for some technical advice. Where was he? In the drive-thru at McDonalds catching a snack while he, his dad, and adopted son made their way to the first showing of the movie. Something tells me the seats in the Kanawha Valley this weekend will be full as some relive and others are introduced for the first time to the history of Marshall football.
To see a brief trailer for the movie, you can go to this YouTube site.
Santa Claus is coming tonight! I know your calendar says he isn't supposed to arrive until Sunday night, but we got in touch with Santa and asked if he could come a couple of days early to the Gardner home. Mandy and the girls will be flying to Arkansas on Christmas Day so today is the big day of anticipation in our home. I am excited and anxious, waiting to see those smiles light up on the faces of my girls.