Wednesday, October 31

We Saved You a Plate (Well, ESPN Did)

Photo by Marion Post (Wolcott), 1940. Courtesy of the Library of Congress

"We Saved You a Plate" is a weekly series showcasing an article from Gravy or Cornbread Nation, or a past symposium presentation, or a film. We serve it up, you gulp it down.

Okay, we're cheating a little bit, but this post totally falls into the category of "catch it now if you missed it the first time."

We're big fans of the work of Oxford-based sportswriter Wright Thompson. He's covered everything from SEC football to South Asian cricket for and ESPN The Magazine, and he's got a knack for finding the universally human, "this-is-more-than-just-an-[insert name of sporting event]" threads that underlie simple wins and losses. And yes, he recently guest edited an awesome sports-themed issue of our Gravy foodletter.

Last night, Wright made his film debut as the screenwriter and narrator of Ghosts of Ole Miss, directed by Fritz Mitchell and part of ESPN's acclaimed "30 for 30" movie series.

Ghosts of Ole Miss is a story about football and civil rights—not necessarily in that order. In the fall of 1962, the Ole Miss football team had its most successful season in history. The Rebels went undefeated and finished 3rd in the nation just as the University erupted into riots over the enrollment of James Meredith.

Whether or not you know the story of the University of Mississippi's integration, whether or not you have any interest in football, whether or not you've even been to Mississippi—watch this film. It comes on again tonight at 9 pm EST on ESPN2, and will be shown several more times next month.