(From left) Burt Toler, Ed Brown, Gino Marchetti, and Ollie Matson were all key members of the 1951 USF football team, which went undefeated and is widely regarded as one of the best college football teams of all time. (Photo featured in 1951 Foghorn issue)

ESPN to Air Documentary About 1951 Dons Football Team

(From left) Burt Toler, Ed Brown, Gino Marchetti, and Ollie Matson were all key members of the 1951 USF football team, which went undefeated and is widely regarded as one of the best college football teams of all time. (Photo featured in 1951 Foghorn issue)

On Sunday, Feb. 9 at 4:00 p.m., the 1951 USF football team that famously refused to participate in a bowl game without their two African American players will be featured in a 60-minute ESPN documentary called ‘51 Dons. The documentary will air as part of the television network’s Black History Month Programming, and will tell the story of a team that had a legendary year, but chose to take a stance against racism instead of playing in the season’s most important game.

MatsonQuoteThe 1951 Dons squad enjoyed an incredibly successful season, finishing with a 9-0 record and ranking No. 14 in the country. In Bob St. Clair, Ollie Matson, and Gino Marchetti, the team had three players that would become future NFL Hall of Famers. USF was invited to play in the Orange Bowl, but only under the condition that Burl Toler and Matson, both African Americans, not accompany them to the game. In response to this demand, the Dons made it clear that they would not go to the Orange Bowl without their two teammates, which effectively removed them from the bowl game and ended their season.

Due to financial issues, 1951 was the last year that the San Francisco football team competed as an NCAA Division 1 sport. However, the impact of the Dons’ choice to stand by their teammates and make a statement against racism has been felt long after the end of the football program. Many of the school’s current values, such as the promotion of acceptance, tolerance, and diversity, are reflected in the football team’s decision that was made 63 years ago.

    Students who wish to view the documentary amongst their peers can attend a viewing party that will be hosted by Los Locos, USF’s spirit organization, at 3:30 on Sunday, Feb. 9 in the University Center First Floor Lounge. 

 

 

 

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Staff Editorial: Justin Bieber Sparks Political Outcry

You Better Belieb It

The Internet, and more specifically social media networks, never fail to provide us with plenty of opportunity to give our support for causes or voice our dissent on certain issues. One would think that would mean that our country would be a large body of participating and politically- and socially-aware citizens with the average weekly time spent online at an all-time high of 23 hours, according to an Aug. 2013 report by eMarketer.

Yet, we at the Foghorn have watched with astonishment as Justin Bieber’s recent ‘shenanigans’ topped the news charts as the most viewed news in the past couple weeks, and not just on tabloids or gossip sites, but the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal — known for their more serious reporting.

We watched on in horror as an MSNBC anchorwoman Andrea Mitchell cut off Congresswoman Jane Harman’s (D-CA) discussion on NSA surveillance reform to break the more pressing news of Justin Bieber’s arrest on DUI and drag-racing charges.

As a result of his news-topping antics, the White House will be forced to release an official statement in response to the ‘We The People’ petition, “Deport Justin Bieber and revoke his green card”, which has garnered over 242,000 signatures as of Monday. The text of the petition reads: “We the people of the United States feel that we are being wrongly represented in the world of pop culture. We would like to see the dangerous, reckless, destructive, and drug abusing, Justin Bieber deported and his green card revoked. He is not only threatening the safety of our people but he is also a terrible influence on our nations youth. We the people would like to remove Justin Bieber from our society.”

Surpassing the 100,000 mark is enough to gain the federal government’s attention, but the fact that people feel so strongly about this issue is saddening. More importantly, his charges of DUI and drag-racing are not bad enough to merit deportation, if our politically-involved signers had done their research; as reported by CNN, only “in the event of a violent crime or a prison sentence that exceeds one year”, can our star of the hour’s immigration visa be revoked and he be deported.

This is not the first time that the White House has had to comment on petty celebrity issues. Popular petitions, including the calling for the construction of a Death Star and the cancellation of Jimmy Fallon Live! after a particularly offensive segment, do not really seem to pertain to issues of greater, political impact. Why are we not sharing petitions on Facebook regarding the fact that our government has had open access to our private e-mails and phone conversations? Unfortunately, it seems that Rep. Harman’s interview would not have risen to YouTube fame if it were not for the breaking of Bieber’s arrest.

Bieber’s arraignment is set for Feb. 14, and until then, we can only hope that everyone will turn to more critical news. As politically conscious citizens, we hold the power of defining what is and what is not ‘news’ to us. If we continue to share YouTube videos and links spotlighting the more absurd topics, then we will find that our ever-reliable news stations and media outlets will further exacerbate the lack of awareness amongst our voting society members by feeding our demands and ‘interests’.