Thursday, Nov. 15Southeastern Louisiana at Nicholls, 6 p.m. CT, Cox Sports TV/ESPN3Northwestern State at Stephen F. Austin, 6 p.m. CT, Eleven SportsSaturday, Nov. 17Central Arkansas at Abilene Christian, 2 p.m. CT, ESPN+Sam Houston State at Houston Baptist, 2 p.m. CT, Southland Digital NetworkLamar at McNeese, 3 p.m. CT, ESPN3Broadcast selections for Nov. 10 were announced last Monday. FRISCO, Texas – The Southland Conference and its broadcast partners have announced selections and start times for football games to be played on Thursday, Nov. 15, and Saturday, Nov. 17.The final Thursday night of the regular season features two rivalry games. The River Bell Classic trophy will be on the line when Southeastern Louisiana visits Nicholls, which will be broadcast regionally by Cox Sports Television. ESPN3 is set to stream Lions vs. Colonels, subject to blackout in Cox territory.The Battle for Chief Caddo, featuring the largest trophy in sports, is set for national television coverage on Eleven Sports. Stephen F. Austin hosts Northwestern State in the annual affair. Eleven Sports is available on DirecTV 623, while the Southland Digital Network will simulcast the action. The streaming platform can be accessed at Southland.org/live and Southland Conference apps, available for iPhone, Android, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Roku.Shifting to Saturday, the Southland Conference Game of the Week on ESPN3 features Lamar at McNeese. The Cowboys are currently part of a three-way tie for first place, while the Cardinals are just one game back. McNeese won last year’s Battle of the Border by a 13-3 score in Beaumont, and this season it’ll be Lamar crossing over the Sabine River and heading to Lake Charles.Central Arkansas at Abilene Christian will be covered exclusively by ESPN+, a premium multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer and International group in conjunction with ESPN. The network can be accessed through ESPN.com and ESPN apps. The service costs $4.99 per month, with a seven-day free trial available. The Southland Conference Digital Network will have live coverage of Sam Houston State at Houston Baptist.
Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Dave Chappelle donates P1 million to Taal relief operations Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Thompson said he loves that Boston is playing “hard and chippy.” But he knows if the Cavs don’t ease the burden on James, this fight could be over sooner than expected.“Other guys have to contribute and other guys have to step up,” Tristan Thompson said. “Of course, it’s a huge luxury having LeBron on our team. At the same time, we have to be ready to play and we have to do our job.”And get off James’ back.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James sits on the scorer’s table during a timeout in the first half in Game 2 of the team’s NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals against the Boston Celtics, Tuesday, May 15, 2018, in Boston. At left is teammate JR Smith. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)INDEPENDENCE, Ohio — LeBron James recovered quickly from his neck strain. There’s still too much stress on his back.He’s carrying the Cavaliers. It’s a springtime tradition.ADVERTISEMENT If Cleveland is to even the series at home, that has to change starting in Game 3 on Saturday.“We have to ramp it up,” said J.R. Smith, who didn’t score in Game 2 and committed a critical flagrant foul. “We’re playing too slow. We’re making ‘Bron play hero ball, which is tough to do, especially in the Eastern Conference finals. We got to help him. With that said, we have to give him an opportunity to make him feel confident to give us the ball so we can make the right plays. We got to help him and he’s got to help us.”Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said James “did everything” in practice Thursday, but the 33-year-old had left the floor by the time media members were allowed in for interviews. James was spotted in the fitness and training area inside the facility.Lue said the Cavs spent time breaking down video of the two losses. There was plenty to dissect.Cleveland has had puzzling defensive lapses, and Lue said there were up to nine instances in Game 2 alone where communication breakdowns led to easy baskets or open shots for the Celtics.ADVERTISEMENT As has been the case for much of his 15-year career, James has had to perform at an extraordinary level throughout these playoffs, most recently in Cleveland’s Game 2 loss at Boston.Bouncing back after taking a blow to the jaw from Jayson Tatum’s shoulder that violently twisted his head and sent a chill down the spines of Cleveland fans, James finished with 42 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownIt was not enough, however. His teammates failed him and the Cavs fell into a 2-0 hole in the Eastern Conference finals.Kevin Love (22 points, 15 rebounds) helped, so did Kyle Korver (four 3-pointers) and Tristan Thompson (8 points, 7 rebounds). But too many other Cavs ranged from mediocre to awful. On offense, Lue feels Smith and point guard George Hill, who have been outscored 72-12 in two games by Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier, need to be more aggressive and attack the basket.Smith believes it’s simpler than that.“Make shots, that’s the only thing we can do,” said Smith, who is 2 for 17 and 0 for 7 on 3-pointers in the series. “I mean obviously we can do more on the defensive side, but our main focus is to make shots right now when we get it. If we don’t have them, try to make the next-best play. Right now ‘Bron and Kev are working overly hard, trying to carry us. We just got to step up and do our job.”But talking a good game is one thing, playing one is another. The Cavs don’t have time for speeches or excuses. With their season inching toward danger, results are all that matter.Hill didn’t record an assist in 28 minutes in Game 1 and had three points in Game 2. He missed time in the opening round against Indiana with back spasms and has been puzzled by his drop-off after playing so well in Cleveland’s sweep over Toronto.“I’m trying to figure it out myself,” he said. “I think a little bit of just trying to be more involved offensively, trying to be more involved defensively, not waiting until a play is possibly called and things like that to go do it. I’ve just got to be more assertive, I’ve got to play with that edge like I did in the second series“There’s no one to blame but myself. You’ve got to look yourself in the mirror and say, ‘What can I do better?’”The Cavs know they need to be more physical after the Celtics took the fight to them in Boston.Lue raised some eyebrows following Game 2 when he described Boston’s players as “gooning up” the series. Lue explained he wasn’t being critical.“It’s not a bad thing to goon it up,” he said. “Like, they’re taking hard fouls, they’re being physical. They’re playing playoff basketball. So that’s all I meant by it.” Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Weinstein rape trial Road to the French Open 2018: Get to know Alex Eala, the next PH tennis superstar Winfrey details her decision to withdraw from Simmons film LATEST STORIES View comments China population now over 1.4 billion as birthrate falls Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina
Activists also appealed to zoo commissioners, who serve in an advisory capacity and have endorsed the PAWS move. “You and the mayor have a duty to care for this zoo … you have a duty to care for the elephants,” Madeline Bernstein, president of the SPCA-LA, the city’s oldest animal welfare organization, told the commission. “Don’t be the people who almost moved Ruby to a better place, because not doing so condemns her to a worse place.” The zoo now houses two pachyderms: Ruby, an African elephant who has lived alone and out of the public eye for two years; and Billy, a 22-year-old Asian bull elephant. It is building a $39 million elephant exhibit due to open in 2009. In her letter to the mayor, Bernstein said the L.A. Zoo does not heed national zoo guidelines that call for the social behemoths to live in groups of no less than three. In addition, she said private funds have been raised to send the aging Ruby to a spacious sanctuary. Free Ruby. That was the refrain Tuesday of animal welfare activists who called upon Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to retire the city’s 46-year-old elephant to a sanctuary. In two letters to the mayor, humane groups and former zoo professionals demanded Ruby be sent from “solitary confinement” at the Los Angeles Zoo to the 150-acre PAWS sanctuary in Northern California. Zoo officials are weighing whether to send Ruby to the PAWS refuge or to another zoo. “The current treatment of Ruby could be construed as cruel,” she writes in the letter. In another letter, former zoo professionals from around the world asked the city to retire its oldest elephant. “She was put in solitary confinement at the Los Angeles Zoo,” said Les Schobert, the zoo’s former curator, who had signed the letter. “In short, she’s had a horrible life … everyone agrees that she must go.” The Mayor’s Office declined to comment. In December, zoo General Manager John Lewis and two curators drove to PAWS to investigate the sanctuary. Zoo officials say that, despite her confinement away from other elephants, Ruby is fine. “She’s not with other elephants, but she has a good relationship with her keepers,” said zoo spokesman Jason Jacobs. “She’s in good health. She’s in her 40s, she’s in good shape.” firstname.lastname@example.org (818) 713-3730160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! FRIDAY Big Bunny’s Spring Fling through Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Los Angeles Zoo, 5333 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles. Free with admission. Call (323) 644-4200. Family carnival, 5-10 p.m., Fernangeles Recreation Center, 8851 Laurel Canyon Blvd., Sun Valley. Free. Call (818) 767-4171. Full moon hike, 7-9 p.m., Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve, Calabasas. Meet at end of Victory Boulevard past Valley Circle Boulevard. Bring water and jacket. Flashlight optional. Call (310) 454-1395, Ext. 106. Mail Datebook entries – including time, date, location and phone number – to Daily News City Desk, P.O. Box 4200, Woodland Hills, CA 91365; fax (818) 713-0058; e-mail email@example.com.
DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus’ MAMMA MIA!, the smash hit musical based on the songs of ABBA, returns as part of the Farewell Tour to ENCANA Events Centre on Thursday, November 10, 2016. One night only and for the last time at ENCANA Events Centre #1-300 Highway 2.The only other time MAMMA MIA! played Dawson Creek, in 2012, it SOLD OUT .MAMMA MIA! is one of the most successful musicals of all time, the eighth longest running show in Broadway history and one of only five current musicals to have run for more than ten years on Broadway. The West End production is now in its seventeenth year. The international tour has visited more than 81 foreign cities in 37 countries.- Advertisement -Inspired by the storytelling magic of ABBA’s songs from “Dancing Queen” and “S.O.S.” to “Money, Money, Money” and “Take a Chance on Me,” MAMMA MIA! is a celebration of mothers and daughters, old friends and new family found.Video Playerhttp://www.energeticcity.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Mamma-Mia-The-Farewell-Tour-in-Dawson-Creek.mp400:0000:0000:30Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. The performance of MAMMA MIA! at the ENCANA Events Centre #1-300 Highway 2 is on Thursday, November 10, 2016 at 7:00 pm, local time.Tickets for MAMMA MIA! are $63.00, $83.00 & $93.00 plus applicable charges. Tickets are available at the Tiger Box Office Plus (at the Encana Events Centre), at the Tiger Box Office Plus Outlet at Tiger Printing & Stationers, online at www.tigerboxofficeplus.ca, or by phone at 1-877-339-TIXX (8499).
0Shares0000Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann has a 100 million euro ($118 million) buyout clause © AFP/File / PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOUMADRID, Spain, Dec 17 – Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has met with the family of Atletico Madrid’s star forward Antoine Griezmann ahead of a possible summer move, sports daily Mundo Deportivo reported on Sunday.The French international, who has been Atletico’s top scorer for the past three seasons, has been heavily linked with a move to Manchester United in the past. However, Barca appear willing to meet his 100 million euro ($118 million) buyout clause as they seek to again unite Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez with a prolific attacker following the departure of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain in August for a world record 222 million euros.“Barca settled on Griezmann as an objective for 2018 and they spoke with his entourage to see if he was willing to wear the blue and red shirt,” reported Barcelona-based Mundo Deportivo.“After receiving a ‘yes’ in response, an agreement was reached with the French goalscorer involving Pep Segura, Barca’s general manager, and Robert Fernandez, the director of football.“President Josep Maria Bartomeu has now entered to finalise the operation.” the newspaper reported adding that “Bartomeu met recently with Griezmann’s family to eat in Barcelona.”Griezmann, 26, agreed to sign a new contract with Atletico in June after the club had an appeal against a transfer ban rejected.The top scorer at Euro 2016, Griezmann said it would have been “dirty” to walk out on the club when they couldn’t replace him until January.However, Atletico coach Diego Simeone accepted this week that Griezmann’s departure is inevitable. Many of Atletico’s other outstanding players, including strikers Fernando Torres, Sergio Aguero, Radamel Falcao and Diego Costa, have also left in recent years for pastures new.“Of course Griezmann will be able to leave at some point, as Diego Costa, Diego Ribas and Arda Turan have gone,” Simeone told French sports daily L’Equipe.“If a player comes to me and says, ‘coach, I have a chance of a lifetime and want to leave’, and if he’s left everything on the pitch for me like Griezmann, I’ll say, ‘no problem’.”Atletico are also likely to come under financial pressure to sell after moving into a new 310-million euro stadium in September and falling to make it into the last 16 of the Champions League for the first time in five years.The club have also already committed to nearly 100 million euros in transfers for January with Costa returning from Chelsea and Spanish international Vitolo joining from Sevilla.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
0Shares0000Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho (C) is a weapon off the bench, according to club captain Marco Reus, after the England junior international shone in Wednesday’s 7-0 hammering of Nuremberg.BERLIN, Germany, Sep 28 – Leaders Bayern Munich play Hertha Berlin on Friday night, but their main Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund and Werder Bremen, both just two points behind in the table, are also gaining momentum.Here are five things to look for in the German league this weekend: Dortmund’s ‘weapon’ SanchoEnglish teenager Jadon Sancho has been dubbed Borussia Dortmund’s ‘weapon off the bench’ before their trip to mid-table Bayer Leverkusen.Second-placed Dortmund are blooming with youngsters Achraf Hakimi, 19, Jacob Bruun Larsen, 20, and Sancho, 18, all scoring in the 7-0 thrashing of Nuremberg on Wednesday, Dortmund’s highest league win for 32 years.Sancho, an England Under-19 international, was outstanding with a goal, then set up Julian Weigl in his 16 minutes off the bench.“It’s incredibly important that he comes off the bench and does so well every time,” said Dortmund captain Marco Reus, who scored twice.“When our opponents ease off a little and Jadon comes into the game, then he’s a weapon for us every single time.”Unbeaten BremenAustrian forward Martin Harnik (L) and Bremen’s Dutch midfielder Davy Klaassen (R) have been at the heart of Werder Bremen’s impressive start to the season as one of only three teams still unbeaten in Germany’s top flight. © AFP / Patrik STOLLARZAfter several seasons battling relegation, Werder Bremen are on the rise under 35-year-old head coach Florian Kohfeldt and with Everton reject Davy Klaassen as their chief playmaker.Along with Bayern and Dortmund, third-placed Bremen are the only other team unbeaten in the Bundesliga and expect three points at Stuttgart on Saturday.After their impressive 3-1 midweek win over Hertha, Bremen director Frank Baumann rejected the tag of “Bayern hunters” bestowed upon them by Berlin coach Pal Dardai.“That’s rubbish. Maybe many people in Germany would like someone to annoy Bayern, but that’s not our focus,” said Baumann.“We won’t let ourselves be dazzled by 11 points.”Nagelsmann faces future clubHoffenheim’s head coach Julian Nagelsmann insists it will be business as usual on Saturday for him when he faces his future employers RB Leipzig. © AFP / SERGEI SUPINSKYHoffenheim coach Julian Nagelsmann insists Saturday’s home match will be “normal like any other” against his future club RB Leipzig, who he joins next season.“I’m determined to get the three points on Saturday,” insisted Nagelsmann.Despite facing his future employers, Nagelsmann wants a win before Tuesday’s Champions League clash against Manchester City, who want to bounce back after their shock home defeat to Lyon a fortnight agoNew Brazilian striker Joelinton scored his first goal in last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Dortmund and set another up in Tuesday’s 3-1 win at Hanover.England Under-19 international Reiss Nelson, on loan from Arsenal who scored on his debut off the bench in the 2-1 defeat at Fortuna Duesseldorf, should keep his place after playing the second-half against Hanover.Schalke’s losing streakSchalke head coach Domenico Tedesco is under intense pressure with his side bottom of the league after starting the season with five straight defeats. © DPA/AFP / Guido KIRCHNERAfter five straight defeats, bottom side Schalke are desperate for points at mid-table Mainz with head coach Domenico Tedesco under increasing pressure.US international Weston McKennie is back in team training, despite a thigh injury in last Saturday’s home defeat against Bayern.Veteran defender Naldo is expected to return after being rested for the midweek defeat to Freiburg along with midfielder Sebastian Rudy and striker Mark Uth.Tedesco needs a confident booster for Wednesday’s Champions League trip to Lokomotiv Moscow after drawing their first game 1-1 at home to Porto.Hazard in hot formMoenchengladbach’s Belgian forward Thorgan Hazard (R) has made a good start to the season by scoring in each of his last two games, including an assist in Wednesday’s 3-1 home win against Eintracht Frankfurt. © AFP / ODD ANDERSENThorgan Hazard, brother of Chelsea star Eden, is in hot form for fourth-placed Moenchengladbach as they look to break their winless streak at Wolfsburg.After starting the season with two victories, Wolfsburg are winless in their last three games, but have not lost at home to Gladbach in 15 years.‘Gladbach bounced back from Saturday’s defeat at Hertha with a thumping win over Eintracht Frankfurt, which lifted them to fourth while Wolfsburg are sixth.Hazard scored and set up Nico Elvedi’s header in the 3-1 midweek win over Frankfurt.Striker Alassane Plea, who has six goals and an assist in six competitive appearances since joining from Nice, is set to partner Hazard with captain Lars Stindl and Raffael injured.Fixtures (all times 4:30pm unless stated)FridayHertha Berlin v Bayern Munich (9:30pm)SaturdayHoffenheim v RB Leipzig, VfL Wolfsburg v Borussia Moenchengladbach, Nuremberg v Fortuna Duesseldorf, Schalke 04 v Mainz 05, VfB Stuttgart v Werder Bremen, Bayer Leverkusen v Borussia Dortmund (7:30pm)SundayEintracht Frankfurt v Hanover 96, Augsburg v Freiburg (7pm)0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
Louis van Gaal accepts Manchester United will have failed if they miss out on Champions League qualification, but remains confident he will be kept on as manager.Tuesday’s 3-2 loss at West Ham on Tuesday meant the Red Devils wasted the chance to wrest fourth spot from Manchester City.Van Gaal’s men now need to win against Bournemouth and hope City fall at Swansea – a tough ask underlined by bookmakers’ odds of 7-1 on United usurping Manuel Pellegrini’s men on Sunday.Failing to reach the Champions League cost David Moyes his job two years ago and speculation is rife that the Dutchman could follow suit, with Jose Mourinho’s desire to return to management only fuelling such talk.Furthermore, Van Gaal’s name was conspicuous by its absence as investors and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward sidestepped the subject of the manager’s position following the announcement of United’s third-quarter results.Hours later, though, the manager remained steadfast in his belief that he would be kept, bristling at the suggestion it would be harder to keep the players’ concentration given they know he plans to retire at the end of next season.“Yeah, but you and your colleagues have sacked me for six months, so I have worked with these circumstances already for six months and we are still in the race,” he said. “You cannot say that we are not.“We can win the FA Cup. How many are still in the race? How many? It’s not so much so.“Of course, when we don’t qualify ourselves we don’t reach our aim. That is true because our aim was to qualify ourselves for the Champions League. That was our aim.“But we are in the final of the FA Cup and we are in the race in the last match – mathematically we can qualify ourselves still. How many clubs can say that?“Of course you can say Manchester United need to be champions – yes, I know, the expectations are like that, but I don’t think that is realistic.“And I have said I shall be here, that is my opinion, so the board has to decide if it is like that. That is a different way of looking to the situation.”Van Gaal foresees no issues with players’ attitude if given the chance to stay on and see out his final campaign of his three-year contract.After the 2016-17 season the Dutchman wants to “go spoiling my wife” during retirement and refused to be drawn on how he would react should United offer him an extension.“That is ‘if’ and I want to keep to the facts,” Van Gaal said. “Also when it is positive for me, it’s not good – you cannot talk about if, only talk about the facts.“The facts are that we are still fighting for Champions League qualification.“We depend on Man City, okay, but we are still fighting and then we are still fighting for the FA Cup. Okay, and then we shall see what the board is deciding.”Regardless of whether Van Gaal is in charge, missing out on the top-four would certainly look to make it harder to bring elite talent to Old Trafford over the summer.“Re-tooling” is how Woodward described the process of change at the club and Van Gaal believes Old Trafford remains an attractive proposition.“In your eyes it’s difficult to attract players of a certain level, but I can assure you that it is not like that always,” he said.“Sometimes it is happening like that but I cannot say the things how they are because then I interfere with the transfer policy of our club. But it is not like you think.“It is always three parties – us, the club, the player himself and then it is not always the player. The player wants to come, in general.“Of course there are players who would prefer Real Madrid, but there are players of Real Madrid who want to leave there or Barcelona or Paris St Germain. It depends on a lot of circumstances” Louis van Gaal watches on as Manchester United lose to West Ham 1
Donegal North East TD Padraig MacLochlainn was the star of the Late Late Show tonight….leading an Oireachtas team in a new song tipped to be a Christmas No1!Padraig joined other members of the Oireachtas and set aside all political differences to sing their version of Simon & Garfunkel’s classic ‘Bridge Over Troubled Waters’ for Ryan Tubridy and his guests…including One Direction!And the Inishowen politician sang the first solo for the show…and did well! He joked to donegaldaily.com afterwards: “Paul Simon will be meeting with his solicitors after that!”All proceeds from the song will go to the suicide crisis centre Pieta House, with bookies already predicting that it will take on this year’s X Factor for the number 1 slot!The Dublin Gospel Choir and the Lucan Gospel Choir were on hand to provide, well, a bit of professional harmony.Bridge Over Troubled Water can be downloaded on iTunes for €1.29. The project was sponsored by Noel Recruitment. Eighteen TDs and Senators took part in the recording organised by Fine Gael TD Derek Keating.“Everyone sounded great. I do think it takes a certain amount of courage especially for people not used to that role,” said the TD for Dublin Mid-West.Some of the Oireachtas members who took part included Fine Gael TDs Lucinda Creighton, Simon Coveney and Peter Mathews, Labour TD Joan Burton, Fianna Fáil Senator Averil Power, and Independents Stephen Donnelly, Mick Wallace and Finian McGrath.SINGING TD PADRAIG IS STAR OF THE LATE LATE SHOW! was last modified: November 26th, 2011 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)
Thirty-five years after becoming a social and cultural focal point in one of college football’s seminal games, the former All-American Trojan fullback politely acknowledges that he didn’t walk on the field conscious of the deep social relevance at hand a powerful USC team flush with talented African-Americans meeting an the all-white Alabama football team the last all-white Crimson Tide football team on their home field. He certainly never expected to become forever linked with legendary Alabama coach Bear Bryant and the integration of Crimson Tide football, one of the last barriers of segregation to topple. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 He was just a sophomore second-stringer making his first varsity appearance on a USC team loaded with star African-American players, any of whom could have become Bear’s foil Clarence Davis, who was from Birmingham, or quarterback Jimmy Jones, or Charlie Weaver, Willie Hall, Sam Dickerson, Jimmy Gunn, Al Cowlings and Tody Smith. But it was Cunningham. Sam Bam got into the game early and scored the first two touchdowns in a 42-21 rout of the Tide. He rushed for 135 yards on just 12 carries, and after the game he became a living touchstone for change. Bryant briefly met with Cunningham on the field, and although recollections on what exactly transpired are inconsistent, the upshot is that Bryant reiterated, time and time again to his players, to the media, to Alabama fans that “This is what a football player looks like.” As in, this is what some of Alabama’s players are going to look like in the future. Big, strong, African-Americans who know how to win. And regardless of what strata of sports society you glide in, winning eventually trumps all barriers and stereotypes. Some historians have written that Cunningham did more to integrate Alabama in 30 minutes than Martin Luther King did in 16 years. “I by no means think I did more than Dr. King or any social activist, because I didn’t,” Cunningham said Thursday morning in a coffee shop in Long Beach. “Those people lost their lives for what they did. “I just played in a football game, and the outcome affected great change. Sometimes in that naive manner, that’s the best way.” The thought wasn’t in Cunningham’s mind at the time, but he would later come to realize the subtext of the game and what it meant, as well as who the key people truly were. ” what he said, Bryant was impressing on his players that there’s going to be change, and that it would be tough for all of them, not just the players coming in but the players already there, and the whole community,” said Cunningham, the Santa Barbara native who lived in Long Beach before moving to Inglewood. “But it would be a change for the better. “It had to be hard for people there to see that because it had been just one way (all white) for so long. We put a whipping on them. They couldn’t put a spin on it. Their team got beat (by a well-integrated team) and no matter how you wrote it up, you couldn’t change that fact.” There were plenty of signposts on the way to Alabama in 1970. Change was easing its way south. Nine years before Sam plowed through Birmingham, Syracuse’s Ernie Davis became the first African-American to the win the Heisman Trophy. USC arrived in Birmingham having had two black Heisman winners of their own, Mike Garret and O.J. Simpson. Bryant and Alabama won back-to-back national titles in 1964 and 1965 and went unbeaten in 1966. But their success dropped off suddenly at the same time that other SEC and schools in the south integrated. They went 8-2-1 in 1967, 8-3 in 1968, and 6-5 in 1969. The 1970 team went 6-5-1. “The reality is that football, and sports, is about excellence, and winning results from that, and black kids have historically excelled in sports,” said Dr. Maulana Karenga, a professor of black studies at Long Beach State. “So (Bryant) would have been making a mistake not to choose from all of the best players. He wanted to win. It was important to him. “It provided much collateral benefit. By not practicing in sports the kind of early man segregation that was unjust and immoral, his excellent decision (as a football coach) also became an excellent moral choice.” Cunningham, a big part of the USC 1972 national title team and a nine-year NFL veteran with the New England Patriots, believes Bryant and USC coach John McKay arranged the moment. The NCAA had just approved expanding the regular season from 10 to 11 games, so Bryant and McKay agreed to a home-and-home series. It truly was the first real intersectional game in Alabama history. Aside from an occasional bowl game against the likes of Colorado, Nebraska and Penn State in the ’60s, Alabama always scheduled its SEC brothers and cousins from the Atlantic Coast Conference. College Football News includes it as one of the 100 most important college games ever played, and Sports Illustrated ranked it sixth on a list of the 25 biggest sports “tipping points’ in the last half-century. “It was a pretty bold step,” Cunningham, who has his own landscaping company, said. “Bryant was the only one who could guarantee our safety, and coach McKay had to have faith in Bear that he could bring his players, fans and boosters in for a football game at a time when it probably wasn’t conducive. “They both took a very big step. But it was the easiest way to get it done. Back then, coaches were icons and could do whatever they wanted to do, It wouldn’t have ever happened any other way.” times is needed to understand what the racial strife in the south was like in the years leading up to Cunningham’s moment in the spotlight. It was a bloody path to that September night in Birmingham. The catalyst for the segregationists was the infamous 1954 court decision, Brown v. Board of Education, that ordered desegregation in schools. The decision was met angrily throughout the south, leading to a series of tragedies. In Montgomery in December of 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white man, leading to a year-long bus boycott. When the boycott ended, buses returning to the streets were shot at by snipers and numerous black churches and businesses were bombed. In 1961, a bus of Freedom Riders from Washington, D.C., arrived in Anniston, Alabama, where they were taken off the bus, beaten, and the bus burned. In Tuscaloosa in 1962, KKK officials built and burned the largest cross on record, made of telephone poles and burlap. In October of 1962, James Meredith, a 28-year-old Air Force veteran, became the first black to attend the University of Mississippi. The following year, Alabama governor George Wallace, elected on the strength of his “segregation forever’ platform, tried to block the entrance of Alabama’s Foster Auditorium to the first two blacks to enroll at Alabama, James Hood and Vivian Malone. Days later, NAACP leader Medger Evers was assassinated in Jackson, Miss. In September, four young girls were killed in a bombing at a black Birmingham church. In February of 1964, Malcolm X was murdered in New York. Later, a march by SNCC and SCLC leaders in Montgomery ended in violence when off-duty policemen attacked the marchers. In 1966, James Meredith was shot during a march from Tennessee to Mississippi. And in 1968, a month after federal authorities ordered Alabama to desegregate or lose federal funding, Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis. “It is hard for some to understand the kind of savage conditions that existed, the intense hatred,” Dr. Karenga said. “They didn’t want African-Americans to excel anywhere, in school or sports.” Sports mirrored this violence, death and carnage with its own controversies. In 1955, Georgia Governor Marvin Griffith asked Georgia Tech to withdraw from its Sugar Bowl game because its opponent, Pitt, was integrated. “The south stands at Armageddon,” Griffith said. “We can’t risk the slightest (during) this dark and lamentable hour of struggle.” Louisiana and Mississippi lawmakers subsequently passed legislation prohibiting schools from competing against integrated teams, but that didn’t stop the Jones College team from Mississippi from coming west to play Compton College in the Junior Rose Bowl. In 1963, Kentucky basketball coach Adolph Rupp sought approval from his SEC colleagues to allow games against integrated teams. Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Mississippi, Tennessee did not reply to the request. Rupps’ realization that the talents of black athletes couldn’t be overlooked came to roost in 1966, when Texas Western, with an all-black starting lineup, beat Kentucky in the NCAA title game. Kentucky would become the first SEC school to integrate its teams, signing Nat Northington and Greg Page for the 1967 season. It became a cruel debut. Page was paralyzed while making a tackle in practice, when his teammates swarmed on the tackle from behind, went into a coma and died a month later. Northington suffered tremendous stress over the death of Page. He was injured in his first game against Indiana, didn’t play the rest of the season, and chose to quit the team because of the anxiety. But before doing so, he encouraged the handful of black players in the incoming freshman class to stick it out, including Wilbur Hackett, who as a junior was named a Kentucky co-captain. turns now, the civil rights movement and emancipation was picking up speed and strength across the nation. In 1967, Cal’s black football players boycotted spring practice because of the suspension of a black basketball player. The 1968 Mexico City Olympics provided the stage for the Tommie Smith/John Carlos Black Power Salute months after a boycott by U.S. African-American athletes was averted. A year later, the 13 black players on the Washington football team refused to play against UCLA because four had been suspended by Husky coach Jim Owens for not signing a loyalty oath. Alabama was often seen as the last bastion of segregation. It was the most visible image the state had, and there was probably just as much pressure on Bryant to not recruit blacks as there was to integrate. Alabama historian Andy Doyle of Emory University wrote that Alabama’s national titles in 1964 and 1965 were seen as a verification of white supremacy. “He was a demigod able to salvage the honor of a society that was being forced to alter many of its most cherished traditions,” he wrote. Others blamed Bryant for dragging his feet on integration. He was, after all, the second-most powerful man in the state. “Bear was very late to the dance,” historian and author David Halberstam wrote. “In this case, he did not lead well. He was divided and slow. He was probably the only man in all of Alabama capable of standing up to George Wallace.” Former Alabama and NFL quarterback Joe Namath has said Bryant told him in 1962 that he would never recruit a black player as long as he could find a white player who could do the same job. But by 1967, Bryant could be found predicting integration in his huddle. “The time is coming when in this entire area,” he told Ebony Magazine, “you won’t see too many of these boys going away (to other schools).” integration change for Alabama after the USC game was immediate. After that 6-5-1 mark in 1970, the first wave of black recruits immediately helped Alabama back to the top. The 1971 team, featuring defensive end John Mitchell and lineman Wilbur Jackson, went 11-1 and beat USC in the rematch at the Coliseum. They were followed by All-American center Sylvester Crooms (1972-74), linebacker Woody Lowe (1972-75), cornerback Mike Washington (1972-74), and tight end Ozzie Newsome (1974-77). Alabama finished in the AP Top 10 each year of the ’70s, earned a share of the 1973 national title, and topped the ’70s off with back-to-back national titles (1978-1979) with the help of center Dwight Stephenson and defensive stars Thomas Boyd, Jeremiah Castille, E.J. Junior and Don McNeal. Cunningham says they’re the heroes. “It’s pretty simple,” he said. “We flew in, played and won a football game and left. We only had to deal with the south for two nights, and then we were gone. “The people who actually had to work and deal with the change were the ones they recruited and played. Because nothing had changed other than allowing blacks to play football. The way people felt probably didn’t change overnight. The difference was that blacks now had the opportunity to be part of the organization. “They had to work in that atmosphere, and there’s a lot of pressure to be the first, or second, or third, player to come into a culture they’ve never visited before. I applaud them. What I did was easy. They had the pressure of the whole culture riding on them.” “What all of those athletes and other African-American athletes in similar situations, from Jackie Robinson to Jack Johnson to Muhammad Ali, did was create free space for everyone by demonstrating their excellence without penalty,” Dr. Karenga said. “They carried a burden of perfection intensified by the racial issue. They had to be perfect, because if they failed, it was an indictment of the race.” Today, more people indict segregation and the blood and misery it caused. Cunningham tries to keep the story and memories fresh for others to understand what things were like and how they have changed. Usually without casting himself as noble, as anything more than a black man in decidedly the wrong place at the right time. “Sam is like so many others, an ordinary person who did an extraordinary thing and met the invitation of history,” Dr. Karenga said. “He seized a moment at a time when the last thing the people in that crowd probably wanted to see was a black man excel.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! When Sam Cunningham got on the plane taking the USC football team to its first game of 1970, a September 12 date in Birmingham, Alabama, ground zero in the deep south’s struggle with desegregation in its society, he had a clear agenda in mind. A football agenda. Get in the game, since he wasn’t a starter. Play well if he did, which would guarantee him the opportunity to play more the following week.