Baton Rough, LA - Minutes before the final game of the 1961 NFL preseason, Tom Landry stood before his rookie right tackle from Southern University, prepared to issue one more steep challenge — the toughest yet for young Charlie Granger. The icy, mild-mannered Dallas Cowboys coach liked what he’d seen from Granger, but the regular season loomed, which meant that roster spots were in high demand and short supply.
The Film recounts the life of Charlie Granger, who played professional football during the NFL's reintegration of African-Americans into the league in the early 1960s. Mr. Granger is a 2-Time Southern University Football All-American, 4-Time Track & Field All-American, and a member of Southern University Hall of Fame and the SWAC Hall of Fame.
This last exhibition game, against the mighty Baltimore Colts, was Granger’s biggest test yet. And maybe his last chance. “I’ll never forget (Landry) saying to me: ‘Granger, tonight, I’m going to find out if you can play in the NFL,’” he recalled. Granger’s assignment: block Colts defensive end Gino Marchetti, a future Hall of Famer and seven-time All-Pro. Right. No pressure there.
Granger admits he took a severe beating that night. But he stood firm against Marchetti, and after the game, the Dallas staff gave him a grade of 100 percent. He made the final cut, and, in doing so, became the first black man to start on the Cowboys offensive line.
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Join Producer/Director Cindy Hurst, this Sunday, June 5, 2011 with host Robyn Merrick of "Inside the Southern University System" from 6 p.m. until 7 p.m. Central Time on KQXL 106.5 FM CLICK HERE to listen live) as she talks about the WORLD SCREENING PREMIERE of "Remembering a Forgotten First: The Story of Charlie Granger.
June 11, 2011
The Sankofa Project, LLC
This film depicts the life of Charlie Granger, a Former NFL player (Dallas Cowboys and Boston Patriots), SWAC Hall of Fame Inductee, and College All-American in track and football.
This is the story of how a poor and determined boy from Southern Louisiana beat the odds of making it to the professional football league during the re-integration period of African-Americans into the league in the early 1960's. It recounts his college and professional experiences as an African-American player and how the racial climate of the times impacted his career as a professional player.
Appearances by: Eugene Daniel (Indianpolis Colts/Baltimore Ravens, Frank Pitts (Played in Superbowls 1 and 4 - Kansas City Chiefs), and Garland Boyette (Houston Oilers)
A Sankofa Project Productions