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October 10, 2008


Mike Montgomery

Thanks for your review of the new bio-pic film about the life of Ernie Davis (the Express). I plan to watch the film this weekend, and look forward to it--despite its potential for being boring.

I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio--and was a high school football player at the time Ernie Davis was drafted into the NFL. The prospect of having Davis in the same backfield at the great Jim Brown was almost too exhilarating for Browns fans to imagine.

The last paragraph in your review notes that "Maybe the real Ernie Davis really was this perfect, but the movie plays as if the filmmakers didn't want to offend his family". While I want to check-it-out for myself, I suspect that the film may be attempting to portray Ernie Davis precisely as he was in life.

In Cleveland (in the early 60's) Ernie was the perfect recruit to the Browns. We all loved Jim Brown, but even he says that Ernie was the perfect kid to his (Brown's) more sullen personality.

In the book (Heisman) that portrays the back-stories behind the great Heisman Trophy award winners, the chapter dedicated to Ernie Davis was titled 'The Perfect Kid".

In a 2003 PBS documentary on the three great Syracuse players who all wore the number '44' (Jim Brown, Ernie Davis and Floyd Little) each of these All Americans were referenced in their introductory sections of the documentary as:

* Jim Brown--the Legend
* Ernie Davis--The Saint
* Floyd Little--the Motivator

You would be been stunned by listening the recollections of coaches, players and fans about Ernie Davis. Even I, who knew of his personality and athletic skills for nearly 50 years, was amazed. It was more than hearing people reflect on the life of someone who is no longer with us; rather, it was a genuine litany of people saying that Ernie was the finest young man they had ever met in their life.

Like you, I look forward to an up-coming film about the life of Jim Brown(indeed, I think Spike Lee may be working on such at planned film). But, as for the great Ernie Davis, perfect player and perfect man works nicely for me.

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