Showtime Sports to Premiere AGAINST THE TIDE, 11/15
Did University of Alabama coach Paul "Bear" Bryant and University of Southern California coach John McKay purposefully schedule the first game of the 1970 season - the first time a fully integrated team had played in Alabama - as a statement against segregation? Or was it simply another game between two College Football powerhouses whose coaches were close personal friends? What were Bryant's and McKay's motives for the last-minute addition of USC, a fully integrated team ranked by some as the No. 1 team in the country, to the 1970 Alabama schedule?
Showtime Sports examines these questions in the film "AGAINST THE TIDE," a feature-length documentary from EMMY Award winning producer Ross Greenburg; premiering Friday, Nov. 15 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME.
Narrated by Tom Selleck (EMMY-Award winning star of CBS' Blue Bloods), the documentary paints a vivid picture of Bryant, the state of the turbulent South during the Civil Rights Movement, and the 1960's era football program at the University of Alabama, one of collegiate athletics' most dominant programs in any sport. Across the country, USC was a colorblind, powerhouse program that integrated in the 1920s and revolutionized the game in the 1960s with the innovative McKay at the helm leading them to two national championships.
Through the relationship between Bryant at Alabama and his renowned counterpart at USC, "AGAINST THE TIDE" examines the role College Football played in changing deep-seeded sentiments on segregation in the South. Bryant is offered as one of the only public figures in Alabama with the stature to openly oppose segregation.
"This game, and the integration of College Football at Alabama under Coach 'Bear' Bryant, has been a fascinating and intriguing story for many years," said Greenburg. "It is our intention to focus on the truth, and let the viewer separate fact from fiction and myth from reality."
"'AGAINST THE TIDE' is a powerful commentary on the complex relationship between sports and race in American society," said Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Showtime Sports. "We have a strong commitment to producing high-quality sports documentaries, and our first film with accomplished producer Ross Greenburg exemplifies this perfectly."