Chuck Ealey to be honored for 35-wins recordWritten by Danielle Portteus | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Former UT quarterback Chuck Ealey remains the only quarterback to win 35 games in a row.
Ealey will be presented a plaque for his achievement July 10 at his high school Notre Dame Academy’s Spartan Municipal Stadium in Portsmouth, Ohio.
John Carpenter, a sports memorabilia buff from Firebrick, Ky., pushed for the Portsmouth city council to honor Ealey.
“I went to the city council and asked for a plaque to honor Chuck,” he said. “It’s been long overdue because he never got the recognition he deserved.”
Carpenter said Ealey has a record of 35-0 from 1969-71 at UT and the record will not be beaten anytime soon.
“He was ahead of his time and it was unreal that he never lost a game,” he said. “Matt Leinart came close this year, but he couldn’t do it.”
Carpenter said Ealey, who was 18-0 as a starter in high school, was a perfect 53-0 in both high school and college.
Ealey was never drafted by the National Football League. He played in the Canadian Football League after college and led the Hamilton Tigercats to a Grey Cup in his first season, Carpenter said. Ealey was also named the league’s top rookie and MVP of the Grey Cup in 1972.
“He never lost in grade school either,” Carpenter said. “He was a master with the football.”
Carpenter said he wants Ealey’s legacy to continue.
“I don’t want to lose the history of our sports so younger generations can appreciate what he has accomplished,” he said. “Chuck Ealey is an American hero because he did something unheard of.”
Ealey, now the regional director for Investors Group in Mississauga Ontario, said he is honored his hometown wants to recognize his accomplishments.
“It’s humbling they as a city want to recognize me on that capacity,” he said.
Ealey said it did not matter to him that former University of Southern California quarterback Leinhart came close to breaking his record.
“It didn’t matter to me personally if he would have tied the record,” he said. “To me, it’s not just a quarterback record, but a team record because my teammates have ownership to that record as well.”
Ealey said he is not an American hero as Carpenter claims.
“There are a lot of good athletes who have done extremely well, but the record is not heroic,” he said. “It’s a game of football and as a football player I feel quite honored to hold the record, but education is what allows you to be successful.”
C2Land Productions, a Toledo-based production company, is filming a documentary about Ealey’s career titled “The Wizard of Oohs and Ahs.”
Andy Langenderfer, one of the executive producers, said the documentary should be finished this fall.
The documentary is a series of interviews with players, coaches and those who surrounded Ealey during his career as a quarterback, he said.
“We wanted to show the human drama side besides the football side,” Langenderfer said. “The documentary shows the social aspects of being a black quarterback and all the racial conflicts that occurred during the civil rights movement.”
Langenderfer said the project began July 2004 started out slowly, but has moved ahead at a good pace.
“We are hoping to get national distribution like the Sundance Film Festival or Cannes,” he said. “It would be the ultimate goal to showcase at Sundance.”
Ealey said he was “thrilled” about the idea of a documentary.
“I see it as a platform, not only for the history, but the content has to do with more like education and social issues,” he said.