Source:The New Democrat
“Philadelphia, Mississippi, was the site of the most notorious crime of the Civil Rights Era: the murder of Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner, three young men who had come to Philadelphia in 1964 to investigate a church burning. Marcus Dupree was born three weeks before the killings, and eventually would join the first class to go through integrated public schools in the state. By the time Marcus was establishing himself as the best high school running back in the nation – some say ever – Philadelphians white and black took pride in him, and in the fully integrated team that he led. He was the town’s first shared joy, and the school’s games became the first place where groups of whites and blacks ever came together as one community.”
From Hock Films
If talent and the ability to play football were the only things that people needed to be successful football players, then maybe Marcus Dupree ends up as the great running back whose ever played. Because he was 6’3 225-230 pounds of muscle, speed and vision. Sounds like Eric Dickerson right, but Eric Dickerson is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame with a college degree and is very intelligent. And not the feature in an ESPN film called the Best That Never Was.
Maybe instead Marcus is in a film called The Best Who Ever Lived winning awards at Sundance and so-forth. Marcus Dupree unlike Eric Dickerson didn’t even finish his first year of college at Oklahoma. Not calling Marcus a dumb man, but he didn’t have the education, maturity and probably people around him to show him that “you are blowing this you are blowing a golden opportunity to be a great football player. Perhaps the greatest who ever ran the ball, why are you doing this?”
Marcus Dupree is the perfect example of why there should be a minor league pro football system in the United States. A place to go for high school football players who’ve at least graduated from high school, but not ready at least for major college. And perhaps not college at all who do not even have any interest in attending college and wouldn’t do the work at college to be successful.
If the NFL had that back then like baseball and hockey already have in America, Marcus plays 3-4 years of minor league football and get’s drafted in the NFL by a team that wants him. And knows how to utilize him and Marcus probably goes down as the top pick or one of the top picks in the. 1985 or 86 drafts. Never tries to play in the United States Football League and probably has a 12-13 year career in the National Football league headed to the Hall of Fame. Because Marcus wasn’t college material as a student, but someone with a great gift to play football.
The Best That Never Was is the title for a player who would’ve been the greatest running back of all time. But never lived up to that because he was a guy who went to college even though he probably shouldn’t have been in college. Because he was there to play football not be a student who needed other options post high school to be successful as a pro football player. But who didn’t have those options for him at the time.