The End Game discusses race and sports in America with a focus on Michigan State coach Duffy’s Daugherty’s 1960 teams leading college football integration. Duffy’s teams were the sport’s first fully integrated rosters and won national titles in 1965 and 1966.
Co-hosts: Tom Shanahan is an award-winning sportswriter and author. Herman Bulls is a West Point graduate, retired U.S. Army Colonel and vice chairman at JLL, an international firm. He will be inducted into the Alabama Business Hall of Fame on November 9 in Birmingham. Background information on co-host Herman Bulls.
Visit my website homepage for links to purchase RAYE of LIGHT and THE RIGHT THING TO DO.
Ken Burns introduces every episode of The End Game with his important words on race in America. You can listen to more about my question for Burns in a Zoom call on this video.
— Click on Youtube buttons below for Episodes 16 through 1 at the bottom.
THE END GAME, EPISODE 16: John Belcher joined us to discuss the legacy of Gideon Smith, his grandfather. The college football integration pioneer was the first Black player at Ferris State University in 1912 and the first Black player at Michigan State, 1913-15. Smith returned to his home state of Virginia as the coach at Hampton University, leading the Pirates to the 1922 national Black title. He is a member of the Hall of Fame at Ferris, Michigan State and Hampton. He is on the College Football Hall of Fame ballot for small college coaches. Hopefully, he will soon be a candidate for the Black College Football Hall of Fame.
THE END GAME, EPISODE 15: Civil Rights icon Ernest Green, a member of the Little Rock Nine and a Michigan State graduate, joined my co-host and I to discuss Michigan State president John Hanna’s progressive leadership with dormitory housing policies. Hannah arranged for Larry Osterink, a white engineering student, to room with Green to ease his transition from the segregated South to a northern campus. Osterink began to receive hate mail from the South, but he never revealed it to Green so as not to distract him from his education. The dormitory housing policy carried over to Michigan State’s Black athletes from the South, most significantly College Football Hall of Famer Gene Washington and 1964 Olympic swimming silver medlist Gary Dilley.
THE END GAME, EPISODE 14: Charlie Baggett, Michigan State’s quarterback from 1973 to 1975 and a long-time college and NFL coach, joined The End Game. Charlie commented on two of his mentors, Sherman Lewis and Jimmy Raye, as recipients of the NFL Awards Excellence presented by the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He also commented on coaching under Nick Saban, Mel Tucker as Michigan State’s coach, his time at North Carolina before he transferred and his long-time friendship with his MSU roommate, Tyrone Willingham. We couldn’t finish, of course, without revisiting Michigan State upsetting No. 1-ranked Ohio State 16-13 in 1974.
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THE END GAME, EPISDOE 13: Michigan State’s Darien Harris, head coach Mel Tucker’s right-hand man whose official title is Director of Player Relations and Program Advancement, joined us to discuss his role in the program. Michigan State won a national NIL Award under his direction that was presented at the College Football Hall of Fame. Harris also heads up the Evergreen program to educate players beyond football and has been following Tucker’s directive to teach the players about Michigan State’s proud history leading college football integration under Duffy Daugherty. There are many reasons for the oversight among past coaches and administrations, but Michigan State has a chance to spread its proud history. We also highlight Michigan State basketball player Mady Sissoko’s NIL program that raised funds for him to build a school in his hometown in Mali, Africa,
THE END GAME, EPISODE 12: NFL 360 producer/director Osahon Tongo joins us after winning at Emmy Award for his documentary, The Indelible Legacy of Jimmy Raye. His film was named the winner for Outstanding Edited Special on May 22 in New York. Tongo discusses telling Raye’s untold story as the South’s first Black quarterback to win a national title at Michigan State and his trailblazing coaching career. Michigan State coach Duffy Daugherty hired and when he moved onto the NFL, he was the NFL’s second offensive coordinator with the Los Angeles Rams, 1983-84. Tongo, who played at Georgia Tech, also discusses the challenges of a successful athlete finding another path when he playing days came to an end.
Click here for a link to the full film, The Indelible Legacy of Jimmy Raye.
Click here for a 30-second trailer on the film.
Click here for my story on Michigan State graduate Rob Menzie’s historic trains used as a backdrop the film.
Click here for my first-place story from the FWAA on the 1962 Rose Bowl and segregation.
THE END GAME, EPISODE 11: We discuss the significance of honoring pioneer Black athletes who blazed a trail during difficult times to open roads to the future. Michigan State, of course, has a proud history leading college football integration with Duffy Daugherty’s 1960s teams that were the sport’s first fully integrated rosters. My co-host Herman Bulls and I discuss the importance with Dr. Louis Moore, an author on Black sports and professor at Grand Valley State, and Brett Grill, a Grand Rapids-based artist with prominent statues around the country. Grill was named the 2022 Artist of the Year by the United State Sports Academy. We discuss Grill’s statue work honoring Kentucky’s pioneer Black players in the Southeastern Conference and the project bid he won for baseball statues in Mobile, Alabama, of Hank Aaron, Satchel Paige, Willie McCovey, Billy Williams and Ozzie Smith. At the 40:40 mark, we discuss Michigan State’s need to add a statue on campus honoring Daugherty’s ground-breaking teams.
“These are great opportunities for schools to wrestle with the past. We can celebrate the guys and look internally at what happened, but then I think the worry is it dissipates. Everybody pats themselves on the back, but we move on.“
— Dr. Louis Moore, Grand Valley State professor and author.
More links to read on statues of Black pioneer athletes and their significance on campuses:
THE END GAME, EPISODE 10: Michigan State coach Duffy Daugherty’s 1960s teams, college football’s first fully integrated rosters, influenced the rest of the nation. The Spartans’ example led schools such as USC and Notre Dame to abandon quotas limiting Black athletes to a half-dozen or so. Army West Point’s first Black letterman was Gary Steele, in 1966. The Army also has been an example of meritocracy. Episode 10 explores the progress with guests Ernie Pasteur, a member of Duff Daugherty’s Underground Railroad teams, and his son E.J., a West Point graduate, Pan Am Games wrestling gold medalists and retired U.S. Army Captain. Michigan State’s influence continues to be felt through the NEXT GENERATION of African Americans who took advantage of opportunities to escape segregation.
Note E.J’s stories as West Point Man at the 1990 Army-Navy Game at the 2:26 mark and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin (then a Major stationed at West Point) at the 29:45 mark. EJ also appeared on “The Drive with Jack,” a Lansing sports radio show, two days before the 123rd Army-Navy Game. Click here to listen.
The Pasteur family story is told among others in Part IV, THE NEXT GENERATION, of my upcoming book, THE RIGHT THING TO DO.
“Ernie, you and the rest of the Underground Railroad, what you guys did at Michigan State you probably haven’t thought about it, but you guys should think about it now. What you guys did launched so many opportunities for young Black men and women, particularly in the area of sports as well as academics. You should be very, very proud of what you did. Sometimes were leaders and role models, and we don’t understand it, we don’t appreciate it. Someway, somehow, whether it was 1/100ths of something, what you did helped me and many others like me.”
— HERMAN BULLS, West Point graduate, U.S. Army (Ret.) Colonel, honored multiple times among African American executives as Vice Chairman with JLL, an international firm in Washington D.C.
THE END GAME, EPISODE 9: Michigan State College Football Hall of Famer and track and field All-American athlete Clinton Jones joins The End Game to discuss the Spartans’ pioneering 1960s teams that led college football integration under Duffy Daugherty.
Clinton Jones was a two-time All-American halfback on the 1965 and 1966 national championship teams. Jones was from Cleveland, and when he informed Ohio State coach Woody Hayes he had committed to the Spartans, Hayes cussed out the teen-ager. Jones also was the No. 2 overall pick of the 1967 NFL draft by the Minnesota Vikings. Read more about Jones and the 1967 NFL draft that changed the face of the league with four Spartans chosen among the first eight picks. Click here.
THE END GAME, EPISODE 8: We discuss veteran college football coach Ruffin McNeill on his rise from cropping tobacco while a youth in segregated North Carolina to an elder statesman. NC State head coach Dave Doeren hired McNeill three years ago as a special assistant to the head coach.
The End Game’s Episode 8 features Ruffin McNeill, a former East Carolina head coach who is one the most respected coaches in his profession. He’s entering his third season serving NC State coach Dave Doeren as a special assistant. In 48-minute videocast with my co-host Herman Bulls, McNeill, 63, discussed his career from growing up as a Black youth cropping tobacco in segregated North Carolina to an elder statesman. He was a long-time assistant coach until his opportunity as a head coach at his alma mater, East Carolina, 2010-15
Read more about Ruffin McNeill, including his disturbing mention of a death threat at Texas Tech, in my story by clicking here.
THE END GAME, EPISODE 7: Award-winning journalist Terence Moore discusses his new book, “The Real Hank Aaron.” TV journalist Anthoney Amey joined me as a pinch-hit co-host.
Anthony and I discuss with Terence his new book on Hank Aaron based on their long relationship. Aaron trusted Moore with his thoughts on many subjects, including the lack of Black baseball players, executives and managers. We also discussed race in sports regarding Jackie Robinson as a Civil Rights leader and the reluctance of Black stars such as Willie Mays, Ernie Banks, Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan to take stances on race. Terence also explains Aaron’s feelings on Barry Bonds and the all-time home run record (we agree the real record is Aaron’s at 755). Bonds’ pursuit of Aaron’s record brought back to Aaron painful memories from death threats associated with his pursuit of Babe Ruth’s record. Naturally, I bring the subject back to Michigan State’s leadership of college football integration at the end of the discussion. I make the correlation between the public failing to understand unwritten quotas in college football through the 1960s and the declining number of Black prospects in baseball.
THE END GAME, EPISODE 6: A conversation with Ken Burns on the importance of telling the story of Michigan State leading college football integration.
I had a chance to join a Zoom call with Ken Burns. I asked him about Michigan State’s leading role in college football. I asked him about pursuing the story despite myths and fiction surrounding the 1970 USC-Alabama game unfairly overshadowing the true 1960s pioneers of college football integration.
THE END GAME, EPISODE 5: Jim Proebstle on the Spartans and his older brother, Dick Proebstle.
Jim Proebstle was a tight on Michigan State’s 1965 Rose Bowl team that won the first of back-to-back unbeaten the Big Ten titles and national championships. Jim discusses two emerging football controversies intersecting at Michigan State in the 1960s. One was opportunities for Black quarterbacks. Jim’s older brother Dick played an instrumental role tutoring Jimmy Raye as Michigan State’s quarterback. A concussion Dick suffered in 1964 spring football led to Dick coaching the freshmen team, and he worked with Raye. Jim also wrote a book, Unintended Impact, about his brother’s decent into CTE dementia due to concussions suffered playing football.
THE END GAME, EPISODE 4: Q&A with Jimmy Raye and Dr. Ben Hartnell’s four history classes at Westerville North (Ohio).
A Q&A with Michigan State Hall of Fame quarterback Jimmy Raye, the South’s first Black quarterback to win a national title and a pioneer Black college and NFL coach, and Dr. Ben Hartnell’s history classes at Westerville North (Ohio) near Columbus.
Hartnell, a Michigan State graduate, used the book “Raye of Light, Jimmy Raye, Duffy Daugherty, the 1965-66 Michigan State Spartans and the Integration of College Football” as an instructional tool. The students read the book to learn how sports can play a role in the Civil Rights movement.
The four history classes of ninth and 10th graders assembled in a school auditorium on April 26, 2022, for the Zoom call session
THE END GAME, EPISODE 3: Duffy Daugherty’s Hawaiian Pipeline and the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame
There are two chapters on Duffy Daugherty’s Hawaiian Pipeline in “Raye of Light.” Chapter 13, First Samoan All-American. Chapter 14: The Hawaiian Pipeline. Purchase here.
THE END GAME: Alan Haller endorsement.
THE END GAME, EPISODE 2: John Feinstein and his new book, “Raise a Fist, Take a Knee.” This is the best-selling author’s 44th book.
THE END GAME, EPISODE 1: Gary Steele, the first Black football letterman at West Point, is a retired U.S. Army Colonel. For this episode, he is an honorary passenger on Michigan State’s Underground Railroad. He’s a true 1960s pioneer.
Click here for video on August Publications books by Rick Gosselin, Jesse Goldberg-Strassler and Tom Shanahan
Game Changers is a video produced by Michigan State Athletics for MSU Hall of Fame induction of Jimmy Raye, the South’s first Black quarterback to win a national title. Raye, from Fayetteville, N.C., went on to a coaching career as a pioneering Black college and NFL assistant. It is narrated by Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Tony Dungy, who considered Raye a mentor.
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The End Game podcasts aim to reflect Martin Luther King’s words, “we have come a long, long way in our struggle to make justice a reality for all men, but we have a long, long way to go before the problem is solved.” The stories will be about Michigan State leading a college football integration a long way, but all of America still has a long way to go. That is especially evident with the lack of Black head coaches and athletic directors in college and head coaches and general managers in the NFL.
Herman Bulls was the first Black quarterback at Florence High in the early days of Alabama desegregated schools. Army coach Homer Smith recruited to play football, but his years as a Cadet included broadcasting Army basketball games for West Point’s student station covering the Black Knights’ then-unknown coach, Mike Krzyzewski. Bulls is a retired U.S. Army Colonel and vice-chairman at JLL, an international real estate company. He has received numerous national awards as leading Black businessman. Click here to read more about him.
Tom Shanahan, a Michigan State graduate, grew up in Big Rapids, Michigan, following the Spartans. He is an award-winning sportswriter and author of “Raye of Light: Jimmy Raye, Duffy Daugherty, the 1965-66 Michigan State Spartans and integration of college football.”
Videos posted here TBA.