PHOTO: Jimmy Raye (L) and Osahon Tongo backstage at the 44th annual Sports Emmys in New York celebrating the award.
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By TOM SHANAHAN
NFL 360 producer/director Osahon Tongo was awarded the Emmy for “Outstanding Edited Special” on Monday night at the 44th Sports Emmys in New York.
Tongo’s feature, “The Indelible Jimmy Raye,” told the story of Raye’s journey from the segregated Fayetteville, N.C., to Michigan State in 1964 and to the NFL. He was the first Black quarterback from the South to win a national title and the second Black coordinator in the NFL. John Robinson hired him offensive coordinator for the Los Angeles Rams, 1983-84.
In addition to offensive coordinator with other teams, his long career established him as a mentor for many Black coaches. The list includes Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Tony Dungy, who was interviewed in the film.
Click here for the award announcement: Emmy Award winner.
The feature first aired on February 7 on the NFL Network during Super Bowl week in the Phoenix area. The premier was at Arizona State’s Sidney Poitier New American Film School.
Tongo’s acceptance speech Monday night on stage with crew members and Raye:
“I’m honored and I’m humbled. First, I’d like to thank the creator, God, for bringing us here together. I’d like to thank ancestors, my family back in Naperville (Illinois), everyone that supported. I’d like to thank the team at NFL 360 here for all the support.
“I’d like to thank Jimmy Raye, the Indelible Jimmy Raye. Witnessing his story and letting us get a lens into what it was like to grow up in the Jim Crow South and navigate through all that with grace and vulnerability and truth and honor and win two national championships at Michigan state as the only Black quarterback in the NCAA at the time. It’s an amazing endeavor. And then going on to coach and be one of the first offensive coordinators of color. It’s just amazing. It’s an honor and a pleasure to tell the story.
“Thank you for the time. Thank you for watching. Thank you for voting. Thank you.”
Click here for the full NFL 360 video: The Indelible Legacy of Jimmy Raye
Click here for The End Game podcast with producer/director Osahon Tongo:
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Click here for my story on the 1962 Rose Bowl and Segregation awarded first place by the Football Writers Association of America.
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I tell untold stories on Michigan State’s leading role and the true pioneers of college football integration. Click here to read a summary.
Click here to purchase Raye of Light.
RAYE OF LIGHT
Jimmy Raye, Duffy Daugherty, the 1ntegration of College Football and the 1965-66 Michigan State Spartans
Foreword by Tony Dungy