TIREY: I'm not going down "Glory Road"

Jim Tirey plans a personal boycott of the Hollywood production, "Glory Road". Jim says he will not be seeing the movie at the theaters, nor will he see it when the movie is released on DVD. Why has Jim taken this stance? Is he not a Jon Voight fan, or is it something deeper?

"Glory Road", which opened Friday at theaters nationwide, is the story of the 1966 NCAA Tournament and National Champions, Texas Western. The side story is the fact that Texas Western was the first all-black college basketball starting five to win the national championship. Another side story, and one that is most Kentuckians are interested in, is the fact that Texas Western beat Kentucky in that national championship game. We have been hearing about this movie, and the making of it, for about a year and a half now. Kentucky basketball fans have wondered aloud how this motion picture, and Hollywood, would portray their beloved coach of the Wildcats at that time, the legendary Adolph Rupp. While Rupp is an idol here in the Bluegrass, many across the nation have questioned whether or not Rupp was a racist. And the upcoming movie was seen to be a perfect opportunity for the "politically correct" Hollywood types to cast a disparaging light on the Baron and our state, as well.

From what I understand, the picture does not do too much to soil Rupp's name. Jon Voight plays the part of Rupp, and pulls it off with a modicum of success. Still, I am not going to the theater to see "Glory Road". I will not see it on DVD when it comes out. I will not view this movie in any shape, form, or fashion. I am staging my own personal boycott. And no, I do not expect you to boycott this movie. I would never ask you to do such a thing. But I am going to inform you as to the reasons for my own personal decision. I believe in letting people make up their own minds.

Hollywood (more specifically, the makers of this movie) never cared about the thoughts of Kentucky basketball fans when making this movie, nor do they care now whether or not you go see it. Now, I know you're saying to yourself, "How do you know they don't care, especially if you haven't seen the movie?"

If the people who make movies are good at one thing over any other, it's publicity. But yet, even a year and a half ago, when I made initial inquiries about this movie, I was given the brush off. Those same people made appearances on television and radio shows in "major markets", talking about the actors who would play the parts. Jerry Bruckheimer, famous Hollywood director/producer, who I think even has a wife from this state, wouldn't even have a staff member return my call. I found out that the movie would be a Disney movie, so I called Disney. I was told that Charlie Nelson was in charge of Disney's publicity for this picture. After leaving several messages for Mr. Nelson, I finally got lucky enough for him to be in his office one afternoon. I was then given the name of someone else, Jim Davis. I was told Davis would be able to help me in a couple of months.

After waiting for two months or so to pass, as instructed, I started leaving messages for Davis. I never received a call back from him, but after a few more months, I did get some sign that my messages were received. A nice lady by the name of Julie Ann Risenfeld from a company called The Owens Group in Cincinnati left me a message one day. She said her company was in charge of publicity for "Glory Road" in this area. She would be getting back to me to schedule an interview with some of those involved in the movie. I did not receive another call from her. I called her once and was brushed off and I have not heard from them since.

Hollywood loves to promote itself. And when movies come out, you will see a never-ending parade of actors and behind-the-scenes types on every media outlet available just to drum up business. That's why this whole process leads me to believe that whether of not you, the UK fan, or the state of Kentucky for that matter, sees this movie matters not to Hollywood. They don't care what you think of how they painted your legendary coach or college basketball program. They don't care what this movie does to the image of a proud basketball school and commonwealth, or to those that played for it. And that is why I am going to do just what Hollywood told me to do in its own indirect way. I am not going to care about this movie. I will not see it.

And after my first experience with Hollywood…I'm going to have to take a shower.


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