While attending a friend's wedding reception this summer in Chevy
Chase, Md., senior editor Greg Kelly found himself at the same
table with Riki Ellison, the former San Francisco 49ers and Los
Angeles Raiders linebacker and the football coach at T.C.
Williams High in Alexandria, Va., which served as the inspiration
for the movie Remember the Titans. After learning that the
program had fallen on hard times, Kelly saw the potential for a
story and passed along the details to senior writer Tim Layden,
who ended up writing a feature on the struggles of the modern-day
Titans (SI, Oct. 15).
"On the whole the players from the 1971 team felt that the movie
got it right," Layden says. "It really was a racially balanced
team that helped bring the community together. Plus, the old
players are excited that they've been made into celebrities in
their middle age, something none of them expected. As for what's
going on today, nearly everybody was speaking from one political
angle or another, so you really had to look around corners and
piece things together to find out the truth."
If you're an SI subscriber who's interested in this kind of
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months SI has been producing a twice-weekly e-mail newsletter
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one, there's a feature called Inside SI, in which SI writers like
Layden deliver behind-the-scenes info about a story in that
week's issue of the magazine. "When we interview our fellow SI
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Bill Colson, Managing Editor
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