3 CharactersThe characters of Annie Cantrell and Paul Griffen were not real people. They were both composite characters used to tell the stories of many community members touched by the crash.
4 CharactersThe characters of Chris Griffen and Tom Bogdan (the player who overslept) were both fictional and not based on any real members of the 1970 Marshall team.
5 Neither the Marshall cheerleaders nor the band made the trip to East Carolina.
6 The game between Marshall and East Carolina ended on a field goal
7 CharactersDr. Donald Dedmon was not fired by Marshall. He was the interim president at the time of the crash and served until a new president was named the following spring.
8 CharactersJack Lengyel was not as quirky of a person as Matthew McConaughey portrays. McConaughey played up his mannerisms and speech.
9 EventsThe plane was not identified as being the Marshall plane based on finding a Marshall playbook. In actuality, it was first identified by a wallet found at the site. Newspaper reporters recognized the name as belonging to a Marshall player.
10 EventsThe scene where Red Dawson comes home to his wife who thinks he is dead is fictional.Red Dawson was always scheduled to go on the recruiting trip and not fly back on the plane.A graduate assistant gave Deke Brackett his seat on the plane and drove back with Dawson.
11 There is an emotional scene where Dawson's wife is distraught because she thought Red was on the plane. That wasn't true. She knew all along that he was driving back from North Carolina.
12 The six pack of Colt 45 (beer) became a case of Fall City in the movie
13 The movie showed a rescue worker at the crash site finding a slightly charred Marshall playbook amidst the debris. According to the film, that's how it was determined the MU team was in the crash. That's pure fabrication
14 The movie showed Reggie Oliver paying respects to his dead friends in a church in Tuscaloosa, Ala. There were three caskets. There should have been four. Oliver lost four former Druid High School teammates in the crash -- roommate Joe Hood, Bob Van Horn, Freddie Wilson and Larry Sanders
15 EventsThe scene where Nate Ruffin interrupts a Board of Governors meeting is completely fictional.The “We Are Marshall” chant was not used in the early 1970sThere was no Board of Governors at that time
16 EventsJack Lengyel was not the first coach that Marshall hired after the tragedy. Another coach accepted the job and backed out after two days.Also, President Donald Dedmon did not hire Lengyel. The school’s new athletic director Joe McMullen (who is not in the film) actually hired Lengyel.
17 It was McMullen who hired Lengyel It was McMullen who hired Lengyel. And it was McMullen who coined the term "Young Thundering Herd." The late McMullen was a larger-than-life individual, both physically and figuratively, but the filmmakers conveniently excluded him from the movie.
18 The movie shows Lengyel asking Dawson who MU has at quarterback The movie shows Lengyel asking Dawson who MU has at quarterback. Dawson answers, "Dave Walsh." Then, a small wide receiver throws a long pass. Lengyel asks who that is. Dawson replies, "That's a wide receiver named Reggie Oliver." Lengyel responds that Oliver now is a quarterback.
19 The truth is, Oliver was a dropback quarterback who wasn't suited for the option offense that Lengyel wanted to install. So, Lengyel actually moved Oliver from quarterback to wide receiver for one week. Oliver was extremely upset over the position change and was moved back to quarterback.
20 The film depicts Marshall as having a rivalry with West Virginia University. That wasn't the case in those days. The film also fixated on Marshall losing recruiting battles to the Mountaineers. That didn't happen, either.
21 Matthew McConaughey's portrayal of Lengyel was way off target Matthew McConaughey's portrayal of Lengyel was way off target. Lengyel wasn't a goofy-acting coach who talked out of the side of his mouth and perpetually needed a shave. On the contrary, Lengyel was an eloquent speaker who exuded class.
22 The basketball player turned football wide receiver portrayed by former MU basketball star Mark Patton was named Bill James in the film. And, yes, there is a former Herd basketball player by that name who indeed did play football for MU during his one remaining semester of eligibility. But James didn't play for the "Young Thundering Herd." In fact, he didn't play football until two seasons later
23 During a well-publicized scene, Lengyel walks outside his home and sees fans streaming down the sidewalks toward Fairfield Stadium for the Xavier game. That never would happen
24 EventsThe game-winning play in the Marshall victory over Xavier was changed. The Thundering Herd scored on a screen pass and not a crossing route.Also, after the game, the fans did not come on the field, but instead stayed in the stands crying.
25 According to the movie, McShane's character had a son, Chris Griffin, who wore No. 29, was Marshall's star running back and died in the crash. No such player ever existed.
26 Read “We Are Marshall is anything but a true story” by Chuck Landon Chuck Landon articleRead “We Are Marshall is anything but a true story” by Chuck LandonWhy do you think the movie producers said “This is a true story” instead of “Based on a true story”? What would you have done?
27 Answer these questions in a journal. Write at least half a page. Movie FictionKnowing these changes, does it affect the way you feel about the movie?Why do you believe the movie producers made these changes to the story?If they had kept to the truth of the story, do you think it would have changed the impact of the movie?Answer these questions in a journal. Write at least half a page.