Friday, November 4, 2011
'I can only imagine what it must have been like'
By Cynthia Greenlee
Craig and I had been married for about 7½ years before he ever mentioned anything about the Marshall University plane crash. I knew he went to Marshall, but he never said very much about his college days.
When we went to see the movie We Are Marshall, what I remember more than anything was how he kept shaking his head all during the movie and afterwards. He even got into specifics about different scenes and explained what really happened and what didn’t.
There was one scene in the movie that really seemed to bother him. Anthony Mackie, who played Nate Ruffin in the film, got very emotional during a scrimmage and attacked one of his teammates. In that scene, assistant coach Red Dawson had to pull Ruffin off the guy. Craig kept saying that the real-life Nate didn’t act anything like the character in the movie.
Craig ought to know. He and Nate played together, so he would have a good understanding of how Nate might react in stressful situations.
When Craig did some of his background research for the book, we went back to Huntington (West Virginia) for a few days and we visited his college roommate Bill Redd and his wife, Marie. They talked a lot about the crash. For me, I don’t think it would be something I would want to talk about, even after all these years. I’m not so sure I would want to relive all of that.
I can only imagine what it must have been like to be on Marshall’s campus that night. Craig’s best friend (Scottie Reese) died in the plane crash. Maybe that’s why he never said anything about it.
Cynthia Greenlee is married to the author. The couple lives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.