"It's about putting a kid in position for life," Ginn Sr. said of his football philanthropy, which is much more than churning out college talent...
"Ginn Sr.'s commodities are high school talent and compassion. Eight years ago, he loaded up his car, took out a second mortgage on his house and started hauling his kids to various college camps around the Midwest. Just so they could be seen..."
(From Dennis Dodd's 2006 column below)
During last year's NFL Draft in Davie at Dolphins HQ, I was taking a photo of everyone at WQAM's table: Jim Mandich, Orlando Alzugaray, Jimmy Cefalo, et al -and listening
to their remarks on my Walkman- when the booing started when Cam came out to meet the fans.
I'll never forget how quick Jim was to pick up on that abrupt change in room temperature: a cold freeze set in!
I'll have to double-check my photo CD -and those of my nephew Mario, who was there, too- and see if I have any photos of them reacting to Cam's comments.
Obviously, me being me and knowing the things I do, and wanting Cam to succeed in a very big way with the Dolphins, I recall getting a sick sinking feeling in my stomach after that, while I made my way back thru the crowd, towards Cam and the mobs that seemingly wanted to lynch him for passing on over-hyped Notre Dame QB Brady Quinn.
Perhaps if people watch the program on Sunday night with an open mind, they'll have a better understanding of why Cam said what he did about why the Dolphins drafted Ted Jr. with their number-one selection.
(As it happens, Jim really hit on something when he recently spoke on his afternoon radio show about the Wolverines possibly biting the bullet, and playing night games in Ann Arbor, and what a change in culture that would be.
A few days before the Super Bowl, I sent him an email mentioning the paucity of Dolphin covers in Sports Illustrated in the Perfect Season of '72, per his "currentcy theory" and listing what NFL players or teams had been on the covers.
The first Dolphin SI cover during the Perfect Season was Mercury Morris on after the divisional playoff victory at Pittsburgh, despite the Dolphins being 15-0 at the time.)
This is a snippet of Sunday's program about Ted Sr.:http://www.atlasbooks.com/marktplc/02164.htm
See this Cleveland-based blogger's comments and those of his readers at:
Meanwhile, over at the premier Ohio State sports blog, bucknuts: http://forums.bucknuts.com/showthread.php?p=282610
Father figure Ginn Sr. builds improbable Ohio pipeline
By Dennis Dodd, CBS SportsLine.com Senior Writer
September 6, 2006
Cleveland Plain Dealer
Journalist comes away so impressed with Glenville coach Ted Ginn Sr. that he makes him focus of a documentary
Dennis Manoloff, Plain Dealer Reporter
January 5, 2008
John Dauphin met Ted Ginn Sr. at a church in Sandusky in the summer of 2006. Ginn had come to give a speech.
Dauphin, a longtime journalist, was immediately captivated by the Glenville High School football coach, enough that the standard feature story would not suffice.
"I asked if I could follow him around," Dauphin said Friday by phone from his home in Columbus. "He said, 'Sure, why don't you follow me for a week?' More than a year later, here we are."
What began in August 2006 was wrapped in November 2007: "Winning Lives: The Story of Ted Ginn Sr." The documentary, released in December, is being televised tonight and Sunday on ONN.
Dauphin wrote, directed and co-produced the film.
"Teddy's as impressive as anyone I've ever been around," Dauphin said. "While others are thinking about or trying to make a difference, he's out there doing it every day."
On the DVD jacket, the 58-minute film is billed as "a powerful look at the legendary high school coach and his efforts to make a positive impact on the turbulent lives of inner-city youth in Cleveland and beyond."
To tell Ginn's story, Dauphin employs a scattershot approach, which runs the risk of confusing the viewer with all its fits and starts. The safe play, especially for a first-timer, would have been straight chronological.
First-time filmmaker Dauphin, working on a shoestring budget, deserves kudos for taking the gamble. At the very least, bouncing around keeps everybody guessing - and, therefore, anticipating - where the film will go next. It is never boring.
As much as "Winning Lives" champions Ginn as more than just a football coach, the best parts of the film center on football. That includes a trip down memory lane to Ginn's childhood in southern Louisiana, where milk-carton football ruled the day. The kids would put rocks in milk cartons, seal them up and go at it for hours.
Easily the most entertaining part of the film comes from Glenville's 27-7 victory over Strongsville in the 2006 regular season. At the end of the first half, Ginn is borderline apoplectic over a pair of personal-foul penalties committed by his players just before halftime.
In the locker room at halftime, Ginn opens with a "Shut up!" and proceeds to tear into his team for being selfish. (Glenville led, 20-7.)
"Play football and forget your ego!" he screams.
"Friday Night Lights" has nothing on this. If you don't want to put on the pads and hit somebody after listening to Ginn in this scene, well, football is not for you.
By the end of the game, Ginn was considerably more subdued.
When not showing football footage, Dauphin seamlessly mixes in testimonials from former players, including Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith, Buffalo Bills defensive back Donte Whitner and Ginn's son, Miami Dolphins receiver/returner Ted Ginn Jr.
How grateful to Ted Ginn Sr. is Whitner for where he is today? Whitner has a tattoo on his arm that reads "Thank God for Ginn."
Faith plays a huge role in Ginn's life.
"Sometimes I want to live a simple life . . . but I can't do it," Ginn said. "God won't let me do it."
Dauphin is careful not to get preachy in "Winning Lives." Other than Ginn's direct quote, the references are subtle and interwoven in the fabric.
"It had to be addressed, because it's a huge part of his life," Dauphin said. "But there's a fine line. We made this for people of all backgrounds."
Dauphin also resists making the film a propaganda video for Ohio State. It easily could have happened given the pipeline Ginn has established to Columbus.
"You can't avoid the connections, but at the same time I didn't want to be beating people over the head with Buckeyes, either," Dauphin said.
"Winning Lives" is an uplifting look at Ginn and his mission, no question. It does not, however, come across as Utopian. The film leaves the viewer with a sense that, while Ginn has accomplished much, he has plenty left to do - and it will not be easy.
Ginn would not have it any other way.
To reach this Plain Dealer reporter: firstname.lastname@example.org, 216-999-4664