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CBS Sports Network Tackles Story Of First NYC Black College Football Game

CBS Sports Network will examine the first black college football game played in New York City as part of a documentary airing Sept. 28.
The one-hour documentary, 1st & Goal In The Bronx: Grambling vs. Morgan State 1968, will chronicle that game between those schools in New York City and the cultural and political context surrounding it.

The documentary explores the history of black college football and its struggles in the segregated America of the 20th century, according to network officials. The game featured 31 players that were drafted to the pro football ranks, and the documentary offers commentary from players from the 1968 Grambling and Morgan State teams, including Shack Harris, Doug Williams, Willie Brown, Willie Lanier, and Raymond Chester.

The game's success led to the founding of the New York Urban League Classic, which was created in 1971 and was played annually at Yankee Stadium until 1987, when it moved across the Hudson River to the Meadowlands in New Jersey.
"In the past we've done several documentaries dealing with race issues and multicultural issues and this seemed to be a project that looks at a fascinating story during an interesting time in American history," said Emilie Deutsch, vice president of original programming.

While there is a focus on the gridiron, Deutsch said the film's scope extends well beyond the action between the lines.
"It's the story of that particular game, but the documentary also tells the story about that time period, the origins of the historically black colleges and their emphasis on education not only for the students but for the athletes as well," she said.

The film premieres Sept. 28 at 7 p.m. (ET) on CBS Sports Network.

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.