By John Fairless
In 1967, a yr after racial integration had began in rural Tennessee, trainer Jim Graves assembled his team of avid gamers (white and black) and started a unprecedented trip that lasted for 4 seasons. successful video games "one at a time" (as just about all coaches will inform you is the one approach you can), trainer Graves' Panther soccer group in Martin, Tennessee post an ideal season (11-0) -- a rare-enough incidence on its own.
The subsequent season, regardless of Graves' departure, a brand new trainer got here in and did an identical factor. eleven wins, no losses less than trainer James Dunn.
A 3rd season got here alongside, and the implications have been a similar; the fourth yr of what eventually grew to become referred to as The Streak used to be exciting, chilling, nerve-wracking and fascinating -- for avid gamers and enthusiasts alike.
The indisputable fact that this soccer tale occurs in the course of the most tumultuous occasions in American heritage presents a relentless subtext to the tale informed right here. Racial tensions have been operating excessive, specifically within the South, the place a few white humans weren't too chuffed approximately integration within the colleges and in public locations. (Not that every one black fogeys have been unavoidably chuffed, either!)
The Vietnam conflict used to be a continuing burden at the nation's assets, with millions of yank lives misplaced and millions extra younger males who have been by no means fairly an identical once they got here again from war.
Assassination used to be a note that each citizen got here to grasp, all too good -- Martin Luther King, Jr. was once shot and killed in Memphis, Tennessee (about a hundred miles from the place our tale happens) in 1968, later that yr by way of Senator Robert Kennedy, a candidate for President.
As writer John Fairless asks within the book's creation, "The global was once coming nearer on a daily basis, and it felt like a deadly position to be. With all of that happening, simply how very important may possibly a box objective and a soccer video game be?"
It used to be very important, certainly, for the higher than 10,000 electorate amassed on the neighborhood stadium on a chilly November evening while the "The Streak" used to be at the line and highly-ranked groups have been fighting it out.
Fairless writes: "I invite you to a time that's now suspended in reminiscence, separated from the truth of recent lifestyles and our day-by-day grind -- but which is still as touchable and tangible because the thins we skilled basically yesterday.
"Maybe -- for a few of us -- they're extra genuine than that.
Maybe -- simply possibly -- a kick ability greater than profitable or wasting a game."
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Extra resources for 42-0: The Story of Four Extraordinary Seasons
42-0: The Story of Four Extraordinary Seasons by John Fairless