The Gospel Truth

A Night at the Movies for the Obama Family | October 25, 2011

I think the president has been working too hard.

I think he should take the family to a night at the movies.

I mean just how many times can he watch the reruns of Roots? Or the Man who Knew too Much?

I have just the film for him.

It just opened last Friday, and is rated “G”–I think that stands for great and is all about America and its fighting spirit.

It’s called The Mighty Macs and is a true story that captures the spirit and character of The Natural, Hoosiers  Rocky and Rudy all wrapped into one.

Gene Hackman

Cathy Rush's role model

For three years Barack Obama has reminded the American people that our best days are behind us, our future is bleak and there is no such thing as American Exceptionalism.

He needs to see a movie that shows America’s Right Stuff in combating almost insurmountable obstacles and without any government assistance.

America has always been a highly motivated country and what has happened to us since FDR turned us into an entitlement people is a travesty and an insult to the American people.

The Mighty Macs, produced by an independent film company, not only demonstrates with clarity the characteristics that we have always celebrated as representative of the American character, but also re-enacts a metaphor for our very origination.

I am writing about the spirit of infracaninephilism–the love of the underdog.

test4Immaculata _ the first women's basketball dynasty

Cathy Rush and her underdogs

It is something that has motivated our history from the Alamo through the Lost Battalion of World War I.

America has always emulated the David and Goliath story of the Old Testament.

The Mighty Macs recounts the story of Cathy Rush and her unheralded, unknown women’s basketball team in suburban Philadelphia that shocked the sports world by winning the first three women’s national titles.

The feature debut of director Tim Chambers, this sports drama stars Carla Gugino (Spy Kids) as Cathy Rush, a women’s basketball coach in the early ‘7o’s.

Mighty Macs

A metaphor for our times

Without any visible resources for the sport, Rush is hired by a small college and dedicates herself  with the fierce dedication of a marine on a quest to turning a nearly nonexistent team into a national competitor.

With sheer determination, the coach inspires her team to reach for the stars because she is hungry and needs to do something with life.

The film debuted nationally on October 21st, and thousands of people learned for the first time of how Rush’ s never take no for answer demeanor charted the course for the future of her sport.

David Boreanaz (l.) and Carla Gugino, center, are seen with director Tim Chambers on set for 'The Mighty Macs.'

Paula Gugino as Cathy Rush

My wife and I were enthralled by the dramatic presentation that not only put women’s sports in a very positive and convincing light but emphasized the humanity of an order of nuns, who were caught in the headlights of the business side of our Catholic church.

Did they rush to get government aid?

No they dug down deeply and not only saved the team but Immaculata College.

They prayed as if everything depended on God and worked as if He wasn’t interested.

While Cathy Rush downplayed her role in the team’s success–they won the very first three Women’s Basketball Championships from 1972-74, she paved the way for Luigi Geno Auriemma and his U-Conn Huskies to bring Cathy’s pioneer work to fruition.

Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma reacts during the first half against Notre Dame in an NCAA college basketball game in the semifinals of the Big East tournament in Hartford.

Rush paved the way for Geno

I had the pleasure of meeting Cathy 37 years ago.

I read in the local paper that she was in St. Louis for some clinic or speaking engagement and unannounced I went and approached her.

She was very cordial, and talked to me for what must have been 20 minutes.

I wrote a piece for my locally syndicated sports column, Kranks’s Korner that I was able to find in  my archives.

Here are some of my observations, and after you see the movie…maybe with the Obamas–check out what Michelle is eating–perhaps you can compare them to the movie presentation.

At first appearance Cathy Rush gives the impression that she might be a fifth grade teacher, or perhaps a fashion writer.  In reality the pretty blonde is the basketball coach at Immaculata College in suburban Philadelphia.  Among those who take an interest in women’s basketball, her name is as important as those of Johnny Wooden of UCLA and Notre Dame’s Digger Phelps…

In the film she appears more like a cross between George Patton and Bobby Knight on at least one occasion.

The school’s previous record had been a mediocre 5-5.  In her first season as head coach, Cathy Rush’s team finished at 10-2.  (It is obvious that in the movie, what was depicted was not her first season.)

Overall in her four years at the helm, her teams have compiled ab outstanding 76-4 record, going into the 1974-75 season.  This includes a thirty-five game winning streak that suddenly ended last year, when they suffered a 57-56 loss to Queens College in Flushing, New York. (My hometown area)…

Cathy Rush 02

A little of Bobby Knight

Mrs. Rush, whose husband Ed is now a ref in the ABA, after a number of years in the National Basketball Association, is not of the Billy Jean King school of thought.  While she has all the pride in the world about her team’s accomplishments on the court, she deeply believes that ‘girls can’t compete with men in sports’…

Mrs. Rush’s coaching philosophy is simple and to the point.  She is defense-minded and her teams score a lot of their 66 points per game average on steals and fast breaks.  She simply enjoys the smell of competition and the thrill of victory. Immaculata ‘could not pay me enough money to make it worthwhile,’ if she did not love her work. (In the film she says she would have done it for free.)

Cathy Rush 04

Defense was her capstone

Four decades after first walking onto the campus of the small, Catholic college in Pennsylvania, Rush is talking about her time there a lot now.

The Mighty Macs, which essentially was completed in 2008 but — like the program itself — endured multiple challenges and adversity before prevailing.

My goodness,Rush said recently, I’m overwhelmed. I’ve been saying for 35 years the unique nature of the Immaculata story was an unlikely dream come true.

I dreamed that this movie could be made, and to see it become a reality is just so gratifying, humbling and exciting all at the same time.

Cathy Rush

Cathy Rush and the people who brought her story to the screen

There is a lot in this film for the whole family, and by that I mean, even the Obamas, who might finally realize what this country is really like.
And if they ever do, Cathy Rush can add her most impressive victory to her impressive resume, which includes election to the College Hall of Fame in 2008.
Cathy Rush
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1 Comment »

  1. I wasn’t able to make it to see the movie but heard lots of good things about it. If it ever gets back here, I will do my darndest to see it. Thanks for the report and I hope Obama takes his family and attends this movie. Pax

    Comment by Mary B — October 26, 2011 @ 1:32 am


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About author

After graduating from Holy Cross, Bill Borst earned an MA in Asian History from St. John's University and a Ph.D in American History from St. Louis University. (1972) A former New Yorker, he taught for many years in the St. Louis area, while also hosting a weekly radio show on WGNU from 1984-2006. He currently is a regular substitute for conservative Phyllis Schlafly on KSIV radio. (1320) He is the author of two books on social history, "Liberalism: Fatal Consequences," and "The Scorpion and the Frog: A Natural Conspiracy." He just retired as the Features editor of the Mindszenty Foundation Monthly Report. In his 11 years from 2003-2013 he wrote nearly 130 essays on Catholic culture and world affairs. Many in St. Louis also know him as the "Baseball Professor," because of a course that he offered at Maryville College from 1973-74. It was arguably the first fully-accredited baseball history course in the Midwest.The author of several short books on the old St. Louis Browns, he started the St. Louis Browns Historical Society in 1984. In 2009 his first two plays were produced on the local stage. "The Last Memory of an Ol' Brownie Fan," ran six performances at the Sound Stage in Crestwood and "A Perfect Choice" ran for two performances at the Rigali Center Theater in Shrewsberry. His third play, "A Moment of Grace," ran six performances at DeSmet High School in January of 2011with First Run Theater in January of 2011. He is currently working on a 4th play, "A Family Way," which is a comedy about a happy dysfunctional family. He can reached at bbprof@sbcglobal.net

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