By John Fairless
In 1967, a 12 months after racial integration had began in rural Tennessee, trainer Jim Graves assembled his staff of 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 single manner you can), trainer Graves' Panther soccer staff in Martin, Tennessee submit an ideal season (11-0) -- a rare-enough prevalence 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 below trainer James Dunn.
A 3rd season got here alongside, and the implications have been an analogous; the fourth 12 months of what ultimately turned referred to as The Streak used to be exciting, chilling, nerve-wracking and interesting -- for gamers and enthusiasts alike.
The proven fact that this soccer tale occurs in the course of one of the most tumultuous instances in American heritage presents a continuing subtext to the tale informed the following. Racial tensions have been working excessive, specially 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 parents have been inevitably chuffed, either!)
The Vietnam struggle was once a continuing burden at the nation's assets, with millions of yankee lives misplaced and millions extra younger males who have been by no means rather an analogous once they got here again from war.
Assassination used to be a be aware that each citizen got here to understand, 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 12 months by way of Senator Robert Kennedy, a candidate for President.
As writer John Fairless asks within the book's creation, "The global used to be coming nearer each day, and it felt like a deadly position to be. With all of that happening, simply how very important may well a box target and a soccer online game be?"
It used to be very important, certainly, for the higher than 10,000 electorate accrued on the neighborhood stadium on a chilly November evening while the "The Streak" was once at the line and highly-ranked groups have been combating it out.
Fairless writes: "I invite you to a time that's now suspended in reminiscence, separated from the truth of recent existence 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 probably -- a kick capacity greater than profitable or wasting a game."
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