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The story of nine working-class young men from the University of Washington who took the rowing world and America by storm when they. “I myself am a brown, queer woman, so for me it was very important that we didn't just give queer . Celebs Who Got Their Start As Miss (Or Mr.) Golden Globe Kris Jenner Is In Full Mom Mode In "Thank U, Next" Bloopers. Meet the Browns (Video ) cast and crew credits, including actors, actresses, directors, writers and more. Millet Jenay Baptiste-Brown. Ron Clinton Smith.
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Most observers thought they would be named to the top varsity boat -- the crew that would give Washington its best chance to get to its first-ever Olympics in Berlin the following year. But the idea that Joe Rantz and the sophomores were the boat to beat was deeply resented by upperclassmen. One of the more vocal dissenters was Bobby Moch.
Just five feet seven and pounds, Moch was a coxswain, tucked in the rear of the racing shell, where light weight was an advantage. A Coxswain commanded the pace and direction of the boat, and ensured the rowers in front of him were fully in concert.
A Phi Beta Kappa student, Moch had endured a childhood racked by asthma, in a logging town in southwestern Washington. He took his seat in the racing shell every day the same way he approached everything: Marilynn Moch, Daughter of Bobby Moch: He was on the basketball team giggles.
He constantly played sports. He was very competitive. He was very smart, but he did not see himself as smart. He saw himself as disciplined. And Moch always had his chin up a little bit -- and just exactly what you want in a coxswain. With the Olympic games in view, the University of Washington crew gets the jump on eastern oarsmen. Like every other upperclassman, for Bobby Moch, the central goal of the season was to find his way into the varsity boat, ahead of Joe Rantz and the sophomores.
While the ice-bound easterners work out in gymnasiums, the Huskies pile into their shells. It was all overseen by a coach, who just a decade earlier, had been a star Washington rower himself.
Al Ulbrickson had won two national championships as a Husky, but never got to an Olympics. Bob Ernst, Rowing Coach: Al Ulbrickson was a pretty hard man. He was not at all communicative.
Sportswriters called him the 'Dour Dane. The taciturn coach appeared content to fuel months of battle between his rowers as the first race of the season approached. In the boathouse, confusion, tension, and hostilities between the sophomores and upperclassmen escalated. Ulbrickson would sometimes just jerk boys out of boats without giving an explanation. Some of the kids had a hard time with that. Joe Rantz certainly did. It made him very uncertain about things.
Peter Mallory, Rowing Historian: He put the line ups up on the chalkboard. He barely said anything in the launch. It was very toxic -- boats not talking to one another. My dad liked to play mind games on the others, primarily coxswains, but also the guys that were rowing if he could think of a way to do it.
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Michael Moch, Son of Bobby Moch: And he was really pushy, you know. I mean, he -- this was gonna happen. There was this animosity that led to a bare-knuckle kind of environment. There would be almost vicious competition between the men. There were shoving matches.
Feelings got very hurt. Psychologically this was a hard game that these kids were involved in. Ulbrickson waited until after dinner the night before the first race of the season to finally announce his decision: But when training resumed, Ulbrickson still had questions about his top crew, testing them relentlessly in practice, and watching them grow sloppy and unpredictable.
Just before the national championship, Ulbrickson reversed himself. Judy Willman, daughter of Joe Rantz: They had gotten themselves to the place where it was kinda easy to be demoralized. And there they go! Seven finely trained crews, churning the fog-shrouded waters of the upper Hudson, in the supreme rowing test of power, speed and coordination. But Cal and the rest of the field soon caught up. California leads Washington by a length, approaching the river bridge at the three-mile mark.
Cal won its third straight national championship. In a surging drive, the California Bears nose out the Cornell shell. The Huskies, meanwhile, returned to Seattle a worn-out, fragmented team. Ulbrickson had gambled, and lost. Now, after the upheaval between the sophomores and upperclassmen, they were all in danger of missing out on the Olympics. A good coach creates the framework for a team to trust each other.
And so there was a breakdown of trust in the shell house. George Pocock was so much more than a boat builder.
- Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns - The Play
He really in many ways was a sage. And Pocock taught generations of rowers at Washington to approach rowing as if it were a craft.
When you walk away from a race, I want you to walk away having left a piece of your heart in that race. And if you approach perfection, you were approaching the divine. Within a few years of his arrival in America, Pocock set up shop building racing shells in the loft above the Washington boathouse.
An accomplished oarsman as well, Pocock became a valued advisor to Washington coaches along the way, including Al Ulbrickson. There was a very, very strong connection there. George was a man of few words as well.
But those two or three words likely were very powerful and probably changed things along the way. With the Olympics just months away, Ulbrickson was determined to put his mistakes of the previous year behind him. He made clear to his team that the upcoming season would be their most grueling yet, and added a sixth day of training to every week. Every seat in the varsity boat was up for grabs. It was every man for himself.
Ulbrickson takes him out of the boat. The boat slows down. Ulbrickson puts him back in the boat, the boat goes faster but then it goes slower the next day. So he finally asks George Pocock.
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George Pocock was almost like a father-figure. Dad was sinking from boat to boat. As somebody who had sort-of been a throw away kind of person, he found himself being thrown away again. He developed an attitude that he had to do everything his own way. And that worked for him living out in the woods.
But that was really a problem for him when it came to crew. He needs to begin to trust. This was when he had to do it. And he had to take advantage of the enormous talent of Don Hume. After just one season on the team, Don Hume was being talked about as perhaps the best Washington stroke-oar -- the rower charged with keeping the rhythm of the boat -- since Al Ulbrickson himself. He actually worked in a pulp mill as a kid.
And there was an unfortunate consequence of that. Fumes in the mill damaged his lungs. So it made him very susceptible to respiratory illnesses. He had a very hard time shaking them off. Al Ulbrickson would have preferred to have a two-hundred-pound guy in there who could pull twice as hard as Don Hume.
But Don Hume was special. He had a natural feel for the rhythm of the water and how fast the boat would move. Don Hume would just do his job and all the guys super respected him for that.
By mid-March, Hume was a regular in the lineup that Ulbrickson envisioned for his varsity boat. In his daily logbook, he added another name he hadn't written for some time. Over the next several practices, the boat got faster. That was a bunch of guys that Joe could trust. And Ulbrickson knew at that point he had the boat that he wanted to try to take to Berlin.
The varsity crew was named four months before the Olympics. After so many months of second-guessing, and bruised egos, the former boathouse adversaries comprised a powerful Washington crew. In their first race together, the Pacific Coast Regatta in April, they accelerated away from Cal and annihilated the course record by 37 seconds. Swing comes when you really have that harmony. Synchronicity -- eight hearts beating as one as George Pocock would say.
In June, the national championship in Poughkeepsie loomed. A few days before their race, Ulbrickson gave them the day off, and the boys from Seattle decided they would visit one of the local residents. They know that President Roosevelt lives at Hyde Park just up the river. They find a gardener who points it out to them. They walk up, and knock on the door and one of the Roosevelt sons comes to the door. And he is himself a rower so he invites them in. One of the guys sits actually in the chair that Roosevelt sometimes delivers his fireside chats from.
Johnny White writes a little note in his diary that night. The historic Poughkeepsie regatta draws seven varsity shells to the starting line and a crowd of spectators to the sideline. The national championship was June 22nd. They would row the first two miles of that race in cruise control. And then they would start to pick it up. You guys gotta go now! Moch continues to hold the boat back and then, at the last possible moment, he finally leans in and tells Don Hume to pick the pace up.
Bobby Moch had faith in his team. He just stayed cool and calm and then just mowed them down. The Huskies of Washington proceed to sweep the river, surging to victory to become the ace candidate for the Olympics.
With reporters afterwards, Ulbrickson praised his coxswain. The strategy, once again, was to race from behind. The Olympic trials for Washington was probably one of the best races they ever rowed. And people were rightly intimidated by the way they rowed. We gotta hold on. We gotta -- oh no, here they come. And they waited a long time. They just exploded and went right through them. Ulbrickson spoke to the national press after the race.
The crew of the Washington University, I want to congratulate you on winning the championship of American eight-oared crews. On the morning of July 15th, two and a half weeks before the start of the Olympics, the boys from Washington who had previously only been on lakes and rivers, began a journey across the Atlantic Ocean.
Manhattan luxury liner was a foot ship that would transport members of the U. Olympic team to Germany -- and also -- a sixty-two foot Pocock racing shell. Their world had gone very quickly from the sawmill, the edge of the forest to the biggest stage of all.
Over the ten-day crossing, Don Hume, always prone to respiratory infections, began struggling with a deep chest cold that persisted as the ship took them through the English Channel to Germany. This was like going to another planet.
They actually saw a very clean, well-scrubbed city, very carefully laid out. There were swastikas hanging from every street corner. There were banners everywhere. The Opening Ceremony was held on August 1st at the newly built sports stadium. To Adolf Hitler, the Games were the ultimate propaganda tool. David Clay Large, Historian: He was a very effective propagandist and he was going to use the Olympics as his great show.
He was going to bring out onto the world this new healed Germany, this reunified Germany, a stronger Germany, but also, he insisted, a peaceful Germany. Control your destiny and choose one of two unique experiences: God of Fire"; Lost in Tartarus' Labyrinth"; "Creatures of the Titans"; Storyboard Comparisons; Deleted Scenes and UltraViolet -- which allows consumers to download and instantly stream the standard definition theatrical version of the film to a wide range of devices including computers and compatible tablets, smartphones, game consoles, Internet-connected TVs and Blu-ray players.
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Seuss can bring to life. Will Sam-I-Am convince his new friend to take a chance and finally try something new?
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Find out in this timeless tale the whole family will enjoy. Then, meet The Sneetches, who teach us that being yourself is the best way to fit in while the story of The Zax reminds us that there is nothing to gain from being stubborn. So bring an appetite for a full course meal of fun that will fill your heart and mind. All three have been re-mastered for this Deluxe Edition.
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