News Articles

Film includes social aspects of 1969

Texas-Arkansas Shootout

By David Barron of The Houston Chronicle – August 7, 2014

For football fans of a certain age, place and time, vivid memories endure of the 1969 Big Shootout between Texas and Arkansas for the national championship in college football’s centennial year, 45 years ago this December.

Dallas author and filmmaker Mike Looney is counting on that sense of nostalgia to promote interest in his film “The Big Shootout: The Life & Times of 1969,” which will receive the latest in a series of special screenings on Friday at the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in Waco.

Looney has aired the film a dozen times in Texas and Arkansas for the last couple of years while working on plans for regional or national DVD distribution and for a potential television distribution deal.

He continues to work on the TV front, and he’s making progress on the retail front. In addition to being available on Looney’s website at, the DVD is scheduled for distribution in September to Walmart stores in Texas and Arkansas. It also will be available through HEB stores in Texas and on

Music adds to feel

Looney and his investors have taken a long-lens approach to the film, which cost about $500,000, including about $100,000 in music rights for a collection of familiar 1960s songs as background music.

“Our goal for the film is for it to get respect and not have to be marketed (on TV) as an infomercial,” he said. “We want it to be seen with all the music and at its complete length (an hour and 40 minutes) and not cut to fit somebody’s schedule.

“We’re willing to put our money where our mouth is. It may not be without pain, but I feel good about our decision.” Read the complete article here.

 ‘Doc’ Worthington passes away at age 93

 Dr. Richard “Doc” Worthington, former Director of Bands at the University of Arkansas, passed away on April 3, 2014, at the age of 93. Doc Worthington became the Director of Bands in 1956 and developed the Marching Razorbacks marching band.

Worthington served as Director of Bands at the University of Arkansas from 1956 to 1970. During his time as director, he led the Marching Razorbacks and the program’s concert band. The program nearly doubled in size to more than 150 students under his leadership.

In 1964-65, Worthington led the integration of the marching band with the introduction of the first two African Americans to join the program. Four years later, he partnered with students to end the school tradition of playing “Dixie.”

Doc Worthington is featured prominently in The Big Shootout for the role he played in preventing the band from playing “Dixie” that day. He will be greatly missed. 

 Sherrington: Greg Ploetz was a ‘warrior’ at Texas, but dementia has left him with only misery

This article by Kevin Sherrington was Published on 26 April 2014 07:50 PM; Updated: 28 April 2014 10:19 AM

Our condolences to the Ploetz family, Greg passed away on May 11, 2015

Greg Ploetz hasn’t played a football game in more than 40 years, but the scar still shows. An undersized All-Southwest Conference defensive tackle at Texas, he earned it. A “warrior,” one teammate called him. Now, at 65, Ploetz couldn’t so much as handle the crowd noise at the Big Shootout. Conversation confuses him. Walking is sometimes terrifying. In his tortured mind these days, a crack in the floor looms like a leap across a deep, dark crevasse.

Ploetz — pronounced Plets — suffers from what neurologists call “mixed dementia,” the probable result of head trauma from his days as a 5-11, 205-pound lineman at Sherman High and Texas. Doctors can’t tell his wife, Deb, if he’s a victim of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, or CTE, the progressive degenerative brain disease linked with multiple concussions, harrowing news reports and a lawsuit against the NFL.

They won’t know for sure until after he’s dead. A year, maybe two.

If there’s any difference between Ploetz and the more than 4,000 plaintiffs in the NFL suit, it’s that he never played pro football. His last game was the ’72 Cotton Bowl, against Penn State.

Other than occasional financial assistance from former Texas teammates, no help is coming to the Ploetzes, as it may yet for the NFL plaintiffs. Texas isn’t liable. Neither is the NCAA. No union push by Northwestern can help them at this point, either.

At least 60 former college players with similar stories have filed lawsuits against the NCAA without success. Even if they’d cashed in, Deb wouldn’t have been a party to it.

“Greg chose to play football,” she says, “so I don’t really hold people liable for the choice he made.”

Talk to players of Ploetz’s generation, and this is the answer you get: I’d do it all over again.

Ploetz was no different until he realized just how different he is.

“Five years ago, he never wanted to recognize that football did this to him,” Deb says.

“The last two years, he stopped watching.” Read the complete article here.

Reproduced with permission from The Dallas Morning News.

Follow Kevin Sherrington on Twitter @KSherringtonDMN  @SportsDayDFW 

The Daily Texan features Big Shootout story

The Big Shootout documentary is featured by The Daily Texan with glowing reviews. Get the full story here.