Bob Plump guests on Jane Pauley Show
Mary Margaret Moorhead - Staff Writer

Those watching the Jane Pauley Show on Channel 5 at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, October 8, saw a Hoosier hero - Bobby Plump - in a ten-minute segment toward the end of the show.

Plump's appearance on this NBC daily broadcast came as a result of the 1954 Milan Indians state basketball championship and the tie-in with the still popular movie "Hoosiers."

Friday's show featured a guest appearance by Billy Bob Thornton, one of the main characters in the new movie "Friday Night Lights," based on the real-life, small town excitement generated by the high school football team in Odessa, Texas.

During the show, which also highlighted football players from Odessa, Texas, Pauley introduced two members of a high school football team in Punta Gorda, Florida, where the community suffered severe hurricane damage and lost their school and football stadium.

Pauley had arranged for new lighting and other equipment lost in the hurricane to be replaced so that the school could continue its football program.

Comparing the movie "Friday Night Lights" to "Hoosiers," Pauley talked about her Hoosier background
- she is an Indianapolis native - and the similarity of the story to the actual events in the lives of the Milan Indians in 1954.

With about 10 minutes to go before the show ended, Pauley introduced Bob Plump and showed the clip of the final seconds of the 1954 State Championship game with Muncie Central.

"That gives me goose bumps every time I see it," Pauley said.

Plump answered, "It makes me nervous too. I'm always afraid I'll see it one time when the shot doesn't go in."

Noting that her father and Coach Marvin Wood were only a year apart at Morristown High School, Pauley said that although she was too young to remember the event, she had heard much about it over the years from her father.

Plump described the thrill of riding back home with a caravan following the team and cars lined on both sides of the road for miles before they ever reached Milan. "There were 30 or 40 thousand people in Milan that Sunday, and Milan can't hold that many people," he laughed.

Friday's show was complete with a high school band and cheerleaders, an excellent promotion for high school athletics and also for the movie now making the rounds - "Friday Night Lights."

A check at Milan High School revealed that Athletic Director Marty Layden was contacted earlier by the Jane Pauley staff concerning how to get in touch with Bobby Plump. However, the school personnel were not aware that his appearance would be on Friday.

This reporter discovered it that
morning when reading the "Talk of Our Town" column in the City & State section of The Indianapolis Star.

Susan Guyett, who writes the daily column, reported on Friday morning that the Jane Pauley Show had flown Bobby Plump to New York City for that day's show to represent the movie "Hoosiers" to coincide with Billy Bob Thornton's appearance for the football movie "Friday Night Lights."

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