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
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
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
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."