George Andrie, Arts ’62, played in five National Football League Pro Bowls, won a Super Bowl and competed in the iconic Ice Bowl with the Dallas Cowboys. But even at age 72, one memory continued to gnaw at him: when Marquette dropped the football program after his junior year in 1960.
That memory came bubbling to the surface when Charlie Mangano, Jour ’76, asked Andrie to be the feature of a documentary filmed by his students in the Diederich College of Communication. “He was hesitant to get involved because of some hurt feelings about what happened when Marquette canceled the program,” Mangano says. “He finally agreed just to get me off his back.”
Andrie opened up about the nostalgia, pride, heartache and love story that started on campus and extended beyond his playing career. “He was as gracious and helpful to the students as you ever dreamed,” Mangano says, “a real classy man.”
The seeds of what became Doomsday Warrior: The Story of George Andrie began in the 1970s, when Mangano was an undergraduate at Marquette. He was surprised to learn Marquette was home to one of the greatest NFL stars of the era. Forty years later Mangano helped get students interested in a pilot for a series focusing on the lives of Marquette Hall of Famers. Andrie was their first choice to feature.
The students — Mangano calls them the “magnificent seven”— spent the spring 2015 semester interviewing former NFL players and officials, assembling a script with narration by ESPN reporter Linda Cohn, and tracking down historic Marquette football footage.
At the end of the year, the students invited Marquette football alumni, athletics officials and others for a screening in Johnston Hall. Nearly 100 people packed the classroom to see the film and stayed 45 minutes afterward asking questions.
“The students put together a film that was as good as you will ever see anywhere,” Mangano says. “I’ve done a lot of great things during my career, including winning an Emmy, but this was one of my proudest achievements. The students were amazing.”
Just as important as the reception to the film was what it meant to Andrie and the team it featured. “George said it helped heal a lot of hurt feelings that remained over the years,” Mangano says. “They were over the moon.” — TC
Watch the documentary at go.mu.edu/doomsday.