The story of the glory and tragedy of the 1988 Carter Cowboys football team was a footnote in “Friday Night Lights,” and it got its own feature film in 2015, “Carter High.”
But the story finally gets its documentary due via ESPN’s “30 for 30” this month.
The movie, “What Carter Lost,” airs at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 24.
From director Adam Hootnick:
It wasn’t just this incredible series of real life dramas that convinced me to make What Carter Lost, though – it was the stories that hadn’t been told. The movie Friday Night Lights showed us a Carter team full of menacing black giants who won by playing dirty, but we never met the players, or their community. They were parents who’d grown up in segregated schools but made it to college, good jobs, stable families and nice homes, and wanted to see their children do better. They were teachers and school board members who refused to be stereotyped as football-crazed cheaters, and believed they were being singled out because they were African American, not part of the Texas football old boys club. They were fans who rallied behind a city team that was upending the status quo, only to be devastated when some of their heroes faltered and the cynics said “I told you so.” They were a few players who made horrible decisions they still can’t quite explain, and their many teammates who did everything right, on the field and off, but felt ignored by history.