Roundtable discussion with Milan teammates

I took a show idea to WFYI, and eventually got them to let me put together a couple of episodes.

I wanted to gather a few sports figures around a table in the studio and talk. They could be former teammates, or Mr. Basketballs, or coaches, whatever. Any combination of people who could have an interesting conversation would be good.

It wasn’t going to be expensive to produce, and I was willing to do everything but run the cameras. The concept was going to be that viewers were eavesdropping on a conversation. The show would open while we were talking and end while we were talking. The cameras “dropped in” on us and then exited when time ran out.

It had great potential, but the people in charge of approving local shows at WFYI didn’t seem to agree and nothing happened after the two shows. I put a lot of time into making them happen, particularly in supervising the editing with an intern, and never was paid for doing so. But, I enjoyed the experience and believe the shows turned out well given the circumstances. They would have gotten better and better.

This show, the second of the two, features three members of the Milan basketball team that won the state championship in 1954: Bobby Plump, Ray Craft and Gene White. They were great to work with, bringing in news clippings and other material to supplement the broadcast. And while they have told their story thousands of times, they engaged in a conversation as if it was the first time. Plump called me after it aired to say it was one of his most enjoyable experiences related to the Milan story.

No matter how well you think you know this classic story of Hoosier Hysteria, you’ll probably learn some things here.

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