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NBC Sports Network presents STILL STANDING: THE EARL CAMPBELL STORY, a riveting documentary about one of the greatest running backs in the history of the NFL, and the touching life story that followed his retirement. Still Standing: The Earl Campbell Story, debuts Tuesday, December 4 at 11 p.m. ET/10 p.m. CT/9 p.m. MT/8 p.m. PT on NBC Sports Network.
Born in Tyler, Texas, to a family with 12 children, Earl Campbell began his life working the rose fields and living in a shack, where his brothers joked, ‘you could see the big dipper from your bed at night.’ His father, B.C. Campbell, died of a heart attack at the age of 50, when Earl was 11, leaving his mother, Ann, to raise all 12 Campbell kids.
After winning the Texas State Football Championship in his senior year at John Tyler High School, Campbell went on to the University of Texas, where in his senior year he won the coveted Heisman Trophy (1977). He became the No. 1 pick in the 1978 NFL Draft when the Houston Oilers traded with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the top pick in the draft, and the Oilers immediately chose Campbell.
Campbell’s Hall-of-Fame career was a highlight reel of running over those who would attempt to tackle hiM. Campbell’s 199-yard, four touchdown performance in a 35-30 win over the Miami Dolphins before a national audience on Monday Night Football in Week 12 of his rookie season is the signature individual performance of his career.
Halfway through the 1984 season, Campbell was traded by the Oilers to the Saints where he rejoined his mentor and coach Bum Phillips. He finished his career in New Orleans, retiring during the 1986 preseason, but he will always be remembered as the best of Bum’s Bunch in Houston.
After his retirement, Campbell battled five spinal surgeries, two knee replacements and an addiction to pain pills and alcohol. He was confined to a wheelchair for six years, but due to a successful spinal surgery performed by Dr. Stan Jones in Houston, and his sons Christian and Tyler convincing him to check into a rehabilitation center for his addictions, Campbell is still standing today. He is walking again, and tossed the coin at a University of Texas game in Austin earlier this season.
INTERVIEW SUBJECTS INCLUDE:
Earl Campbell – Main interview subject
Reuna Campbell – Earl’s wife
Christian and Tyler Campbell – Earl’s sons
Willie and Steve Campbell – Earl’s brothers
Bum Phillips - Oilers Head Coach 1975-1980 and Saints Head coach 1981-85
Wade Phillips - Oilers Assistant Coach 1976-1980; Current Houston Texans Defensive Coordinator
Fred Akers - Texas Head Coach 1977-86
“Mean” Joe Greene - Steelers Hall Of Fame Defensive Tackle
Willie Nelson - Musician/Friend
David Barron - Houston Chronicle
Ron Franklin - Oilers Broadcaster 1971-82
Ken Dabbs - Texas Assistant Coach/Recruiter 1973-82
Rick Ingraham - Texas Offensive Lineman 1974-77
Conway Hayman - Oilers Lineman 1975-1980
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