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The Wexner Center to present ‘Rare Football Films’ with guests John Hicks, Bobby Carpenter

Heisman Trophy–winner Howard 'Hopalong' Cassady (No. 40) played for OSU from 1952–55 and is one of the gridiron greats featured in 'Rare Football Films: The Newsreels' on Aug. 23. Credit: Courtesy of Wexner Center for the Arts

Heisman Trophy–winner Howard ‘Hopalong’ Cassady (No. 40) played for OSU from 1952–55 and is one of the gridiron greats featured in ‘Rare Football Films: The Newsreels’ on Aug. 23. Credit: Courtesy of Wexner Center for the Arts

With just a little over a week left until the Buckeyes hit the field, football and the arts will be mixing together at the Wexner Center for the Arts.

Former Ohio State and NFL greats John Hicks and Bobby Carpenter are slated to join the Wexner Center in premiering “Rare Football Films: The Newsreels” on Friday evening.

The program is set to feature a video compilation of vintage gridiron films from the 1900s to the 1970s.

Dave Filipi, director of the Wexner Center’s Film/Video department, cited the success of a similar program he has worked with for the last 10 years called “Rare Baseball Films” as part of the inspiration for his “Rare Football Films” project. The center also presented “A Tribute to Ed Sabol & NFL Films” two years ago that had former Ohio State running back Eddie George and former OSU offensive tackle Jim Lachey as special guests during the event.

“Afterward, Eddie and Jim came up on stage and talked about their careers,” Filipi said. “That went really well, so it’s always been at the back of mind that we should do something similar to that again.”

A huge fan of OSU football, Filipi worked closely with the UCLA Film & Television Archive to obtain all the newsreel footage for this program.

“We also worked with the OSU athletic department to get in contact with the former Ohio State players, John Hicks and Bobby Carpenter,” Filipi said. “They’re going to do a similar conversation after the film is over just like Eddie and Jim did.”

When it came to selecting the right clips for this program, Filipi closely followed the philosophy he had with his baseball films project and looked for clips that were both interesting and entertaining.

“The ideal clips are the ones not just about the sport, but the ones that also show how the sport intersects with the broader culture in some other way, whether it’s a political angle or a racial angle or some other aspect of popular culture,” Filipi said. “I certainly included a lot of game footage, but the ones that I’m the most interested in are those clips that have a bit of a resonance to them and that provide a nice lens for looking at a topic that transcends football.”

Jennifer Wray, marketing and media assistant for the Wexner Center, said there was a great reception for “Rare Baseball Films” and she expects “Rare Football Films” to be an event people are going to remember.

“Football is popular in Ohio State, arts are also important in Ohio State,” Wray said. “We think this is an event that will bring those two things together in a really interesting and fun way.”

Cayli Baldwin, a second-year in exploration, said this program is a great way to draw in students who are football fans but have never really been exposed to the Wexner Center.

“I think it’s a really good connection,” Baldwin said. “They can get people who love football to go to see it and they may think, this place is really cool and I should be here more often.”

“Rare Football Films” is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Mershon Auditorium. A tailgate party will precede the event at 5:30 p.m.

This event is free for all students with a valid BuckID and $10 for the general public. Tickets for the tailgate party are $13 for Wexner Center members and $15 for the general public. Tickets are required and can be obtained in advance or on the day of the event at the Wexner Center’s ticket office.

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