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McCain Visits Thundering Herd

By Michael D. Shear
HUNTINGTON, West Virginia -- As he prepared to launch a two-day bus tour through Ohio, Sen. John McCain paid a visit to the Marshall University "Thundering Herd" football team as it held its morning practice.

The university gained an extra measure of fame from a Hollywood film depicting the 1970 plane crash that killed virtually the entire football team. Matthew McConaughey played the coach who rebuilt the team in the movie "We Are Marshall."

McCain called the team a "unique institution" and praised it's "courage and tradition of victory." He predicted that Americans will be watching the team's season this year because "this is a special institution." He chatted with coaches and players and called several plays during the practice, each of which ended with successful catches.

"You better fake to the line and go long," McCain told one of the coaches before admitting, "I'm outta plays."

McCain told the players of his time as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, describing the camaraderie among his fellow prisoners. "When we didn't work as a team they broke us down...we were a team and we had leaders. Our leaders were our senior ranking officers. They're the ones that when we failed they picked us up and sent us back into the fight. And we didn't always win. Sometimes it was very tough."

The presumptive Republican nominee was scheduled to tour a furniture-making company today in Jackson, Ohio and then hold a town hall Thursday in Lima, Ohio. McCain officials have said Ohio is a critical state for them in the November.

By Post Editor  |  August 6, 2008; 7:05 PM ET
Categories:  A_Blog , B_Blog , John McCain  
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