A Tougher Test Came Off Field

Football coaches are often very big on prayer in the locker room before a big game. An Orange Bowl is worth praying for. So is a national championship. But cynics say you don’t always find them on their knees the day after the game. They put God on hold until they need him again.

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HistoryRyan Foy
Sal Aunese Remembered at Tribute

Sal Aunese left here three years ago for the University of Colorado to play quarterback and get an education.

Aunese performed the first task brilliantly, leading the Colorado Buffaloes to an 8-4 season and a Freedom Bowl appearance in his second year as the starter.

Aunese did not have the opportunity to complete the second task.

He died of stomach cancer Sept. 23 at age 21.

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Ryan Foy
This Is For You, Sal

It may well have been the most deafening moment of silence in the history of college football. Just before the kickoff of their game last Saturday with Washington in Seattle, Colorado’s players dropped to their knees, pointed to the weepy sky that spread like a bruise above Husky Stadium and, as opposing players and more than 69,000 spectators looked on in silence, bade a wordless farewell to quarterback Sal Aunese, who had died a week earlier of stomach and lung cancer at age 21. That this silent salute looked a lot like 60 guys signaling “We’re No. 1” may have been the purest of coincidences. Then again, judging by the 45-28 defeat the Buffaloes dealt the Huskies to raise their record to 4-0, maybe it wasn’t. “We pointed to the sky to let Sal know we were thinking about him,” said Darian Hagan, a sophomore who replaced Aunese as the starting quarterback. “And to say the sky’s the limit for this team.”

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HistoryRyan Foy
Aunese's legacy lives on with Buffaloes

Every member of the Colorado football team knelt down near midfield on the artificial turf at Husky Stadium in Seattle.

With tears streaming down the faces of some of the Buffaloes, they all raised an arm and pointed to the sky.

Then, the Buffaloes, who had established themselves as an elite team in Division I football, took the field with heavy hearts and routed host Washington 45-28, on Sept. 30, 1989.

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Ryan Foy
WHEN TRAGEDY HITS : Death of Aunese Gives Colorado New Perspective

A swell of crowd noise, loud enough to blot out thought and envelop the senses, was periodically piped into the football stadium at the University of Colorado on an otherwise quiet afternoon last week.

Strangely, however, this intrusion into the Buffaloes’ practice did not have the desired effect. Although sound reverberated off empty seats and could be heard a block away, students on foot or bikes seemed not to notice. No one running plays on the field seemed too bothered, either. READ MORE

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HistoryRyan Foy
Movie review: Aunese documentary a powerful saga

The first thing a writer learns in journalism class is “Don’t bury the lead.” In the first two or three paragraphs of a story, tell your readers why you’re writing the story. I imagine the same theory holds true in film school. Early on, tell viewers why they purchased a ticket to see your production. On Friday in Hollywood, “Born To Lead: The Sal Aunese Story” made its theatrical debut. It must run for a week in Los Angeles and New York to receive consideration for an Oscar in the Best Documentary Film category.

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PressGeorge
Movie on Sal Aunese's life will debut this week

Nearly 10 years in the making, “Born to Lead: The Sal Aunese Story” is ready for its debut. The documentary, which is based on the life of former Vista High and University of Colorado quarterback Sal Aunese, will open in Los Angeles and New York on Friday for a week-long run that is required for a possible Academy Award nomination in the Best Documentary category.

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PressGeorge
Born To Lead Film Debut - Buffzone

Aunese is a former CU quarterback who passed away on Sept. 23, 1989, in Boulder after a fight with inoperable stomach cancer. The film, which has been years in the making, portrayed the life of a young man who grew up in Oceanside, Calif., destined for greatness on the field. Raised in a tight-knit Samoan family, Aunese was a star player in his youth and in high school. The film captures footage from throughout Aunese's career and also features interviews with several members of his family, past teammates and coaches in high school and college and his close friends from Boulder.

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PressGeorge
Exhilarating Sports Documentary Film - SportsMoviesTV.com

An exhilarating sports documentary film about the first NCAA Samoan quarterback, Sal Aunese, who in 1989, takes a down and out team to the National Title – only not in the way that you may think.

Sal Aunese was the University of Colorado’s star Samoan Quarterback who died of stomach cancer in 1989, and his team promptly dedicated their season to him. It is a rousing story of courage, friendship, and living life against the most brutal of obstacles.

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PressGeorge
Biopics of Inspiring People Can Be Powerful Films - TheGeekWatch.com

During a private screening at the Colorado University south campus I was privileged enough to experience Born to Lead:The Sal Aunese Story, which is about how Sal Aunese changed CU's football program forever. Let's break it down.

Biopics of inspiring people can be powerful films. Watching the unlikely genius make it big in the music industry, become a sports legend, or rise from obscurity to take Hollywood by storm can be very fun. The audience can vicariously live through the characters for 2 hours as they accomplish their dreams. Most biopics have similar endings though.

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PressGeorge