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Best Documentary Journalist Tripped Up by Power Outage

How strange. As Memphis Commercial Appeal sports reporter Jason Smith recounts today, a Sunday evening power outage prevented him from watching the initial portion of the Oscars during which Undefeated, the high school football turnaround inspired by his 2009 newspaper article, won the prize for Best Documentary Feature.

Nevertheless, at 8:43 p.m. ET, his cell phone started ringing off the hook with congratulations. Later, when asked by his editor to write something about the Oscar victory, Smith settled on a highlight far from Hollywood:

O.C. Brown, the Manassas High lineman I wrote about in the story, is
now a redshirt freshman at Southern Miss. And I guess in all of this, that’s what I’m most proud of-that Brown took advantage of the help he was being offered back in 2009 and is now a Division 1 college student-athlete.

Smith also has a fun anecdote about running into Brown earlier this month at a basketball game. To read the article, click here.

[Photo of Smith courtesy Commercial Appeal]

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