Tyler Rose: Earl Campbell Documentary

Earl Campbell of the University of Texas gets a kiss from his mother, Ann, as he keeps one hand on the Heisman Trophy after it was awarded to him at night in New York, Thursday, Dec. 8, 1977. Campbell was honored as the outstanding college football player in the country for the 1977 season. (AP Photo/Ray Stubblebine)

The documentary on Earl Campbell, the Tyler Rose, is almost complete, Campbell’s son Christian said.

The younger Campbell said the film by Ross Greenburg and NFL Films is scheduled to be broadcast on Dec. 4 on the NBC Sports Network (Suddenlink Cable Channel 64). The broadcast time has not been announced.

There is a screening for friends and family at 8 p.m. tonight in the LBJ Auditorium at Sid Richardson Hall in Austin on the campus of The University of Texas.

Campbell rose from the Tyler rose fields to greatness on the gridirons of America.

Christian said the documentary will follow his father’s life from his roots near Swan through his famous exploits on the football cathedrals of America. Also, it will show the Tyler native’s life since he retired from football some 27 years ago.

Campbell first became famous when he led the 1973 John Tyler High School Lions to the Class 4A state football championship. He then went to the University of Texas where he won the 1977 Heisman Trophy. The Houston Oilers took him as the No. 1 pick of the National Football League Draft in 1978.

Campbell, who possessed a rare combination of speed and power, led the NFL in rushing three times and was NFL Most Valuable Player three times.

He is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame. Campbell is a prominent businessman in Austin and still is heavily involved in the University of Texas athletics.

Christian, who played football at Austin Westlake High School and ran track at the University of South Carolina and the University of Houston, was heavily involved in the project.

Christian said earlier this year he was excited about the documentary. He was very young when his father retired from the NFL and his research has afforded him the opportunity to look back at his father’s fabulous career.

He made many trips to Tyler looking through boxes and boxes of mementos his grandmothers have saved over the years.

Many articles and photos from the Tyler Morning Telegraph files were also collected for the film.

The idea of making the documentary started when David Barron, Houston Chronicle sports editor, posted that Greenburg, the former HBO Sports president and executive producer, was interested in looking at the life of the Tyler Rose.

Barron is also a John Tyler High School graduate.

Greenburg, while at HBO, produced Sports of the 20th Century, a series of sports documentaries, along with Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, Inside the NFL and HBO World Championship Boxing. In 1990, he won the Sam Taub Award for excellence in boxing broadcasting journalism. He graduated from Brown University in 1977.

During his tenure he won 51 Sports Emmys and eight Peabody Awards.