Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Tough Act to Follow

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Tough Act to Follow

Article excerpt

Ed Marinaro's fan base spans generations.

But Marinaro's foundation was built in New Milford. The dashing football star turned award-winning actor will return to his hometown Sept. 12 to have his No. 49 retired at halftime when the Knights open their season against Palisades Park/Leonia.

"It's going to be a fun night," said Marinaro from his home in South Carolina. "I haven't been back to New Milford in a while, and I hope to have some high school classmates and friends attend, which will be nice."

"This is long overdue," said Marinaro's friend and former Knights teammate Brian Flanagan. "He was an incredible athlete. People don't remember but he was a very good pitcher and home run hitter. He was good at everything he did."

To this current generation of high school athletes, the 64-year old Marinaro is best-known for being Coach Marty Daniels on the bawdy Spike TV show "Blue Mountain State." The show followed the on- field and off-field high jinks of a college football team with Marinaro as the team's no-nonsense coach.

The show aired for three seasons, but a Kickstarter campaign to have a movie has already raised over a million dollars. Marinaro is hoping the rest of the funds can be raised to bring the show to the big screen.

"It's kind of fun to be part of a show that has such a youthful demographic," Marinaro said. "For a guy at this stage in my acting career, most of my fans are 50 and older, but now I have fans who are 15-year-old guys and girls. It's crazy when I travel now and when I walk around, they see me and come up to me."

What Marinaro did on the gridiron is also worthy of notice. He graduated from New Milford in 1968 and went on to a brilliant career at Cornell where he was second in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1971. He played in two Super Bowls and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1991.

"What he did in college was incredible," Flanagan said. "He broke the rushing record [first college running back with over 4,000 yards in a career], but a lot of people don't realize that the Ivy League only played nine games, but everyone else played 11. …

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