On Monday night HBO will show the 2009 documentary, "Breaking the Huddle: The Integration of College Football," which prominently features the late Bubba Smith.
Smith tells of leaving his native Texas to play at Michigan state.
"I just wanted to go to Texas," he said. "I called Darrell Royal and asked, ‘Coach, can I come to the University of Texas?' He said, ‘Uh, Bubba, I could probably get you a scholarship…but I don’t know when the football program is gonna integrate.’ ”
Smith on life in East Lansing, Mich.: “I had never seen snow other than on TV. And I went to sleep and I woke up the next morning and they had snow everywhere. And am I cool. I got my books, going to class. Hit some ice and wind. Feet went up in the air. And I turned around and went back to my room. I said ‘No, I don’t like the snow.’
"Mother made sure that we had grits and eggs, bacon and toast and I get up there…uh, hash browns? What the hell are hash browns, for breakfast? And I’m looking for something to eat. And I saw these things that looked like Saltine crackers and I grabbed one, I bit on it, and it tastes like paper. I said, ‘What is this?’ Matzo. ‘Matzo? They’ve got food named Matzo?’
"After that I asked about everything before I stuck it in my mouth. I got homesick and they were trying to get me to go to spring break. I said, ‘Sheeet!, I’m going home, man. You know, we have a party every night at my house.’ I didn’t have no anger, only thing I wanted to know was why is it that you don’t like me and you don’t even know me?”