CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Penn State’s 2012 football team faced unprecedented adversity, making it a season like no other. A new documentary, ‘Saving the Roar’, gives audiences a look into the resilience of the team and brotherhood that formed.
“It was just such a unique time in Penn State’s history and really an important time,” said Michael Mauti, a linebacker on the 2012 Penn State Football team.
In the wake of former Assistant Coach Jerry Sandusky’s guilty verdict and hindering sanctions from the NCAA, the players had a choice: to walk away, or stand stronger than ever before.
“We wanted to play football that year, we wanted to play on Saturdays,” said Michael Zordich, a runningback on the 2012 Penn State Football team. “The threat of that being taken away was enough to get us on our feet and stand up for what we believed in.”
“When Penn State was truly upon it’s darkest hour, these players and coaches came together giving it all of what they had as an individual to become something much bigger than themselves,” said Michael P. Nash, director of ‘Saving the Roar’.
The documentary looks to highlight the passion of these key players.
“The loyalty, the pride, the heart,” said Zordich.
“We had good football players, but we had great people, and I think that’s what made that year so special,” said Matt McGloin, quarterback for the 2012 Penn State Football team.
That year, the players say they learned what it means to be leader.
“I think when you look back on that, it shows you how easy quitting is, really how simple of an idea it is just to get up and walk out the door, and say, ‘You know what, I’m done, this isn’t for me,'” said McGloin. “It shows you how hard it is to stay, how difficult it is to buy into something bigger than you. That’s what’s special about this film.”
The film offers audiences the player’s perspective.
“The fanbase wants to hear what really happened, you know, in 2012 through those six weeks of chaos, between the sanctions and opening kickoff,” said Nash.
“It’s the truth. It’s what really happened,” said Zordich. “A lot of people think they know that story and what happened, but they have no idea what really went on in that locker room amongst the team.”
The director and producers say it’s an inspiration for all generations and they’re launching an educational program to follow the film, called Fortitude.
“We’re going to go into high schools and teach young people how to fight through adversity, the importance of mental fitness, how to be an upstanding person,” said Bob Morgan, executive producer for ‘Saving the Roar’.
The premiere kicks off at 7 p.m. Friday, September 17 at The State Theatre in State College. A second showing will be held at The State Theatre on Thursday, September 18, at 11 a.m.
Audiences can now begin streaming ‘Saving the Roar’ on the platform In.Live.