What Did You Think of ‘Pony Excess’?

Eric Dickerson was among the Mustang alums featured in "Pony Excess." (ESPN photo)

I really enjoyed Pony Excess, the ESPN documentary on the heyday of the SMU football program. A few off-the-top-of-my-head thoughts:

— It never occurred to me that the Ponies were riding high at the same time that Dallas was dominating the Nielsen ratings. But they were, so it made perfect sense for a member of that show’s cast, Patrick Duffy, to be the narrator. I assume Larry Hagman was approached first and turned ESPN down.

— The piece of “excess” that stuck with me was the anecdote about the player being shown a case containing $20,000 and replying “That ain’t even close, Coach.”

— I had no idea that George Riba has worked at Channel 8 since the late ’70s. Way to hang on to a great gig, George.

What did y’all think of the movie?

7 thoughts on “What Did You Think of ‘Pony Excess’?

  • December 13, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    I thought it was great! I was a freshman the first year without football. I don’t think I realized then how devastating it would be to the program.

  • December 13, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    It brought back a lot of memories of my last couple of years at HPHS and early college years (not at SMU), when the whole saga happened. I had forgotten about post-death penalty soccer homecoming. How sad. Watching UH run up the score in that 1989 game again was even sadder.

    I remember watching Dale Hansen nail the SMU athletic director with the David Stanley envelope back in the 80s. It was fun to see it again.

    I always knew Bill Clements was aware of the payments all along (and directed that they continue after the 1985 sanctions), but until I watched 30 for 30 I never realized what a lying sleazebag he truly was, as were those who conspired to protect him — Ed Cox, Bill Stallcup, Bill Hutchison Sr., Leon Bennett and so many others.

    See the 1987 Bishops’ Committee Report here for more:


  • December 13, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    I was shocked that not a single person in the entire two hours expressed any remorse, embarrassment or regret at the part they played in bringing down such a fine university and wreaking such havoc in the lives of so many. The smirks and smiles and nudge-nudge attitude was disgusting. Now Craig James has brought down Texas Tech as well!

  • December 13, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    1. I realized that I’ve loved Dallas ever since I was lucky enough to move here in the late ’70s. I remembered the wild, spirited, spunky, crazy, wonderful, bigger-than-life & in-your-face, “noisier than a horse on a flat rock” times in this town! Unlike anywhere else and we wanted it that way!
    2. I realized that I’ve had a crush on Dale Hansen since he first came to town.
    3. And even though I was living here during that period of time, I learned a few things from the documentary.

    It was a good piece of work and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  • December 14, 2010 at 9:12 am

    That era really was the Wild Wild West. There’s no way anyone could get away with all that money being thrown around in today’s game. Oh wait, Cam Newton just won the Heisman and Auburn is playing for the MNC.

  • December 14, 2010 at 10:58 am

    Great documentary. My favorite part, though, was Dickerson relating the conversation he had with David Stanley, and his response. He was getting worked up 30 years later just talking about it.


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