BTN.com staff, October 13, 2014
BTN Originals will debut its second feature-length documentary "Unbeaten: The Life of Brook Berringer" on Saturday, immediately following the Nebraska at Northwestern game on BTN (Watch on BTN2Go!).
The film tells the story of Berringer, an unheralded quarterback from the small town of Goodland, Kansas, who attended the University of Nebraska. A career backup, Berringer was the No. 2 quarterback behind Heisman Trophy candidate Tommie Frazier as the 1994 season unfolded. When Frazier was diagnosed with blood clots four games in to the season, Berringer was thrust into the starting role.
Berringer won all seven games that he started that year, leading the Cornhuskers to an unbeaten regular season and a berth in the Orange Bowl against Miami. While Frazier returned to start the Orange Bowl, Berringer entered the game in the second quarter and helped spark a comeback. Together, Berringer and Frazier led the Cornhuskers to victory which gave legendary coach Tom Osborne his first national championship. Berringer remains beloved in the Cornhusker state for his contributions that season.
As the 1995 season dawned, Berringer and Frazier engaged in a spirited battle for the starting job - a job that Frazier eventually won by a narrow margin. Berringer selflessly accepted his backup role that season, as Frazier and the Cornhuskers rolled to a second straight national championship - steamrolling Florida 62-24 in the Orange Bowl, with Berringer scoring Nebraska's final points.
The following spring, Berringer was projected to be selected in the NFL draft. On April 18, 1996, two days prior to the draft, Berringer lost control of the 1946 Piper Cub he was piloting and died when the plane crashed near Raymond, Nebraska. He was 22 years old.
Twenty years after the Cornhuskers first national title season, the 1994 team remains a singular presence in the state of Nebraska. Berringer is immortalized outside Memorial Stadium, where a lifesize statue of him in uniform standing alongside Tom Osborne greets fans as they enter.
Beyond his contributions on the field, Berringer was revered by Nebraska fans for his character, volunteer spirit and humanitarian deeds in the community. Berringer spent countless hours visiting with young school children and hospitals, further endearing him to Nebraska fans. Many still consider him to be the ideal representation of what a "Nebraskan" should be.
"Unbeaten: The Life of Brook Berringer" brings to life the story of a small-town quarterback whose character, courage, and selflessness will forever be remembered and honored by the Cornhusker faithful.
The film is directed by Matthew Engel and Kevin Shaw - who, together, also directed BTN's first feature-length documentary - Tiebreaker.