The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference

SEC Storied: The All-American Cuban Comet

44 days ago
SEC Network

The latest edition in the ESPN Films' SEC Storied collection, The All-American Cuban Comet, focuses on Florida's all-time receiving yards leader, Carlos Alvarez.

Alvarez is a Cuban immigrant who assimilated into what was, in the 1960s, an anti-Cuban American culture, by playing, and excelling at, football-what he considered "the most American sport I could think of." At the University of Florida, Alvarez earned All-American honors as a sophomore wide receiver in 1969 as he and quarterback John Reaves helped lead the pass-happy Gators to a 9-1-1 season, capped by a Gator Bowl victory over Tennessee. Over the course of three varsity seasons, Alvarez totaled 172 catches for 2,563 yards and 19 touchdowns. Also during his time in Gainesville, Alvarez participated in anti-Vietnam War protests, actively supported the integration of Florida's football team and was a founding member of one of the country's first student-athlete unions. In 2011, Alvarez became the first foreign-born Hispanic-American to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Decorated Filmmakers Gaspar González and Castor Fernandez directed and produced the film.

Gaspar González has produced and directed documentary programming for PBS, the BBC, ESPN and TV One, among others. His credits include national PBS release Muhammad Ali: Made in Miami, the Grantland documentary short Gay Talese's Address Book and the ESPN 30 for 30 short The Guerrilla Fighter.

Castor Fernandez has directed and produced documentary programming for ESPN, ESPN Deportes, Grantland, Netflix and NBC Sports, as well as developing programming for Facebook, History Channel, Travel Channel, A&E and Discovery Channel. He has also produced television content for HGTV, Bravo and Lifetime.

"One of the things that was most exciting to us about Carlos's story was that the fights he waged 50 years ago are completely relevant to the current moment," González said. "Carlos understood the connection between civil rights and athletes' rights. If you think of that generation of the 1960s, the athletes who fused sports with social consciousness, Carlos Alvarez is right there. He deserves to be remembered for that, in addition to being one of the great receivers in college football history."