With news surfacing that James "Radio" Kennedy had passed away on Sunday morning, social media was full of tributes to the man that inspired the 2003 Cuba Gooding Jr. movie. Some football players posted photos of Kennedy, while others circulated videos on YouTube. One such example showed the longtime South Carolina resident celebrating his 72nd birthday.
In a video posted on YouTube, Kennedy was shown with friends and fans at a Chick-fil-A. He was seen opening presents and enjoying the moment, which led to some questions. Coach Harold Jones, the man portrayed by Ed Harris in Radio, sat down and explained the birthday tradition.
"He was born on October the 14th, 1946, which comes out to ... he's 72 years old," Coach Jones said. "He was actually 72 yesterday, on Sunday. The reason we hold it on Monday, a day later, is because Chick-fil-A is closed on Sunday. Which is great. He calls Chick-fil-A 'Eat More Chicken.'"
The nickname actually comes from the Chick-fil-A slogan that has been prominently featured during college football Saturdays in recent years. Many commercials for the chicken sandwich chain end with cows holding signs that read "Eat Mor Chikin."
Coach Jones also provided some other examples of how Kennedy spent his time in the South Carolina community when he wasn't helping the football team. On Tuesdays, he would go bowling with a group that they call the Rainbow Gang.
Of course, the most important part of his life was helping out the T.L. Hanna Yellowjackets as they progressed through the football season. As Coach Jones explained, he believed that being able to work with the team was keeping him alive, and he hoped that this would continue for many years.
Kennedy only saw one more birthday prior to passing away, but he certainly made an impact both on those in the local community and others across the country. As the video on YouTube showed, one man even headed down to Anderson, South Carolina in order to spend time with Kennedy. He was reportedly inspired by the movie and wanted to meet the man in real life.
With Coach Jones' approval, the man was able to spend the week in Anderson. He was on hand for the birthday party at Chick-fil-A, and then he finished off the vacation by taking in a Yellowjackets game.
"It's a very humbling experience," the man said when discussing his time spent with Coach Jones and Kennedy.