SBS Octagon: Varsity Blues vs Friday Night Lights

Written by :
Published on : March 1, 2017

 

 

Time to step back into the blood stained SBS Octagon for another round of hypothetical combat. This chapter focuses on the best high school football teams Hollywood and Texas can put together. Without further ado, ScoreBoredSports is proud to present our matchup. Coming out of the made up town of West Canaan, Texas we have the Coyotes of Varsity Blues. And repping the real city of Odessa, Texas we have the Permian Panthers of Friday Night Lights. Grab a bleacher seat and let’s decide who really is the best fake high school football team.

 

A quick note, when we talk about Friday Night Lights, we are talking about the Peter Berg film from 2004. Not the series. This is done for a few reasons. First, it’s easier to compare films to films and shows to shows. One gets way more time to reveal details and build a richer world. Also, the movie came first (the book really came first) plus the TV series has multiple seasons and multiple team rosters. That makes the head-to-head very complicated. Lastly, Varsity Blues came out in 1999, making both flicks of the same era. A perfect battle.

 

Talent

varsity blues team

 

Now both programs have major talent on both sides of the ball but it looks like the bigger school with stronger recruiting tools is West Canaan High. They have so much depth on the team that they lose their all star quarterback and hand the playbook to backup Jonathan Moxon AKA Mox (Van Der Beek), who leads the team on a wild run into the postseason. Later, they lose their starting running back and head coach and still manage to get it done. All on the backs of some guts and brainy talent of those lovable boys in West Canaan.

 

Coaching

Coyotes coach, Bud Kilmer (played by Jon Voight), is a real son-of-a-bitch. He may know the game of football but it’s an older version filled with hate and racism. You could say he is more of a stick than a carrot guy. Kilmer has a statue of himself on campus but what does that mean if all the new players hate you? On the flip side, you have Panthers coach Gary Gains (Billy Bob Thornton), who inspires his athletes and gets them to compete at levels beyond their physical gifts. He respects his players and motivates them to be better men. This a clear advantage for team Friday Night Lights.

 

Who wins?

Friday-Night-Lights-Movie-

 

Guess what? Good coaching is huge. Both squads have ballers. Maybe one is more stocked than the other but at this stage of football, it’s about the coach and their ability to get the play-makers in a position to succeed. The well-oiled-machine beats the raw talent on a neutral field. And if the SBS Octagon is anything, it’s neutral.

 

Panthers run effectively enough to set up play-action where they burn the Coyotes’ secondary. West Canaan gets a few turnovers and scores quick to keep it close but ultimately, they can’t stop the Panthers in the 4th quarter.

Final score: Panthers 31, Coyotes 27. Don’t agree? Let me know in the comments. And if James Van Der Beek is reading this, I’m kidding. Coyotes win easy. Go team Dawson!

 

I don’t want your life.

 

 


SBS Film Vault: Remember the Titans

Written by :
Published on : August 24, 2016

 

 

What if I told you there was a movie starring Denzel and a host of other up-and-coming stars, that also had an amazing soundtrack and was about football? Does that sound like something you might be interested in? I thought so. Let’s open up the vault and take a minute to appreciate Remember the Titans, a true story about football and race in the American south.

 

Classic Denzel

This movie show us some classic Denzel Washington. Goddamn, is this man smooth or what? But he can also give ya the business too if you get out of line! It may not have some of the memorable quotes that we in got in Training Day just two short years later, but he has got some serious attitude. And it plays great. Denzel stars as coach Herman Boone, a real life person who was hired to take over the football program at T.C. Williams High School in 1971. In addition to being the first African American head coach, it just so happens that he is taking over for a man named Bill Yoast (Will Patton), who is a legend in Virginia High School football. This obviously causes a stir, but Yoast decides to accept the position of defensive coordinator under Boone, after his white players say they will not play for Boone without him.

 

 

The entire team quickly realizes that coach Boone is a no-nonsense kind of coach who is going to drill his team until they reach perfection or the point of illness, sometimes both. Training camp under Boone is brutal and he breaks down his black and white players so that he can build them back up as a single team. Denzel provides some inspirational speeches, teaching his team to respect one another regardless of race and to judge people on the basis of their character.

 

All Star Roster

Remember the Titans features quite the cast of other players. In addition to Denzel (my man!) and Will Patton, we’ve got one of my personal favorites, Wood Harris who plays defensive end, Julius Campbell. Harris is perhaps most well known for playing Avon Barksdale in HBO’s The Wire. This dude kills it and, besides Denzel, his relationship with all star linebacker Gerry Bertier (Ryan Hurst) is a focal point of the entire film. They go from all out race war to brothers in arms during the course of the season and it’s their combined leadership that elevates the Titans to greatness.

 

 

We also get a very skinny, baby-faced Ryan Gosling in this film. He plays linebacker Alan Bosley, who continually gets burned in coverage. When coach Yoast pulls him from the game and replaces him with that guy who played Turk on Scrubs (Donald Faison), he takes it like a champ, but his fat asshole of a dad begins yelling at the coaches from the stands. In comes a very young Hayden Panettiere, who plays Patton’s daughter/football wizkid to put that jerk in his place and tell him that his son sucks. This movie even gives us a Kate Bosworth appearance or two, to cap off this who’s who of turn of the century young stars.

 

The Soundtrack

As far as football movies go, I consider Remember the Titans to be one of the better ones. It’s still not all that great, but most football movies aren’t very good. One reason that you should definitely tune in to this film though, is the soundtrack. Top to bottom, this movie is filled with hits and it uses the music to put you in the moment. When the Marvin Gaye kicks in immediately following this moment of cultural exchange, you know that the team is going to be alright. Check it out for yourself.

 

 

Marvin Gaye, War, Cat Stevens and Ike & Tina Turner are just a few of the hitmakers to grace this soundtrack. If it wasn’t for the music, I would not be such a fan of this movie but the fact of the matter is that it really ties the whole thing together. The music in this movie invokes feelings of joy, pride and sadness. If it doesn’t make you a fan then you probably have no soul.

 

That’s it for this trip into the SBS Film Vault. Remember the Titans is a high school football classic that shows us that racial prejudice is only a construct of a racist society. If we all take the time to shed our ignorance and hate, see people for who they are instead of who we believe they are, and groove out to some hit tunes while playing some football, we can end racial hatred for good.

 

 


SBS Film Vault: Varsity Blues

Written by :
Published on : May 19, 2016

 

Imagine being a 15-year-old that stumbles upon a movie with sports, drama, and nudity. Varsity Blues is one of my top 15 movies. The movie itself isn’t all that great. Watching it again as an adult, I’m less enamored with the nudity and the hijinks of the football players. However, there is a nostalgia attached to it that takes me back to sitting in my bedroom watching every detail intently, hoping my high school years would mirror the movie.

 

Although, I couldn’t relate to some of the plot points of the movie (I had yet to lose my virginity and I definitely was not a star on my football team) it still was interesting to me. Lead character Mox (James Van Der Beek) had a roller coaster senior year. He went from being a bench warmer to the starter. His arm talent was always there but his shortcomings were that he was more a scholar than jock and that he was treated like his dad was decades before. The apple didn’t fall too far from the tree in the eyes of Coach Kilmer (Jon Voight).

 

varsity-blues-1999-08
                                                                  Tweeter is up to his tricks again.

 

Now the guy I thought was the coolest was Tweeter (Scott Caan). A total badass and goofball, Tweeter definitely made a scattered movie, funny. From stealing a cop car (he also detained a few hot, naked girls) to hitting an old school alum in the groin with a bat, Tweeter definitely is must watch in this movie. On the other end, there was more to be desired in the movie for a young Paul Walker. He plays star quarterback, Lance Harbor. Not too far into the movie he suffers a horrible ACL tear and with that he becomes part of the supporting cast.

 

The tear-jerking moment comes when Coach Kilmer berates and kicks the lovable offensive lineman Billy Bob (Ron Lester) out of a post-game meeting. At this point, you see how important football is for these kids and more so how much it is like religion in the state of Texas. Billy Bob is an interesting character, and as much as he is stupid, he is also kind hearted.

 

There’s even the stereotypical black guy role. Wendell Brown (Eliel Swinton) is the black kid that isn’t great in school but is the bell cow for the football team. He has all the rushing yards but no touchdowns because the coach prefers the quarterback gets the glory. Brown made the most of his opportunity and was a great supporting role.

 

Blues
                                              Just football dudes, doing football dude stuff.

 

The highlight of the movie is when the guys decide to go to a strip club the night before a big game. Too young to drink but they’re allowed in the club anyways and they’re having the time of their life. Then, they become witness to their favorite female teacher performing on stage at her second job. It leads to all kinds of hijinks and more nudity.

 

Overall, while not my favorite movie, it is one that remains etched in my mind based on when I viewed it. If I had one suggestion, I would tell a first time viewer to watch it with their significant other. After the movie, ask them to make you a sundae.

 

 


Would you let your kid play football?

Written by :
Published on : May 1, 2016

 

 

 

A simple question: would you let your kid play football? I mean, say they are 8 years old and they ask you. What would you say? Many pros (LeBron James, Troy Aikman, Brett Favre and Adrian Peterson) have declared that they wouldn’t send their kids down that path but there are supporters on both sides. I believe sports are really helpful in building team skills for young minds and I would for sure encourage any offspring of mine to get out there and compete but football is another beast. The head injury issue is a serious one. And could you knowingly send your kid into that minefield?

 

I’m not a doctor but I know CTE is a real condition, mainly because of that Concussion movie. The kind of contact that happens in football is unique. Other sports have collisions but not ones where players can leave their feet and dive head-first into an opponent. This human missile technique is extra dangerous and happens routinely in the NFL. I asked the SBS staff what they thought and here are some answers of our in-house poll:

 

SandyFuck no.

 

Mike BridenstineI’d let him play on two conditions. 1. He’s an amazing athlete. 2. He wanted to get screamed at by adult men and then go in the locker room and see all of his friends’ penises. 

 

PhredI’d have to say no. Kids are bigger, faster and stronger than they were in the good old days.  The hormones in milk are outrageous. It’s practically steroids. I’m not subjecting my kid to that type of regular brutal impact. Even though I wish I would’ve played at some point as a kid.

 

I vote no too. I wouldn’t let my kid play. Which is tough to say because I love football and I know that someone’s parents need to let their kids play so we can have an NFL to cheer for. But there are other sports to play that aren’t as dangerous and can provide that same camaraderie while breeding a healthy level of competition. This in of itself is a crisis. Football is an American construct and for us to control it, we need to continue to produce high-level talent. This can’t happen if our top athletes won’t even let their kids follow in their footsteps.

 

pop warner 2

 

So what’s the solution? Can we make the game safer? Will that ruin it? If not, are the huge paydays even worth it if you can’t even get old to enjoy it? Football is a gladiator sport. The risk is high, the drama is high and the price is high. That’s just too steep of a price to pay for any individual parent. For the record, it’s a total bummer to write that last line. I don’t ever want to limit anyone’s good time or regulate much in the name of safety but it’s just too hard to overlook that full-tackle football is inherently unsafe. Especially if we are talking about my precious unborn.

 

Please leave your thoughts in the comments below. Are you a the mother/father of a football player? Are you currently on a football team for your school? Are you are parent at the crossroads? Let us know. This whole learning thing only works if we all participate.

 

Pass the soccer ball.

 

 


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