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.
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.
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.
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.