Friday, September 08, 2006

Starring Coach Propst as God (on Two-A-Days)

Wow. After last week’s transitional episode, I am happy to say that tonight left us with no shortage of Coach Propst quotations OR exiting goings-on at Hoover High School. This is more like it – let’s get dirty!

We begin by joining Max and his stepdad, who are visiting Southern Miss because this university gave Max an early scholarship offer. We learn that Max and his stepdad have been visiting lots of colleges. They take in – what else? – a football game, and Max confessionals that he wishes he could be a part of it. Ah, to wear the mighty yellow jersey…

Now we head back to Hoover, Alabama to join the boys at football practice. Oops, no, that was just a tease of practice. What we are really joining is the cheerleaders sneaking into the locker room to bring surprises to the football players. Blair correctly observes that the locker room stinks. There’s lots of mold and underwear on the floor. Yeah, that’s none too pleasant. I’m slightly concerned that the girls are leaving edible items behind in this Petri dish of a staging area.

Kristin makes a big deal pointing out that Goose has kept all the spirit ribbons that she has given him and hung them in his locker. Yes, we get it. You are loved. Alex is not your only chance.

Hooray because now we are joining football practice! This week the boys are getting ready to face Tuscaloosa County. It’s a huge game, of course. Coach Propst delivers what I think is a deliberately ambiguous, thought provoking piece of advice for his young protégés: “You know big time players make big time plays in big time games.” Very intriguing. It could take years to deconstruct the layers in that statement.

Coach Propst confessionals that everyone has a flaw. He then proceeds to happily list the flaws of each star player and then take all the credit for finding these defective kids and turning them into stellar athletes. Yes, they were nothing but a bunch of hopeless screw-ups until Coach Propst came along and molded them into heroes. We would all be lost without him. He tells us he’s “mastered” handling these kids and he’s pretty good at it. Talent, schmalent. The Buccaneers are nothing more than the result of Coach Propst’s calculated engineering.

Next Coach Propst tells the boys that he can get everyone’s foot in the door. He illustrates this point with a story about a player who was being scouted by a college and he didn’t play too well in a practice and so Coach Propst advised the college not to sign him. Coach Propst proudly concludes the story by announcing that this college pulled this boy’s scholarship. Nothing like knowing your coach has your back.

We now get to visit the home of Repete. Pete and Repete were sitting on a fence. Pete fell off and who was left? I couldn’t resist.

Repete is the player whose entire family moved to Hoover just so he could play football at Hoover High School. Because of this, Repete feels a major responsibility to not only the team, but also to his family (you know, because they uprooted themselves for this and all.) He chats with his dad about how he has no time for friends or girls because of all of the pressure he’s under. Repete’s twin dad says he’s proud of him and they share a fist bumping moment. It was nice meeting you, Repete!

And it’s off to another football practice where we learn that Tuscaloosa County is the hardest team the Buccaneers have ever been up against, and they have the ability to take away everything Hoover has worked for. Don’t we hear this every week? Yes we do.

Coach Propst is so deadly serious in his confessional that it’s making me giggle. Did you know that the dreaded word “complacency” might come up behind you and bite you?

Wait, what’s this? After practice Coach Propst is actually complimenting the boys on their performances. Max played like he was shot out of a cannon, and this is one of Repete’s best practices. In fact, Repete has done well the last four practices. I think Coach Propst is wincing from the pain of saying such nice things. I also think this may be foreshadowing trouble ahead.

Next we see a bunch of boys, including Max and Taylor, sitting on someone’s bunk bed playing a computerized version of NCAA football and discussing the actual upcoming game. Tuscaloosa County is going to be ready to play, according to Taylor. My gosh, I hope so – I bet their parents paid a pretty penny for their uniforms.

Ross and his father, meanwhile, are watching some video tape of Ross playing football. Ross tells his dad that he is trying not to feel too much pressure, but the game has apparently gotten “bigger” recently. Ross’ dad advises him that there is always pressure, but to just play the game – it’s all part of the game. Thank you, dad, for not being Coach Propst. Truly.

Now we come to church, where the boys are all sitting in the chapel wearing their football uniforms. This seems a little contradictory, but ok, I’ll go along. Team Chaplain Terry Slay is reading from the Bible and he manages to take scripture and twist it directly into a pep talk for a football game:

“Tonight there’s a thief coming. There’s a thief coming at seven o’clock at Wildcat Field, and they’re trying to take everything that you’ve worked for. You’re playing for this team, you’re playing for your school, you’re playing for the community, and you’re playing for your family. There’s a lot at stake. 27 victories. You must be extremely aggressive tonight. Play hard. Play fast. Get up in their grill. Stick one in their ear hole! Knock. Them. Off. Their. Feet. God bless every one of you.”

What is this, the Epistle of Terry? Is anyone else sensing a note of blasphemy here? Is church really the place to get R-O-W-D-I-E? If so, I propose moving Coach Propst’s halftime rants right into the chapel.

The team once again gets a police escort to their blessed game.

At the stadium the announcer tells us that this will be a hostile environment. Troops in riot gear and the National Guard are brought in. Oh wait, no. It’s just a high school football game.

Here we go with important moments from the Big Game:

  • Right away the Tuscaloosa County quarterback runs the ball right into the end zone for a touchdown. Coach Propst has a stroke.
  • Next the Tuscaloosa County quarterback runs the ball right into the end zone for a touchdown. Wait, didn’t that just happen? Why yes, yes it did. It happened twice. Someone please attempt to revive Coach Propst, as the score is now 0 to 14.
  • I hate to be repetitive, but now the Tuscaloosa County quarterback runs the ball right into the end zone for a third touchdown. I’m beginning to worry about the Buccaneers’ ear holes. And other holes. The crowd is dismayed.
  • Suddenly the score is 14 to 27, so Hoover must have accomplished something at some point that we didn’t get to see.
  • OH NO. It’s halftime and the boys are all lined up and bent over. Here comes Coach Propst with a very large, very hot poker. Surprisingly, he delivers some very inspiring words:

“You've got to look at the guy next to you, look into his eyes. Now I think you’re going to see a guy who will go that inch with you. You’re going to see a guy who will sacrifice himself for this team, because he knows when it comes down to it you’re going to do the same for him. That's a team, gentlemen. And either we heal as a team, or we will die as individuals. That's football guys, that's all it is. Now what are you going to do?”

Oh, sorry. I’m sorry. My mistake. That was not Coach Propst at all; that was actually Al Pacino in Any Given Sunday. It was very inspiring, though. Here is what Coach Propst actually said:

“Get your ass in there! Lazy piece of s***! Wouldn’t recommend you to (unintelligible)! You can forget it. That’s the worst job of defensive football I have witnessed since I’ve been at Hoover High School. The worst job. Binder, you’ve not maken a play! Lerner, missin’ tackles! You keep makin’ the same dumbass stupid mistake! Repete ain’t made a play! You ain’t made a play! (Completely unintelligible.) You can’t sack him! That’s a damn embarrassing. That’s embarrassing! There ain’t a player in here! Not one!!!”

Coach Propst has now become a Tasmanian Devil-type cyclone and the players are reduced to dodging the flak in silent shame. Let’s see what happens in the second half.

  • Back from commercial, Ross throws a pass which is immediately intercepted. Uh oh, Coach Propst has the poker out again.
  • Next the Tuscaloosa County quarterback runs the ball right into the end zone for a touchdown. This kid is amazing. I wonder if Coach Propst would recommend him for a scholarship…?
  • The Hoover fans are in unfamiliar territory because they have never seen their school lose a game. They are all unsure of what to do and there are many confused expressions.
  • Now Hoover makes a very good play by blocking a punt from Tuscaloosa and catching the ball in the nearby end zone. Coach Propst almost craps himself.
  • Hey – Repete sacks the Tuscaloosa quarterback!
  • Hoover makes another touchdown and one of the coaches is on the sidelines screaming, “It ain’t over! It ain’t over!” As for me, I am near tears.
  • Defensive Coordinator Jeremy Pruitt screams at the Buccaneers that they don’t deserve to f***in’ win! Ouch, my poor ear holes.
  • After Tuscaloosa makes yet another touchdown, Ross is literally plowed to the ground. Coach Propst sums this up with his usual eloquence: “That’s the hardest hit I’ve ever heard of a head hit the ground. I ain’t never heard one hit the ground that hard – in my life!” Much to my concern, Ross continues to run around out on the field. He makes one final attempt at throwing a touchdown, but the pass is incomplete, and Hoover suffers its first loss in 28 games.
Run, boys, run!!!

But they are far too upset to run. Repete practically takes the fetal position on the sidelines as the other players line up to listen to the Tuscaloosa school song. I’m extremely troubled to see Ross wobbling around on the field with his helmet in the air. The cheerleaders are all crying. See, children, this is what it’s usually like to go to high school in America. Sometimes you lose football games, but guess what – life actually continues. In fact, it turns out that it doesn’t even really matter. Nope, they’re not buying it.

And it’s into the locker room, where I am agitatedly waiting for Ross to collapse into a heap of brain-damaged unconsciousness on the floor.

Oh great, here goes Coach Propst on another rant about what an embarrassment these boys are and he pulls out the blasted “college recommendation” card again and starts waving it over their heads, claiming that he will recommend nobody. Nobody! Oooh, here is another pearl of linguistic beauty: “I ain’t sendin’ any tape out to no colleges neither!” I think that, when translated into English, means that Coach Propst is refusing to send video of the players to any college scouts. He once again goes on an overblown power trip telling the boys that he is the one who holds the key to their scholarship opportunities. Yes, yes, Coach Propst, we get that you constantly need to validate your existence, yes. Everyone’s future is in your hands. You are all-powerful and we would all be worthless slime without you. Thank you, sir may I have another? He ends by rubbing his hands together in mock-glee, telling the boys he will see them Sunday, aka, when your beatings begin for embarrassing me on television.

Ross teeters out of the locker room into the glare of the stadium lights and we hear his dad asking him if he remembers the last two plays. He doesn’t. I knew it! Ross has a serious concussion and he had to listen to Coach Propst blustering all over the place on his soapbox? Luckily, he probably won’t remember that either. The episode ends with the news that Ross had to be taken to the hospital. Well great, I hope Coach Propst is happy. If Ross is eating through a straw next week, then he has no chance of getting a recommendation.

What did you think of the Buccaneers losing for the first time in 28 games? Could you understand Coach Propst’s incoherent raving?

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admc831 said...

Love Love Love your blog! I really have laughed out loud so many times because being a parent of a student at a rival school, being the wife of a former graduate of that same rival school (you'll see...Rebel Pride, much worse than Spain Park) we have just enjoyed confirming what we always suspected...this guy is a nut. A winning nut, but a nut just the same. From the previews of next week's episode, I can see he's talking about class. Can't wait to get your take on his definition of class. Oh the anticipation!! In closing, I will just use the new buzzword around here...DING!

Frost said...

Honestly - the Any Given Sunday thing had me cracking up for about two minutes - the way that's laid out is genius (add some clickies, though).

Your best to the "hair" comments on the first episode.

Anonymous said...

No offense, Gangsta, but you sound shocked at the amount of football in the show. It is the subject of the documentary, isn't it? Also, the jokes on the hairstyles have been worn out. The brushed forward bangs are quite popular in the South. I'm sure if someone from Alabama saw a guy with really gelled up hair from another part of the country, he would make fun of him too.

Anonymous said...

You are right when you say the Tuscaloosa County quarterback is amazing. His name is Deon Williams, and he was voted "Mr. Football 2005" for Alabama by the Alabama Sportswriter's Association.

NoiXdeCoco said...

OMG all these pics of the bangs...I thought you were slightly joking, but I guess it's true, I see it with my own eyes.

Is Kristin a bit insecure? I guess that's the woman's duty after a man has done her wrong - to immediately attach themselves to another man to show the first man! Ha! Very original Kristin, and not at all transparent. I guess she'll learn all of this when she turns 30 and becomes a confident woman.

So I'm not watching this show...but I'm curious about this statement: “You know big time players make big time plays in big time games.” I thought the game that was on ESPN the first episode was the big time game. And then their big rival game in episode two was the big time game. And now it's Tuscaloosa County? This is like when I worked in the music business, and every project was a priority, but no one actually made it so. Hmm, interesting, the human, or rather, adult condition. If you say it's true! Not really people, NOT REALLY.

A religious figure said: Get up in their grill??? Really? And a police escort???? I have an analogy....
Football : Alabama
Showbusiness: Los Angeles
Exactly the same. Showbusiness even came up with its own religion..ha ha ha. Wow, how contrite it all seems in the great scheme of things.

LOVE the bulleted recap of the reap of the game, I feel like I'm right there watching it all in a shorter more condensed MTV style, I love it!

Uh - oh, hysterical laughter ensues...the speech from Al Pacino - HILARIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That was so funny cause I actually thought he said that, and then his real speech was...well, quite amazing.

Great recap!!!