Thursday, October 26, 2006

End Zone for Two-A-Days

Hoover Bling (Yes it says "Bucs.")

All right. I’ve been in denial long enough. It’s time to come out of my hole and bid farewell to “Two-A-Days.” Not to fret, however – Season 2 is on its way. There was even a preview when this episode aired on TV.

Now that football is over, Max and Taylor are trying their hands at a little one-on-one basketball in the driveway. Since neither can play basketball with any degree of effectiveness, they decide to play Horse instead. They last three and a half minutes before they’re bushed. Where is Defensive Coordinator Jeremy Pruitt to kick some butt when we need him? Max admits that all he’s been doing since football ended is laying around. They resort to mocking one another’s basketball abilities. I remember in high school that I was always amazed at how much time boys could spend shooting hoops. Long afternoons on school days, and entire weekends were often filled with nothing but makeshift basketball games. A girlfriend and I once timed ourselves to see how long we would last shooting hoops in the backyard after school. We gave it our all in a real one-on-one game and when we could finally stand it no longer we checked the clock and it had been 11 minutes. Ah, to be a young boy whose hours are satisfactorily filled with basketball. But I digress.

Over at the schoolyard, Alex is on the baseball field giving the old catching arm a try. Remember how he hurt his shoulder in football? Well, it seems the injury is flaring up in the baseball department as well. We watch the ball go back and forth between Alex and some other guy who is pitching. Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. Alex says his shoulder hurts. This is a boring scene.

Next we join our four best girlfriends in a car. Yes indeed, Blair, Kristin, Brittany and Goose are headed to their future home, the University of Alabama, to check things out.

Ladies who lunch.

Over lunch, the girls discuss how excited they are to start college and leave behind the drama that is high school. Blair poses an interesting question: “Y’all know what y’all wanna be, when y’all grow up yet?” Well Blair, it turns out that – yes they do! Goose is going to be an orthopedic surgeon, “of course.” And for a very noble reason: to make some money. Brittany says she’s majoring in MRS, which at first I thought must be something about music, but then it hit me. Brittany is majoring in finding a husband. She would like to be a Mrs. May I please point Brittany toward another reality show on which she may fare quite well? It’s called "The Bachelor," and it features women who do nothing but embarrass the female gender. Right this way, Brittany. No need to trouble yourself with an education. I’m sure your parents have better things to spend their money on, anyway. Kristin would like to either be a pediatrician (hey, she could join Goose in medical school! Wait, maybe that’s the reason Goose wants to go to medical school. Hmm.), or run a company (quick Goose, prepare for the GMAT, too!). Well here’s a shocker. Blair has no idea what she wants to do. None at all. No one cares about that as Brittany changes the subject, telling Goose he’s going to find his wife here at Alabama. Goose looks directly at Kristin and says, “I was planning on it.”

Just to show Kristin he’s dead serious, Goose takes a love test. The kind where you put in money and squeeze a handle to see just what kind of lover you are. This is a very reliable test, especially for aspiring physicians. It turns out that Goose is “passionate.” I can tell because of his bright red mock turtleneck. He confessionals that he and Kristin have a good friendship right now, but as for the future, well, who knows? Kristin reaffirms that Goose is always there to take care of her. She just loves having him as a punching bag. Oops, she didn’t actually say that. She too, breaks the news that no one knows what will happen 20 years down the road. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

The girls attempt one last basket toss.

Meanwhile, Repete is meeting with various college recruiters because as we all know, he will be the first in his family to attend college, and he’d like to play football for a top school. Repete confessionals that he hasn’t been looked at like he should have been for his size and the position he plays. The Alabama State recruiter basically tells Repete don’t call us, we’ll call you. What will become of Repete?

Now Alex comes in to chat with Coach Propst about his prospects. I have to note here that in his confessionals, Alex has done the unthinkable, which is get a haircut. Yes, it looks like his boy-bangs are gone! I hardly recognize him and I just can’t comprehend this betrayal to his Hoover roots. What are the younger boys to think? Well, back in Coach Propst’s office, “the hairdo” still intact, Alex says he would love even a partial scholarship. Coach Propst tells Alex that the schools are going to be after Max, but since they won’t be able to get Max, the Hoover progrum will try to push Alex on them. Thanks, Coach! Once again, the bad shoulder comes up and Alex says he’s going in for an MRI to see what’s going on. Just be sure to get an MRI and not an MRS, there, Alex.

"My what bangs?"

Back from commercial, and it looks like it’s Christmastime over at Max’s house. And there is a special guest in town to join in the festivities. That’s right, for the first time since the premiere, Max’s girlfriend Anna is back. Max’s stepdad Jim seems to have been sampling the eggnog because he grabs Max on the couch and starts singing the wrong words to Christmas carols. Everyone seems a bit embarrassed.

"Uh, Jim? You're cut off."

At the hospital, Alex is checking in for his MRS. I mean MRI. Apparently this is a sports medicine clinic because Brett Favre’s jersey is in a frame on the wall. That’s like how John Travolta’s headshot is framed at my drycleaner’s here in Los Angeles. Alex holds good and still for his shoulder x-ray and then his doctor (in very formal attire) comes in to explain just what is going on. Basically, something’s broke. And when the doctor yanks Alex’s arm around it hurts. The good new is: it can be fixed. The bad news is: baseball isn’t likely. Alex won’t be able to throw for 12 weeks after an operation. This, of course, means that Alex’s baseball scholarship offers will be in serious jeopardy. What will become of Alex?

Alabama x-ray technology

Now another visit to Max’s house, where the action has moved to the kitchen. And by action, I mean a tipsy Jim is getting ready to put Anna in a headlock. Max’s mom asks Jim if he thinks he’s too difficult on Max sometimes. Here is Jim’s response, “Yeah, because he’s hard to deal with; you know that. He doesn’t respond real well if you’re loving, supportive and understanding.” Yeah, most people just hate being treated with love, support and understanding. They’d rather be degraded and humiliated. It alarms me that Jim actually thinks this way, but what alarms me even more is that Max’s mom responds by saying, “You’re the best thing that ever happened to him.” Oh dear. I’m happy for Max that he’s going off to college to govern his own life soon. And now for the immensely awkward hug Jim gives to Anna. He asks if she thinks she and Max are in it for the long haul. Anna responds, “Hell yeah.” Max’s mom grabs Anna’s hand and starts pointing at a ring that will soon be “on another finger,” and Anna pulls away. Max? Can you please get your parents to stop manhandling your girlfriend? This is extremely uncomfortable for all of us. Max confessionals that he thinks he and Anna will make it through another year. Jim flirts madly with Anna, telling her she should go home. Hee hee hee. That’s probably the best idea of the evening, Anna.

"Come on, Anna. Don't you find me attractive?"

Back again from commercial, and the boys are participating in a ceremonial turning in of the football equipment. Wow, this really is it. The boys confessional about how they are going to miss playing football, you know, things you would expect them to say. Max, however, delivers an awesome quote reflecting on the season. “Our goal in the beginning was to go undefeated and win a national championship. And I mean, we failed.” Oh Max! You are hilarious! So deadpan. No sugarcoating here! He sort of saves it by saying, “But I mean, we still won a state championship, so…” Yes, so your lives are still worth living. But just barely!

And it’s into the cafeteria, where Alex chats with Corey about his shoulder. He confessionals that he’s decided to go ahead with the surgery because he doesn’t think that college coaches will want to sign him with a defective shoulder. Freshman cheerleader Danielle joins in the conversation, and pretends to care tremendously that Alex won’t be able to play baseball this year. She thought his rehab would be six weeks. Alex says it will be six months. I’m going to quote what the doctor said earlier and say 12 weeks, which is three months, so they’re both wrong! Alex seems sort of depressively resigned. He looks unshaven and somewhat defeated. I can’t say he doesn’t deserve it.

"You're fixin' to cut your hair this summer?"

Next we have what is called “College Signing Day.” All of the athletes who have been recruited to play football at a university are here in suits for a formal signing, complete with news cameras and everything. Taylor, Alex and Repete have turned out to watch Max sign on with the University of Furman. And let’s not forget Defensive Coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, who must be there for the send-off of his young protégé. I have to point out here that despite the footage we’ve been shown all season, Max is the only white athlete signing on for a scholarship today. Hmm, why didn’t we see these other boys’ glorious careers? It’s very cute. After they all sign their respective contracts in unison, each boy puts on the hat of his future university. That’s nice.

Defensive Coordinator Jeremy Pruitt confessionals that he’s really sad to be losing Max. He honestly thought they had a future together and he never dreamed his fairy tale would end like this. Oops sorry, that’s “The Bachelor” again. But he is sad to see Max go. Stepdad Jim looks forward to continuing to live vicariously through Max during the college years.

Max and Alex decide to hit up the batting cages with their torn-up shoulders and see how well they can do. They’re both in a lot of pain, and I suggest they stop hurting themselves. Surely there is some kind of computerized sport they can play for a while. By the way, Hoover High School has nicer batting cages than the Los Angeles Dodgers, complete with a pitching machine and everything. I wonder what kind of training equipment next year’s athletes will get after the school gets their fat check from MTV. Anyway, now cute little Ross stops by to join in the fun. He can swing okay; his shoulders are fine, it’s just his brain that got injured this year. Well it looks like Ross is not only a state championship quarterback, but he can also hit a baseball like nobody’s business. He asks Alex if he is “talking to” Danielle. Alex very maturely tells Ross to shut up and turn around, which of course means yes, he’s talking to Danielle. The next thing Ross says encapsulates the essence of the Alex situation: “Pedophile!” Uh, that’s correct. Ross and Max leave Alex to map out the local elementary schools in his mind.

Aw, now it’s time for the big formal football banquet to congratulate the boys on a job well done. The players are announced one at a time to come up and receive their reward, which is Hoover bling (see above picture). They each confessional about how proud they are to have been a part of such an impressive football progrum. Repete confessionals that he is going to miss being admired by everyone in the city. We’ll all miss that, Repete.

Coach Propst confessionals that this team had a lot of potential, and that they reached their potential. “It will go down in history as being a dominant state championship wee-in.” He would love to see a team that could beat Hoover, because they would be a great football team. (But I bet they could use some discipline...)

Cornelius plays wide receiver for Troy State University, where he accepted a football scholarship.

Goose is attending the University of Alabama, where he is focused on academics.

Repete is attending Auburn University. He plans to try out for the football team as a walk-on in the fall of 2007.

Coach Pruitt has entered his second season as the Bucs defensive coordinator. He and Max talk every day.

Ross was awarded the MVP of the 2005 state title game. In 2006, he is the senior starting quarterback for Hoover High. He and Elliot are still together.

Max plays football for Furman University, where he accepted a scholarship. He and Anna are no longer together.

Kristin, Blair and Brittany are all attending the University of Alabama together.

Rush Propst ended the 2005 football season with the most Alabama State titles by a Head Coach in 6A football history. He plans to add another State title this season.

Alex plays baseball at Bevill State Junior College where he was given a scholarship. He and Kristin are still friends. He and Danielle are still together.

Entering the 2006 season, the Hoover Bucs were ranked by Sports Illustrated and USA Today as the top high school football program in the nation.

Congratulations, Hoover Buccaneers, on an amazing season – both on the field and on the small screen! I can’t wait to see your successors carry on the tradition!

You’ve been a joy to write about – thanks guys!

Tell us what you think about Two-A-Days. Inside scoops are always appreciated!


Anonymous said...

Inside Scoop:

The stuff with Kristin and Goose was made up.

Alex and Kristin broke up around the first game of the season (Nease) and never got back together. They did go to Homecoming together. A lot of the drama stuff was made up.

Pretty much all of the football stuff is true.

origaugirl said...

I don't guess you've heard this but you might find it interesting that Alex has been arrested twice (once just a week or so ago) for breaking and entering in several cars. None of us can figure what his damn problem is?.. My family lives and kids go to the dreaded rival Vestavia High School. All of Birmingham has been involved in watching this show and we have family friends who were on the show..but we are all really sad that Alex has screwed up so much since graduation.