Monday, February 05, 2007

Two-A-Days Returns!

The wait is finally over! As promised, Two-A-Days is back with season numero dos. I’m already missing our sweet familiar faces, but luckily Max is here to gently narrate us into the second season opener. The big question on everybody’s mind is this: Will this year’s team be able to carry on the Dynasty that last year’s team lived up to? Max reminds us that we still have one familiar face to count on – our quarterback, Ross. He also tells us that this season fans are crazier than ever about the Buccaneers. I wonder what possible reason could exist for that! I have no idea what would have made such a change in such a short amount of time. Oh wait, I have a really good guess… national television? Speaking of national, this team has its sights set on the national championship – just like last year’s team. I wonder if they’ll do it. Max is throwing around names like Charlie, Brandon, Mark, and DeJohn. I don’t know those guys, but apparently they are currently in the middle of losing a game against John Curtis High School. What’s this? That’s right, we’re diving right in, and the water ain’t good. Here come the highlights:

  • Ross throws a pass that is intercepted. Max is on the sidelines shaking his head. Coach Propst playfully tousles Ross’ hair. (More on that later.)
  • Now Ross is sacked. We get a shot of the crowd standing still in disbelief. This is an unusual feeling for them.
  • The John Curtis quarterback throws a long pass that is caught and run in for a touchdown. Now the score is 28 to 14 and the Buccaneers are shaming the whole community.
  • Ross throws a pass into the end zone that no one catches. Coach Propst throws away his earphones.

It’s over, and now the Buccaneers have no chance at the national championship. Well, at least that suspense is over with. I wasn’t sure if I could get through another three or four episodes wondering about nationals.

The players trudge dejectedly into the locker room to face what we have all been waiting for – a renewed incoherent deafening round of profanity-filled humiliation delivered by our almighty Coach Propst. It never comes. Here is what someone who looks kind of like Coach Propst, but can’t possibly be him says:

“A lot of what happened tonight is my fault. And I’ll take full blame and responsibility. I put too much pressure on this football team and this ‘progrum’ in a lot of areas, and I failed you as head football coach. I’m about as down as I’ve ever been. And you know, I think we’ve got to figure out some way to go back to the basics and do a better job in every little phase, and be a better football ‘progrum.’ I love you. I don’t tell you that enough, and I apologize to you. All we can do is go forward, okay?”

"Go to my happy place. I have to go to my happy place."

Um, no. No, this is definitely not okay. I think someone named Rush Propst must have watched episodes from the first season of Two-A-Days and decided to participate in a little bit of self-reflection. Either that or hire a stunt-double. This is unacceptable behavior for a reality television villain. All we can hope for now is for the coach to forget about the cameras and go back to being himself. What fun is this locker room love-fest? This is crap!

Now we head into Mark’s room very early in the morning, where his phone is waking him up to the tune of “Sweet Home Alabama.” That’s adorable. After this I’m changing my wake-up tone to “Californication” in honor of my sweet home. Mark confessionals to us that he has been playing football since he was in second grade. He is now a Defensive End for Hoover High School. He also doesn’t really have a neck. But he does have something that takes me back to the glorious days of season one: “the hairdo.”

"But Sensei, I can beat this guy."

Next we wake up with Charlie, a senior Wide Receiver. Charlie tells us that being a Hoover football player is cool and all, but it’s not his whole life, and he doesn’t even like to think about it when he’s not playing. I’m a bit dreadfully worried about Charlie’s attempt at the hairdo because he has very curly hair – kind of like Goose – but he’s determined to have the boy bangs anyway and it comes out looking rather Carrot Top-ish.

A new wave of Hoover cool

Both boys slink to their trucks and head over to school to face the public shame of losing a football game and blowing any hope of a national championship. I’m not really sure how Charlie can see through his hair. Luckily there is an inspiring quote on the whiteboard in the locker room: “It’s not how hard you fall, but how high you bounce!!!” Coach Propst confessionals his feelings, and I’m glimpsing traces of his former self. “When you wont somethin’ so by-ad and you don’t achieve it, it is tough. This one was a tough pill to swalla. I was as my-ad as I was hurt. And I think our players were, too.” Well at least he’s admitting to his anger now. Maybe he’ll start showing it again sometime soon. As for now, however, Coach Propst spends the entire practice coddling the boys and taking partial responsibility for the loss.

"I'll never let go, Ross. I'll never let go."

He confessionals that this is not about punishing the players, but about getting them back to basics. How sad for us. And how must last year’s team feel watching this? I wonder if this new strategy will work, or if the Bucs are embarking on a sissified losing streak.

Back from commercial, it’s time to focus on the fact that this is Homecoming week, and as such we get to participate once again in Dress-Up Days. Today is Western Day, so everyone in town is dressed like a cowboy. In the cafeteria, over more talk of the lost national championship, we meet Charlie’s girlfriend, Kristen, and Mark’s girlfriend, Brittany – both varsity cheerleaders (that’s weird). At least Kristen is a familiar name. She even looks kind of like Kristin I. Mark tells us that he and Brittany have been dating for three years and what he’s most attracted to is her personality. Yes, I’m sure if Brittany were a 300 pound marching tuba player, the relationship would be no different. Uh hem.

What? Pretty? I didn't notice.

And it’s over to cheerleading practice, where we learn that not only does Brittany not play the tuba, she is also the captain of the varsity cheerleading squad. Imagine that! We also meet an interesting new character named Shane Martin – Current Cheerleading Coach and former football player. I’m taking a moment to reflect on other former football players we’ve met here in Hoover. I’m thinking of course of Coach Propst, who will forever be trying to capture a fleeting drop of glory from his young charges. There is also Jim, Max Lerner’s stepdad, who lived each day and night vicariously through Max, attending many practices and spending much time on the phone with coaches. And finally we have Defensive Coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, who is still to this day looking for a surgeon willing to permanently attach him at the hip to Max Lerner so that he can go on his second ride through college football. Well, Shane Martin chose a bit of a different route. Instead of tagging along to watch impotently from the sidelines as the next generation plays football without him, Shane Martin threw away his gear, grew his hair out to well past shoulder-length, grabbed some pom-poms and choreographed some routines. Maybe he can’t play football anymore, but he can sure boss around a bunch of little girls and make sure they yell loud at the games. I may need to call him Sparky, in honor of this guy from Bring It On.

"Cheerleaders are dancers who have gone retarded."

Outside at football practice, Coach Propst continues his love-in with the boys. He still considers them the best football team in the country, even though national championships are nothing more than a dream gone by. He encourages the boys to play to win state, to continue the dynasty, get another ring this year, and win their fifth state championship in a row. Mark confessionals that he absolutely hates practice, and he dreads coming every day, but he knows he has to do it. There’s just no other way to explain the fact that he has no neck. Defensive Line Coach Chris Davis confessionals that Mark has become a much better player now that he is a senior. Um, who cares about that because I have a huge question right this minute. Where is Defensive Coordinator Jeremy Pruitt?! He provided so much entertainment last season – throwing his hat at the players in practice, having no idea what asparagus is, hanging around with Max and his stepdad way too much. He must be down at Furman University living in the closet of Max’s dorm room and doing Max’s homework. We miss you, Coach Pruitt!

Back inside, the cheerleaders have finished up practice and are now decorating the halls with lots of paper stars for Homecoming. They’re sad because it’s their last Homecoming in high school, and Elliot (who is actually a girl) and Brittany step outside to talk about it. The discussion centers around Brittany and Mark’s relationship. It seems that Brittany and Mark have attended every single dance together during high school and now Brittany is suffering some anxiety because they may end up at different colleges next year. She is hoping to follow Mark wherever he goes because she just can’t see giving up after three years. Oh Brittany, Brittany. You should be trying to do the exact opposite. That’s the thing about leaving a small town and going somewhere flooded with people your age – you learn that the world is your candy store.

Ooh, now it’s the Homecoming Game and Sparky is shooting off t-shirts into the stands.

"Catch it, Sweater Monkeys!"

Goose, Blair, and her mom purse have made a pilgrimage up from the University of Alabama to watch their successors have lots of fun without them. In the locker room Coach Propst seems to be teeming just under the surface, but he’s still doing a pretty good job at putting on the “nice guy” front. He tells the boys that tonight is pivotal, and that they need to play as a football team and impress somebody – that somebody being Minor. And it’s time already for another set of highlights:

  • Ross throws a decent pass caught by #11 and it looks like the Bucs are off to a good start.
  • The Bucs hover near the end zone for four downs, then Ross is sacked in a blitz. Not good boys, not good.
  • Sparky pulls the cheerleaders into a circle and tells them that it’s obvious the boys need them, so they need to be focused (yes, that should help). They give a rallying “Bucs!” shout.
  • Ross throws a pass that Charlie catches, giving the Bucs a first down.
  • The Bucs once again dance around near the end zone for four downs, failing to get the ball over the line. Coach Propst forgets himself and begins screaming incoherently.

During the halftime locker room speech, Coach Propst appears to have taken a few minutes to himself and counted to a hundred while breathing deeply because he calmly comes in and tells the boys that they’ve lost all their passion. They may squeak out of this or they may not. But he’ll still love them all the same and can’t wait to give them a great big hug at the buzzer. Okay, maybe he didn’t really say that last part. But he may as well have. Let’s see how this ends.

  • Charlie catches another good pass and it’s back to end zone territory.
  • FINALLY, Ross slips the ball to the aforementioned #11 who manages to scurry into the end zone giving us our first touchdown. No wait, the score is now 14 to 7. Well, anyway, despite the editing, the Bucs are now up.
  • Next the Minor players make a 69 yard touchdown and tie things up. Coach Propst is once again incomprehensible. Count to ten, Coach. Do your breathing.
  • Our boys get another touchdown and it looks like the game is over. Whew! 21 to 14 for the Homecoming Game!

Brittany, already all dressed up for the dance, comes onto the field to give Mark a hug. I can’t believe she skipped out early to change into her dress. Doesn’t she know the team obviously needs her? What will Sparky have to say about this?

Now it’s the boys’ turn to get pretty. One of the players rightfully teases Charlie about his hair, wondering what he will put in it to tame it for the dance. As it turns out, he’ll put in nothing. It’s hard to say if he even showered after the game because his hair looks exactly the same. He does pat it a little, though.

"Ah... perfect!"

We now get a quick montage of the dance, with all of the little couples getting their pictures taken. Brittany smoothes Mark’s boy bangs to forever capture them in time photographically.

"Honey, hand me my curling iron."

Later Brittany and Mark snuggle on a porch swing and talk about the game. Mark says he played like crap and Brittany says no, he was awesome. But next week is Vestavia, and that is a big deal. The boys better focus. Wow, these last four years have gone by so fast. I love you. I love you too. Coach Propst pops up from behind the swing proclaiming, “I love you both! Group hug!” Ha ha, just kidding.

What’s going to happen this season? Are the boys going to end up coaching Coach Propst? Will the Vestavia students still be waving Confederate flags on television?


Anonymous said...

HILARIOUS. Can't wait to read your next one.

Anonymous said...

Eliott, Ross's girlfriend, is actually a junior. So the conversation between her and Brittney was obviously staged for the cameras. That conversation totally wasn't relevant to her.