It's no secret that football is a big deal across the state of Texas. Some top college and professional talent was born and bred here, and the state continues to produce quality players year after year. By the rankings on MaxPreps.com, heading into the upcoming season, three of the top 25 programs in the nation are from the Lone Star State.
Hollywood really has done its best to capitalize on and bastardize football's place in the high school landscape, especially in Texas. True, there are those towns where football means more than the Virgin Mary, but that's not all of Texas.
For the sake of entertainment, we've compiled the five things likely to happen in the upcoming season, based on the way Hollywood portrays the sport:
1. A Season-Changing, Catastrophic Injury First game of the season, freak play, best player out for the season (and ultimately, his career) -- goodbye hopes for "State." A team will hinge its success on the play of one amazing player, only to see said player go down in a heap of pain. It happened to superstar tailback Boobie Miles in Friday Night Lights (adapted from H.G. Bissinger's book of the same name, which is based on real events). Tonight, the best team in the greater Houston area, Katy High plays North Shore at Galena Park Stadium. Coach Gary Joseph would be wise to keep an eye on his top guys.
2. An Equally Talented Or Better No-Name Steps Up Though a team has been together for years, moving players along as others graduate, there will miraculously be some guy who steps into the role left by the fallen star and surpasses the talents of the former. Even though Booby was hailed as a sure thing, bound to experience success at the highest level, his void was filled by an underclassmen known as "Waterbug." And soon enough, Booby was an afterthought. Jonathan "Mox" Moxon (James Van Der Beek), a reluctant star, took the quarterback reins for All-American boy quarterback Lance Harbor (Paul Walker) in Varsity Blues -- and somehow evolved into a player well beyond his own capabilities.
3. Team Wins, Girls Come Calling
With each victory or noble effort, the more flirtatious and promiscuous the ladies become. After each game, win or lose, a beer-bash of some sort will happen, players will become absurdly inebriated and cops will turn a blind eye. For the new star, a girl once out of his league will come calling. Mox, the new star quarterback, upgraded his female prospects, with the cheerleading captain unveiling her whipped cream bikini.
4. A Racial Divide It will rise up from some unforeseen incident or will be present from the onset, but it will easily be dismissed followed by an inspiring war-referenced speech by a coach. Maybe, like Coach Herman Boone (Denzel Washington) in Remember the Titans, he'll lead them on a brutal run to the foot of historic battlegrounds. Players will listen, and all will be well and good -- dealing with issues of race can be just that easy.
5. The Power Hungry, Win-By-Any-Means Coach
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The future of his players and team will mean less than his own legacy. He'll convince his athletes to play through pain or take risks with injuries. Coach Bud Kilmer (Jon Voight) had Harbor and the star running back take cortisone shots at halftime in order to play through debilitating injuries. Or a coach like Coach Nickerson (Craig T. Nelson), in All the Right Moves, will hold an intense grudge and risk the college prospects of a well-intentioned player like Stefen Djordjevic (Tom Cruise).
We've got to have a few sports-centric film aficionados out there. Did we miss anything?