Ahhh, Two-A-Days. Even though most of us never had the pleasure of going to a high school with the football tradition of Hoover, I think most of us can relate to many of the moments in this series. While Laguna Beach showed us that the rich and spoiled can also be entertaining, Two-A-Days strives to prove that life does not end if the entire football team has the same haircut. OK, that’s not exactly what the show is about, but it is pretty entertaining, and when an entire town lives and dies by what forty kids do on a Friday night, it does make for some pretty good drama.All of the boys on the Hoover football team have a lot of pressure to win, not only because they want to keep their championship streak alive, but because they know that after every victory comes a big party. With those parties comes the girls, and you know why we love high school girls? It’s not that I get older and they stay the same age. (If I were to risk a nickel at Chino, I would want it to be for something worthwhile, like kidnapping Tyra Banks). No, it’s because once you go to college, you never have to think about them again!
Oh stop it! I’m just kidding.
While the thoughts of getting some alone time with their favorite cheerleader behind the bleachers does occupy some of their time, there is a lot to say about winning championships. If you are a good player on a good football team, there is a good chance you’ll get some attention from college scouts. For a lot of these guys, going off to college is going to be their best chance to get out of Hoover, and for some it may be the only reason for them to ever leave the state of Alabama.
Max is on a recruiting trip to Southern Miss, member of Conference USA. Although he is a good player, you can tell that Max isn’t a really big recruit for Southern Miss because they sent some old (read: of legal drinking age) woman from the admissions office and not some hot sorority sister and the keys to an Escalade. Still, it is division 1-A, and you can just see Max’s eyes light up with thoughts of someday playing Boise State in the Continental Tire Bowl. But as soon as Max starts to get such gaudy thoughts into his head, his stepfather is there to bring him back to reality, saying that going to Southern Miss is all contingent on how well he plays the rest of the season. Oh, and here I thought that he was planning on going to college in Hattiesburg, Mississippi on an opera scholarship.
This is what Max was expecting
This is what he got
I don’t know why these old people are always on these kids’ backs. Remember how everybody was supposed to be worried about Nease and the so-called number one quarterback in the country? Hoover handled them without a problem. And remember how hard it was supposed to be playing at Spain Park? The cameras tried to make it look close, but that wasn’t a big deal either. Nobody can stop Hoover, so why do they even practice?
Well, they practice because the coaches don’t have anything better to do. And while it might suck to practice before school and after school, the football players are well taken care of. In one scene, we see Blair and a few of the other cheerleaders bringing some treats into the football locker room, because nothing takes the edge off a tough practice like chocolate chip cookies and a blow pop. By the way, when you name your girl Blair, aren’t you pretty much assuring her that she has to try out for the cheerleading team? It’s got to be about as much of a surprise as naming your kid Belvedere and finding out he became a butler, or drinks a fifth of vodka every day.
Anyway, I don’t like to perpetuate the stereotype that cheerleaders are not smart, but I had to laugh when they walked in and wondered how they were going to find the lockers that belonged to their players like they wouldn’t be able to do it unless Indiana Jones was there to help them solve the puzzle. Uh, I’m not sure Blair, but you my try reading the nametags, which they conveniently place ABOVE EACH LOCKER. OK, so the hotties from Hoover may not be the brightest, but you know that they have to be brave to face sights and smells of a boy’s locker room. There were enough jock straps and tighty-whities lying around to make one long for the smell of napalm in the morning. It wasn’t all terrible though, as the sight of a pair of polka-dotted boxers had them swooning like they were delivering cookies to Brad Pitt or Johnny Depp and not kids with nicknames like Booger and Goose.
Speaking of Goose, I am really feeling sorry for that poor bastard. It turns out that he keeps all of the spirit ribbons he buys from Kristin in his locker, which seems sort of sweet and nice, but this guy is out of his league. He’s a lineman, so the chances that he will ever date a cheerleader are almost zero. His chances with Kristin are probably less than zero, because we saw last week how she talked about how they were “great friends”, which is girl-speak for “You can eat at my lunch table, but you’ll never get into my pants”. Luckily for Goose, his name isn’t “Skid Marks”, so he probably retains enough self-dignity to at least date somebody from the softball or field hockey teams.
After that hilarious romp through the locker room, we once again got a chance to check in with Coach Propst, who was in a pretty good mood after his two wins, and took some time to talk about some of the different personalities on the team. For instance, Max, he’s “such a clown”, which means everybody cracks up when he shows off the mangina and fruit bowl. Repete is just “out there”, which is coach-speak for “I am pretty sure he smokes a shitload of pot, but what I don’t know can’t hurt me”. But really, you need these types of personalities on every team. If there is nobody out there willing to give a pressed ham on the bus ride on the way back from away games, what will people talk about when they celebrate at Applebee’s?
Oh Repete, you ham
Also, does anybody else think that we need to give a nickname to Coach Propst? I think his name should be Coach Pabst, because we really should find a way to honor the source of his awesome physique. And if there is one person for which the phrase “Red neck, white socks, blue ribbon” rings true, isn’t it Coach Propst? My other idea was Coach “My Hero is That Character John Voigt Played in Varsity Blues”, but Coach Pabst rolls of the tongue a little easier
That sort of body takes a strict regimen of High Life and pork rinds.
When we saw Max at the beginning of the episode, you sort of rooted for him to get into Southern Miss, but if he didn’t, you knew that his stepfather would have a nice job for him at his car dealership or plumbing supply store or whatever if college wasn’t an option. Taking a look at Repete’s situation, you knew that his recruiting trips were going to mean a lot more. Not only is he looking to be the first member of his family to go to college, but if it doesn’t work out for him, it’s not like Repete can just go back and say he wants to do it all over. Ha! Get it? Repete? Do over? That was almost too easy.
Repete’s dad really wants him to do well in football. Many kids who play on the Hoover football team move to this suburb of Birmingham simply for the chance to play on the football team, and Repete is one of them. It’s tough enough to focus when you have the normal everyday pressures of life and when you don’t work hard, sometimes you feel like you’ve let yourself and your teammates down, but if Repete doesn’t perform, he’s letting his whole family down, so you really do hope that he does well.
As for Repete, he wants to do well and make his family proud, but he feels like he is missing out on his childhood a little bit. His main problem is that he can’t seem to find a girl that understands his responsibilities. After a long day of football, he just wants to go home and sleep, but girls are always so needy and expect you to call them on the phone and spend time with them and pretend you like their mother and not sleep around with other girls and wave to them when you get a sack. How the hell is one supposed to put up with THAT? Repete’s dad listens, and tries to tell him that if a girl can’t understand what he’s going through, she’s not the right one for him. This is his father’s polite way of saying that if Repete becomes a baby daddy before the boosters can pay for it, his ass is heading straight to the curb.
Now while I may give coach Pabst a hard time about working the kids hard, I really don’t think I should give him too much shit. Four championships in five years means results, and while he may be hard on everybody, he knows that success can change lives, or at least that what the theme of this week’s show is supposed to be. And while it may seem like Hoover had more talent and a better game plan than everybody else, their current winning streak as well as their current championship streak means that everybody is gunning to take them down. A good season for Hoover is winning the state championship and going undefeated. A good season for some of their opponents means playing well enough for 48 minutes on one day and beating Hoover. All of the success the program has built up over the years means that the players need to be that much more focused during every game.
This week’s challenge is Tuscaloosa and Pabst doesn’t want his kids to become complacent. Most of the kids have been there before and they know what it takes. As Max and a few other players sit at the X-box for a little bit of NCAA 2006, he tells them that while he was on a trip to Auburn, the Tuscaloosa QB was talking shit about them. Now, it may seem like X-box is not the best way to get yourself fired up for a game, but there is a fine line between being loose and being complacent, so we’ll have to see what becomes of it all.
If there is any one area of the team that worries anybody, it is the play of Ross Wilson, the Hoover QB. As hard as these kids work, you still want the game to be fun. Max’s stepfather realized this a couple of weeks ago, and Ross’s father is trying to get him to do the same thing. Ross says there is no pressure on him, but am I the only one who doesn’t think he’s very convincing when he says it?
Now there’s no way that you can talk about bit time high school football in the south without talking about the prayer meetings. What better way to get the kids playing well than putting the fear of God into them. Team Chaplain Terry Slay does a good job at preachin’ and hollerin’ and you could even say his sermon was inspirational. Two things bothered me, however, and it’s not because they were quoting Luke and not Darwin. First, I know that the spirit of the team is important, but really, what the hell were the cheerleaders doing there? Second, why does the coach get to put his pages into the sermon? We go from scripture to the playbook. Does the Chaplain really think that Luke said, “You must be extremely aggressive tonight!” “Get up in their Grille” and “Stick one in their ear hole!”?
And while all of that seemed strange, did anybody wonder how this scene might take place at, say, Tom Cruise Memorial High School? Can you see it now? Everybody piles into chairs like a DC-9, the cheerleaders offer the beverage service, and after everybody is audited, we learn Xenu really wants them to “Knock them on they ass!”
After prayer time comes game time. How did Hoover do? Well, Tuscaloosa scored their first touchdown after about a minute of the game, and then it just went downhill from there. Ross threw an interception, and Tuscaloosa scored a touchdown, and then another touchdown. By halftime, it was 27-14, and Coach Pabst started to lay into them pretty good. Unfortunately, his inspiration wasn’t enough to keep Ross from making bad decisions. After another interception, it was 33-14 Tuscaloosa. There was a blocked punt that Hoover returned for a touchdown in order to bring them back within 12, and after Repete picked up a sack, Hoover was able to bring it within 5. The game came down to one a fourth and inches from the goal line, and while Ross was trying to bring them back into the game, he got hit really hard.
Hoover’s 27 game winning streak was over, but the worst was yet to come. It’s one thing to play well and lose to a better team, but Hoover was outworked and made a lot of mistakes, and that doesn’t sit well with any coach. So, what does that leave us? Well, I have been kind of easy on Pabst because while I thought he was harsh, I always thought he never crossed the line to get people motivated. After the Tuscaloosa loss, Pabst said that he wouldn’t put together a highlight reel or talk to any college coach for any of his players. The coach already has control of almost every waking moment of their lives as it is, but now he wants to control their future? Seems like kind of a dick move to me, Pabst.
Where am I?
Pabst promised everybody a tough week of practice, and if he can’t get them to play on Friday night, he can at least get them to bleed every other day of the week, not that it mattered much to Ross. He didn’t remember much after the wicked hit, and they took him to the hospital as a precaution. Starting QB out a month? That’s going to put a real kink in your hopes of repeating, and just when you think things couldn’t get worse, it’s almost time for homecoming, so all of the girl drama is going to be starting up soon as well.
What did you think of the episode? Has Pabst gone too far? Can Hoover recover to win the championship?