Uncharacteristically, I was flipping through the TV channels recently. This is highly unusual, because generally, when I watch television, I go to a particular show, usually prerecorded. I came across this 2000 movie I saw in the theaters, Remember the Titans. Part of the IMBD synopsis:
“It’s 1971 in Alexandria, Virginia and successful high school football coach Bill Yoast (Will Patton) has just been deprived of the head coaching job at the new integrated T.C. Williams High School to make way for equally successful black coach Herman Boone (Denzel Washington). Yoast debates pursuing opportunities elsewhere, but when most of his white players vow to sit out the season unless he coaches, he changes his mind and stays on as Boone’s assistant.”
The Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: “An inspirational crowd-pleaser with a healthy dose of social commentary, Remember the Titans may be predictable, but it’s also well-crafted and features terrific performances.”
Well, yes, predictable, including having the Big Game. I enjoyed it well enough, and it at least tried to tackle the issue of race.
Looking back at it, though, I noticed an interesting coincidence:
Donald Faison, who played football star Petey Jones, became Dr. Christopher Turk, best friend of quirky Dr. John Dorian on the TV comedy Scrubs (2001-2010), with seven years on NBC, and the final two on ABC. Turk and JD were probably the epitome of a word I’m not fond of, “bromance”.
Ethan Suplee, who played big-hearted lineman Louie Lastik, was the somewhat simpleminded younger brother Randy Hickey to the title character on the comedy My Name Is Earl (2005-2009, NBC). Earl dragged Randy into his plans to fix the outcomes of some of their less-than-desirable activities after the elder brother discovered karma following a car accident.
Hayden Panettiere played Sheryl Yoast, daughter of Coach Yoast: “My daddy coached in Alexandria, he worked so hard my momma left him, but I stayed with coach, he needed me on that field.” She initially resents Coach Boone for supplanting her daddy, but:
Sheryl Yoast: Coach Boone, you did a good job up here. You ran a tough camp from what I can see.
Coach Boone: Well I’m very happy to have the approval of a 5 year old.
Sheryl Yoast: I’m 9 and a half, thank you very much.
Coach Boone: Why don’t you get this little girl some pretty dolls or something, coach?
Coach Yoast: I’ve tried. She loves football.
After playing Ally McBeal’s daughter in that program’s last season (2002), Hayden played Claire “Save the cheerleader” Bennet on Heroes (NBC) from 2006 until its cancellation in 2010.
So all three actors were on NBC programs that started after their appearance in the movie but that are all now off the air.
When the upstart American Football League (AFL) was formed in 1960 to challenge the long-established National Football League, the franchise in the US’s largest city was called the New York Titans. Major League Baseball’s National League experienced expansion in 1962, and the city got the New York Mets. When the Titans were sold to new owners in 1964, the team changed its name to the New York Jets, to nominally link it to the popular, though inept, baseball franchise. The AFL merged with the NFL in 1966, though it wasn’t finalized until 1970. the Jets, of course, were the first AFL team to beat an established NFL in what became known as the Super Bowl, in January 1969. (The Mets would win the World Series later that same year.)
Another of the charter members of the AFL was the Houston Oilers, which relocated to the “state of Tennessee in 1997, first playing temporarily in Memphis for one season before moving to Nashville. For two seasons, the team was known as the Tennessee Oilers before changing its name to Titans in 1999.” So the Titans name lives again.
When I was collecting comics in the 1970s through the mid-1990s, I was pretty much a Marvel fan (Spider-Man, Iron Man, Fantastic Four) rather than a DC fan (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman). I never read, never even sought out, the original Teen Titans, a book about the sidekicks of the established stars from back in the 1960s. But because of the creative team of writer Marv Wolfman and artist George Perez, I did collect the NEW Teen Titans, starting in 1980, even though Robin was the only character I knew, and it became one of the most popular titles of its time.
There was also a Teen Titans TV series in the first decade of the century. New episodes stopped in 2006, but they are rerun often; I watched a part of an episode just this week to get into the spirit of this post.
Here is an extensive team history of the Teen Titans.
Finally, there is Clash of the Titans, the cheesy 1981 film with Harry Hamlin, and the 2010 remake. But I’ve seen neither, so I thought I’d just do the photo comparison.