It’s the Super Bo-… The Big Game! We here at The Main Damie love us some football, so we’ve decided to combine that love with our television watching and came up with a list of the Best Football-Themed Television Episodes. If you thought you’d read this site without ever coming across a reference to Coach, you’d be wrong starting today. Don’t forget to VOTE in the poll below!
Dan’s Pick – The Simpsons, “Lisa the Greek”
If I were to ask you what is the best way to bond with your daughter what would you say? Sports? Television? Gambling? If you answered yes to all three of those, you might be Homer J. Simpson. In this classic episode, Homer reaches out to his daughter Lisa when he discovers that she can correctly pick the winner of every NFL match. With the Super Bowl fast approaching, Lisa realizes that she’s being used to win money and refuses to give her dad a correct winner instead, she substitutes each team to whether she will love him or hate him as the outcome.
This episode is great for two reasons. The first being you see how the residents of Springfield get hyped up for the big game, from Moe throwing a “huge blow out” to only the Flanders being present at church and one other guy running out screaming he forgot about the big game. The second being it will be the only time you see the Redskins vs the Bills in a Super Bowl.
Mark’s Pick – Coach, “The Pineapple Bowl: Part 2″
After realizing that my first two choices were the other two episodes on this list, I panicked. Now I didn’t want to take the easy way out and choose something from Friday Night Lights, but I also couldn’t think of many other shows that had a good football themed episode. Then, it dawned on me, I should pick the most ridiculous one I could remember, and that lead me straight to Coach.
First of all, how the hell did Coach last 9 seasons? Except for it being about college football — it didn’t even get that right half the time — there was nothing else that helped it rise above mediocre. Maybe people just really loved Craig T. Nelson. Anyway, once I realized Coach was the perfect place to find a memorable episode, there was no other choice than the part 2 of the Pineapple Bowl episode. This was the first of four consecutive seasons where Coach used a bowl game to completely kill any suspension of belief that the writers actually knew football by presenting a scenario that would never happen. What made this episode different than the other three bowl game episodes is that the plot was so off the wall that I still remembered it 23 years later.
The game matched Hayden Fox against his mentor “The Snake”, who had been playing mind games with Fox since Minnesota St’s final regular season game. After a pretty typical Coach episode – Dauber does something dumb; Luther says something to set off the laugh track; Fox is stressed – the most ridiculous moment in a sports-theme show occurred: Star QB Bo Whitley get hurt “limboing” — or did he? As we find out later, Fox had his QB fake the injury – wheelchair and all – to get in the head of “The Snake” (seriously, what coach would do this). With less than 2 minutes left, Whitley makes a “miraculous” recovery and wins the game. Besides this being terrible team management, I think it is also against the rules. Nonetheless, it is the most memorable Coach episode and my No.1 for this week.
Anthony’s Pick – Married…With Children, “All Night Security Dude”
If you’re not a fan of the show Married…With Children, you may have missed the fact that sadsack Al Bundy was once a high school football God. If you ARE a fan of the show, than you can surely recite the fact that Al Bundy was the star tailback of the 1966 Polk High School Panthers and scored four touchdowns… in ONE GAME! That’s more than Maurice Clarett had in his entire NFL career.
The perfect football-themed episode of Married…With Children also happens to be Ed O’Neill’s personal favorite. Out of a job (for some reason), Al is forced to take a job as a security guard at his old high school, which still displays the trophy that Al won with a last-second touchdown. The trophy brings back fond memories for Al, as he took just crossed the goal line while rival school defenseman “Spare Tire” Dixon tried to make the stop. In a twist of fate, the trophy is stolen by none other than Spare Tire, which leads to a winner-take-all moment for the ages in the high school lobby.
If there’s a moment that summarizes the show in its entirety, it is the slow motion battle between Spare Tire (played by former All-Pro Bubba Smith) and Al, as they try every trick in the book in an attempt to win: eye poking, biting, pictures of mothers-in-law, whatever would work. In the end, Al manages to cross the line and reclaim his glory.
What’s your favorite football-themed episode from a television show? Vote in the poll below or comment with your answer.