Assistant Coach Mac "Random Guy in a Blue Shirt" MacGill backs himself into a racist corner by making claims to the media about the "natural" abilities of "guys like" Smash. The show is smart enough not to make the claims totally outrageous (just your everyday, store-brand ignorance -- sigh) and so the reaction against him builds slowly. But build it does, until it culminates in a Smash-led walkout on the practice field.
Tami catches Julie skipping gym class (under the influence of Tyra, of course) and sentences them both to play in the yearly powderpuff football game. This punishment gives Julie some much-needed eye-rolling opportunities, as well as some truly sweet father-daughter interaction as Coach proudly coaches his own daughter into the QB1 position. The powderpuff game also gives Tyra the opportunity to tackle the shit out of Lyla, in order to give outlet to her rage over her slutty mom and sleazy Buddy Garrity moving quickly toward the inevitable nasty secretary/boss conclusion.
And Jason goes back to school, only to find everyone treats him like the cripple he says he is, so he decides to go to Austin to try out for the national quad rugby team.
We open in the middle of a game, Matt runs over to Coach to ask what he wants. Coach responds, "Slot right 28 gun sling." Matt looks suspicious and asks if he's serious. Coach is, as usual, taking no shit. He assures him it is what he wants. As Matt runs back on the field, the camera swings by and catches Assistant Coach Mac rolling his eyes at Coach. In the huddle, Matt tells the boys "this is serious" and calls the play. Smash's eyes narrow in pleasure. The break and Riggins does some endearing boyfootballtalk and then it's the snap. The announcers try to produce some excitement by exclaiming "What in tarnation?!" as Matt tosses the ball to Riggins who then tosses the ball to Smash who then acts as quarterback and throws to Matt who's scurried into the endzone. Touchdown! As we cut away to the celebrating, we see that the Panthers were already up by 13 before they scored that last touchdown, so it seems like Coach was either just screwing around or privy to the need for a racism-in-sports storyline when he called that play.
Just for cuteness sake, we catch Lyla and another cheerleader doing a modified chest bump in imitation of some of the boys on the field.
In the locker room, Kyle Chandler's hair is much too self-satisfied. It's sitting on top of his head all "lean back, lean back" while Coach congratulates his players: "They said we couldn't do it. They said we didn't have what it takes." He tells them to be proud of themselves and that he is proud of them, and the boys, led by Smash's call and response -- "Whose house is this?" "Our house!" -- whoop it up.
Cut across the locker room to see Matt getting interviewed and then over to Mac, confronted with two close-talking, exceedingly overdressed reporters trying to sniff out an ace story. The blonde female reporter asks Mac if they're nervous about an upcoming game to be played against Dunston Valley, an all-white team who just had some trouble with a "blackface" scandal. Mac says they "don't give a dang about all that" and the slick male reporter pounces, "Are you saying race isn't an issue for the Dillon Panthers?' Mac says that it is not. Ida Tarbell lunges, pointing out that Dillon was one of the last high schools in the area to be integrated, and that they've only had one black quarterback in forty years, and that black quarterback was simply a plot manipulation named Voodoo.
Mac proposes that this lady should show him a red, black, or green player who'd be better than Matt Saracen. Mac apparently learned everything he knows about racism from "The Sneetches." Assistant Coach Black Man walks by and seems to get the gist of what's happening. Lady Reporter asks, "What about Smash Williams?" reminding Mac that Smash played quarterback in JV and has quite an arm. Interesting tidbit there. Mac says that Smash is best suited to the position he is in, and now that she smells the story, all Lady Reporter even needs to do is ask "What do you mean?" And this is when it really takes a turn for the worse as Mac clarifies the racist aspects of his thoughts about the players he coaches, aspects that, up until this point, remained somewhat hazy and ill-defined, just common sense, you know? "Guys like Smash, Baxter, even Voodoo, have a natural gift for running the ball." Lady Reporter editorializes for us: "All three are black. Are you saying their ability has something to do with their skin color?" Mac is getting hot under the collar and he retorts, "What I'm saying, Karen is that guys like Smash are fearless, they're dangerous, they're like junkyard dogs. You want 'em carrying the ball, you want 'em tearing up turf out there." In other words, on the field, we exploit the very thing -- a proposed and supposed aggressive "nature" -- that will allow us to write these young men off as aggressive and dangerous once we are done squeezing their talent out of them. Congratulations, Whitey, you've got an airtight system of oppression there.