The Scott Manor. Nathan's got his varsity jacket on, and he's ready to go kick some opposing-team ass. Dan's wearing an "I'm the Worst Father in the World" t-shirt. He's also dispensing advice: "Whitey can put this kid on the team. He can put him in the game, but he can't put him in your game. You've got to shut him out. You've got to shut out the opposition." Blah be ready blah. Nathan says begrudgingly, "All right." What else does a kid say when his father drones on about basketball every hour of every single stinking day he's alive? Does the man not think of anything other than pushing his kid to achieve what he didn't get to achieve in his time? It's the worst kind of pressure -- having to make up for someone else's failed dreams. Anyway, Nathan doesn't seem to mind, but it makes me feel kind of sick to my stomach every time Dan opens his mouth.
Whitey Durham Field House. I guess the Ravens play all of their games at home, but whatever. I also guess they didn't want to use two sets and make this show even more expensive. More excited extras mill about outside, wearing blue t-shirts and hopping around. Nathan wears headphones and listens to hip-hop. He slaps hands. Pinches asses. Gives Luke a dirty look. Luke looks like he might chuck his cookies. Whitey comes into the dressing room wearing his Sunday best. He barks, "Scott!" Nathan responds, but he's denied. Again. Whitey wants his brother. Poor Nathan. No one on the team makes Luke feel welcome. Jock Jerk #1 says to Nathan, "I can't believe the bastard spawn's on our team." Nathan says, "For now." ["Sars says, 'Nobody who doesn't live in the fifties refers to people whose parents weren't married as "bastards" anymore.' I mean, really. Shut up, Jock Jerk #1 and One Tree Hill writers." -- Sars]
Whitey's wearing suspenders. They're so cute. He looks like my grandfather -- rough teeth, not much hair, gruff voice, good heart. He asks Luke if he's nervous. Luke half-smiles and admits he's a bit nervous. Who wouldn't be, with half the team gunning for his failure and the whole town talking about his parentage? There must be something else here; Luke must also be a bit of a loner or a freak for all of them to be so focused on the aspect of his life that even he hates the most, his father not wanting anything to do with him. Any. Way. Whitey gives him some coach-erly advice: "Good. You ought to be. Just do what you've been doing all week." He tosses him a jersey. "You'll be fine." A Dan Scott Dealership calendar hangs on Whitey's wall. Even the minutia is against Luke. Tweedledum and Stinky catch Luke as he exits the coach's office. They want a "few words" before his debut. They've got a website: www.ravenshoops.com (and good grief, it's an actual URL with a holding page saying that the website's on its way -- please, save me now). They're going to stream the game via web cast. Except they have no camera. They've got an old-school microphone and a tape recorder. What are they going to broadcast, their measly commentary on Luke's first game? I guess the whole idea of radio is passé. What a waste of perfectly good bandwidth. Whitey comes out and yells, "What the hell is this!" You go, Whitey. Barry Corbin yells better than anyone on television. Tweedledum tries to explain that they're sports announcers. Whitey honks, "Not in here you're not, the locker room's closed. No media." Tweedledum and Stinky seem very excited about the prospect of being banned media. They run off to run their mouths off somewhere else. Luke cracks a half-smile as they leave, tosses his jersey over his shoulder, and heads off into the abyss of his destiny.