Denzel Washington is very important to me.
As we near February (ALL BLACK EVERYTHING), Denzel becomes even more iconic, having portrayed real-life characters that pretty much run the gamut from the Civil War to present day. I mean, we’re talking:
Steve Biko, Ruben “Hurricane” Carter, Malcolm X, Frank Lucas, dude from Great Debators, that ghost from The Preachers Wife, etc.
While Malcolm X is arguably my favorite movie ever, his portrayal of Coach Herman Boone from Remember The Titans might be a significantly distant second. You can’t beat the epic combination of:
Disney + Race Relations + High School Football + Forrest Gump Soundtrack + Denzel
While simply watching the movie is quite enjoyable, one lazy evening in LA, 3 of my best friends and I decided to take the movie to another level. End result: The “Remember the Titans Drinking Game.”**
**Please know that the star of the show is not “drinking”, it’s “Remember The Titans”. This game also works extremely well with Bagel Bites, Capri-Suns, Compliments, Push-Ups, and High-Fives.
Prior to the screening of the film, Mr. Hansen, Mr. Lowe, and I wrote down rules. As the movie progressed and Ms. Seymour joined the party, naturally, rules were added. The following list is the Top 10 Rules from the Remember The Titans __________ Game.
Rule 10: Anytime Blacks and Whites Fight.
This is probably the least subjective of the 10 rules, but an important one nevertheless. Race-fueled fights are littered throughout this movie, at school, on the practice field, at team camp, etc.
Punishment 10: Cheers with your neighbor, then take a sip.
Rule 9: Anytime You Catch Yourself Staring at Nicole Ari Parker
I have this issue w/ Denzel movies where I can’t decide if I want the leading lady to be his wife in real life, or my wife in real life. Ms. Parker as Denzel’s wife is no exception, but as I get older and increasingly more rude towards Boris Kodjoe, the more I want her for myself.
Punishment 9: Pick up your phone, text a girl you like a picture of Nicole Ari Parker w/ the caption “Try Harder”, take 2 sips, then turn off your phone and pray she has a sense of humor.
Rule 8: Anytime You’re Inspired.
One of the best rules, because of how personal it is. Inspiration can come from a number of different avenues w/ regards to the movie. A speech, the film score, a Titans win, integration, whatever floats your inspirational boat. It’s also a good time to look around and see what parts of the movie inspire/don’t inspire your friends.
Punishment 8: Take a sip, then yell “WHEWWWWWWWWWWWWW” at the top of your lungs (if you had the foresight to bring a tambourine, give it one shake).
Rule 7: Anytime You See Julius Campbell, but Think Avon Barksdale
Remember The Titans and The Wire are pretty different works of art, but fortunately/unfortunately, when I see Wood Harris, the thought of Avon creeps into my head and I get scared. Real scared. I don’t even want to talk about this anymore.
Punishment 7: Drop drink, run out the door, and frantically ask strangers if they’ve seen Wee-Bay.
Rule 6: Anytime You Remember how much Cooler Hayden Panettierre was back then.
Hayden was the JAM in Remember the Titans. She was such a sassy little White girl, I could have sworn she’d end up in Missy Elliott videos. Unfortunately, she didn’t and has attempted to be a real actress. While I heard she’s in some show called Heroes and just so happens to be dating one of the more terrifying men in the history of Human Beings, I prefer to only think of her as Sheryl Yoast.
Punishment 6: Pause Remember The Titans and watch “Gossip Folks” by Missy Elliot on YouTube. It’s so good and those little girls are soooooo fly.
Rule 5: Anytime Someone Does Something Really, Really Racist.
There are three different types of racism in this world. In any sociology textbook, they’ll acknowledge the first two, covert and overt. The little-talked about third type is “Wow. That’s was so racist, I’m not even mad. I’m impressed. Wow. Kudos to you, I really hope you don’t have children.”
There are a few characters in the movie that specialize in the third category: The teammate that never blocks (more on him later), that girl from Blue Crush, the dad of the guy from The Notebook, etc. These characters really aren’t too keen on that crazy integration thing.
Punishment 5: Finish your drink and then crack the bottle over you’re most racist friend’s head. If you don’t have any racist friends, finish your drink and then group hug.
Rule 4: Anytime You Start Crying
Most people think John Boehner was crying because he was so honored to become the next Speaker of the House. What I forgot to mention earlier was that JB was also with us but, per usual, ran out during the scene when Bertier gets hit by the car. He claimed he left because “he had to go do this thing with Nancy Pelosi”, but we all know he just couldn’t handle it. I mean, look at him… He’s a wreck.
I’m not hating on Jay Jay, though. If anyone tells you they have sat through RTT and not teared up, they are lying and they aren’t to be trusted. Like people with two first names.
Punishment 4: Pour out your drink and use the empty bottle to catch your tears.
Rule 3: Anytime the Really Racist Guy Makes that Really Racist Face.
I’m not saying you should ever judge a book by it’s cover, but this guy HAS to be racist.
Just look at him. I’m not proud of these prejudiced feelings I’m harboring, but there’s NO way this guy would like me. He makes the face constantly throughout the movie, the face of “I like things just the way they were; this integration is really killing my swag.” I get the chills just looking at him.
That casting director deserves an Oscar.
Punishment 3: Push pause and have an open vote on who in the room most resembles this dude. Once you have decided, make him stand up and apologize for being a racist.
Rule 2: Anytime Denzel does Something that’s “Quintessential Denzel”.
Without watching this video, you know what I’m talking about…
The laugh… the hand-clap… the need to public humiliate… the beating of his chest… the yelling… the smiling… the “My Man” stating… the pout… All Quintessential Denzel.
Punishment 2: On the count of three, everyone yells out their favorite Denzel quote. The person who fails to come up with a quote/accidentally says a Wesley Snipes quote has to finish everyone else’s drinks.
RULE 1: ANYTIME THE CAST STARTS SINGING MOTOWN/GOSPEL.
This is universally considered the best part of Remember The Titans. Not until you play this game, however, do you fully realize how many times it happens. It’s shocking. On the bus, in the field, on the sideline, in the cafeteria, in the locker room, at the cemetary… It almost borderlines on Remember the Titans: The Musical.
Blue and Louie (above) are the main culprits of this marvelous trend. Without it, Remember the Titans would just be some Disney, race-related, Denzel Washington-led version of The Replacements. Gross.
PUNISHMENT 1: PAUSE THE MOVIE, FINISH ALL OF THE DRINKS IN THE FRIDGE, WALK TO THE STORE, DROP $100 ON MORE DRINKS, WALK BACK HOME, UNPAUSE THE MOVIE, WATCH MOVIE UNTIL IT HAPPENS AGAIN, PAUSE MOVIE, FINISH ALL OF THE NEW DRINKS, WALK TO THE STORE…
It takes roughly 64 hours to finish Remember The Titans.
Many thanks to Mr. Lowe, Mr. Hansen, and Ms. Seymour for sharing this experience with me.