Ability to Handle Extreme Adversity
In addition to possessing these five elements of The Hollywood
Model, good coaches are also able to handle extreme adversity. In the
case of these three coaches, this adversity is centered on race and class.
In both McFarland, USA and Remember the Titans, the differences in race
are extremely pronounced. In McFarland, USA, Coach White’s own last
name is constantly used as a device to represent the division between
himself and the Hispanic runners and community. His players joke with
him, referring to him as “blanco,” or white, reminding him that he is
different from everyone else in McFarland. For Coach White and his
family, living in McFarland is not easy due to the language barrier and
difference in culture. When Coach White begins taking his team to
compete in cross country races, he learns very quickly how these
Hispanic kids are perceived by other white coaches and teams. Their
negative perceptions and stereotypes anger the coach but also serve as
motivation for him to keep working with his team to get to the top.
Likewise, Coach Boone is referred to as “Coach Coon,” in a
racial slur issued by another white coach and is also the victim of a hate
crime. One evening, Coach Carter and his family were at home when a
brick was launched through his living room window. Coach Yoast’s
daughter happened to be there that night. Later on in the movie, we see
Coach Yoast expressing his anger and discomfort regarding this
situation his daughter was indirectly involved in. Coach Boone used this
situation to remind Coach Yoast of what he and his family have to
endure daily. These situations are emblematic of the immense racism he
faces over the course of the film. Instead of tearing him down, Coach
Boone chooses to use all of these instances as motivation. He also deals
with adversity when presented with the almost impossible task of
bringing a white team and a black team together to play as one. He has
to address directly issues of race, compassion, and maturity.
Coach Carter’s adversity is focused more on issues of status
within the community of Richmond. As stated earlier, these students
are not expected to do much beside play basketball and survive.
Principal Garrison even tells Coach Carter that the majority of students
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