It was the perfect 18th birthday for running back Thomas Tyner last Friday. The Beaverton Aloha High senior set a state single-game record with 643 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. Yes you read that correctly. That’s an entire season for many high school running backs and looking at the final score of the game, Aloha High needed every point he put up.
The school needed two fourth quarter interceptions to secure a basketball-like score of 84-63. With both teams deciding early on that defense wasn’t necessary, Tyner took advantage by amassing 362 yards and 5 touchdowns by halftime.
By the end of the night, Tyner had carried the ball 38 times and had an average of 16.9 yards-per-carry. Besides setting a state record, Tyner now sits third all-time in single game rushing behind John Giannantonio’s 754 yards in a 1950 game for Netcong (N.J.) and Paul McCoy’s 661-yard game in 2006 for Matewan (M.V.) High.
I can already hear Oregon fans salivating over this guy being De’Anthony Thomas’ heir apparent in a couple of years. He won’t put up these type of numbers at the college level, but Oregon would gladly settle for his first-half numbers.
Netflix Instant Pick: Varsity Blues
As someone who is both a huge sports fan and movie fan, watching sports movies can be a little tricky. The problem with them isn’t necessarily the often overly-sentimental plot, it’s the completely unrealistic scenes involving the playing of the sport. Any sports fan can spot continuity errors in sports movies (Just watch any Fresh Prince of Bel Air episode involving sports) and because of this seemingly simple problem to correct, it can often take you right out of the movie.
But one movie that actually features somewhat legitimate sports scenes is the James Van Der Beek vehicle Varsity Blues. Set in the world of high school football, Blues is an often funny, sometimes raunchy sports movie with a little heart thrown in.
Released in 1999, this MTV produced film was supposed to jump-start Van Der Beek’s movie career post Dawson’s Creek. Checking out Van Der Beek’s IMDB page though reveals that the former teen heartthrob hasn’t done much of anything since. But there’s no shame in being a one-hit wonder as Blues showcases Van Der Beek’s decent acting chops, as well as creating a character sports fans can root for.
In a small Texas town where high school football is a religion, smarty pants John Moxon just wants to leave so he can attend Brown University. With only a few more games left in his senior year, backup quarterback Mox is content with riding the bench and secretly reading Kurt Vonnegut novels instead of the playbook.
But when Lance Harbor (a pre-Fast & Furious Paul Walker) blows his knee out, Mox has to reluctantly step in to save coach Kilmer’s (Jon Voight) season. Kilmer is about what you’d expect from a southern high school football coach: A total D-bag with a hint of racism and way too much authority for someone coaching sports. No doubt Voight channeled his performance from some of the great red asses in sports like Bobby Knight, Mike Ditka and the late Bear Bryant.
The movie has the usual sports cliches: Last big game, dramatic slow-motion, underdog player saving the day. But the movie never takes itself too seriously (until the end) and with the MTV pedigree, features some immature shenanigans involving a stolen police car, a teacher moonlighting as a stripper and memorable one-liners that I still quote to this day but can’t mention in this column.
It might not have the dramatic weight of a Friday Night Lights, but Varsity Blues is able to balance the serious moments with just enough hi-jinks. When you can have a film feature a whipped-cream bikini and smart, accurate football sequences, you know it’s doing something right.
Seattle just might get an NBA team again.
As much as it pains me to see Kevin Durant winning scoring titles and leading his team to the NBA Finals instead of starring for the Trail Blazers like he could have, it has to be even more frustrating for Seattle SuperSonic fans to see Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder become perennial title contenders.
Sonic fans still show up at the Rose Garden whenever the Thunder come to town to protest the 2008 move from rainy Washington to dry Oklahoma, but it looks like fans just might be able to root for a team in Seattle once again.
On Tuesday, super-rich guy Chris Hansen agreed to pony up more money for transportation improvements near a proposed new arena. The plan for the $490 million arena represents the best shot at bringing the NBA back to Seattle.
Key Arena had been home to the Sonics for years, but after failing to find public funding to construct a new arena, former owner Howard Schultz sold the team to Clay Bennett, who in turn moved the franchise to Oklahoma City.
While these are just talks, it seems like Hansen has a legitimate interest in bringing professional basketball back to the Northwest. At the very least it will renew the I5 rivalry between Seattle and Portland.
In a large sports market that already features an NFL and MLB team, the re-addition of the NBA should be a smooth transition. The issue was always the arena and it sounds like people much richer than I are ready to break the bank to see the sport back in Seattle.