People and proper nouns:
Coach Grant Taylor: a high school football coach at the center of this story
Brooke Taylor: the coach’s wife
Brady Owens: Grant’s assistant coach (a white man)
J.T. Hawkins Jr.: Grant’s assistant coach (a black man)
Mr Bridges: an elderly man who walks down the school hallways after the kids
leave, praying for the students and the school
Coach Mark Richt: In this film, he plays Coach Taylor’s former coach; in
truth, he is the current head coach for a powerful football team (the
University of Georgia Bulldogs). Coach Richt has posted an article about his
own faith at http://www.uga.edu/teamunited/testimonies/mark_richt.htm.
Christian: someone who believes in the basic truths of the Christian Bible,
in particular: (1) Jesus is part of the Trinity (a 3-person union of Father,
Son and Holy Spirit in one God); (2) that sin (human imperfection) makes a
human-God relationship as impossible as a relationship between a dirty stick
and a hot fire; (3) that Jesus’ death on the cross brings forgiveness of sin
to anyone who believes; and (4) that Jesus’ was raised from the dead to show
God’s power, both to do miracles and to forgive sin, and thus to allow
sinful humans to nonetheless have an eternal relationship with a holy God. A
Christian is not simply someone born in a western culture, but someone who
is an intentional, personal follower of the teachings of Jesus.
apathy: a general lack of interest that often
results in people being unwilling to work for needed change (see dialog 6)
bald: to have little or no hair on part of
berserk: to act crazy or extremely excited, like at the end of a close,
surprising sports match. “This crowd is going absolutely berserk right now.”
detention: a form of punishment in American
schools, when a disrespectful, mischievous, or lazy student must stay at
school after others have gone home. “You can’t learn the plays if you are
sitting in detention.”
elusive: very hard to achieve or find. “Next
year the coach will try again for that elusive winning record.”
ineligible: not allowed to participate because of a rule or law. “Princeton
Heights [high school football team] cheated when they let two ineligible
irreplaceable: so valuable that no one can
take his/her place. “On this team, no one is irreplaceable.”
moped: a motorized bicycle or electric bike. “You got a car? They could at
least give me a moped!”
pregnant: to have a baby growing inside you;
also called “to be expecting.” If a
pregnancy test is “negative” it means that she is not pregnant; “positive”
means you are going to have a baby.
transfer: to officially move from one school
to another. “When students get to their senior year, they transfer to a
rival school.” (by moving in with a relative who lives there, so that they
can play football for a school with a better team)
referee: an official who closely watches
sports matches to be sure the rules are being followed, to announce when
points are won, and to give penalties when necessary
revival: a time when many people become
Christians, or get serious about obeying the Bible, at the same time.
Sometimes hundreds of people at a particular school or work place experience
this without any natural explanation. History even records this happening
from time to time on a national or international level. Christians believe
that this is something “supernatural” that God does in answer to the prayers
of someone like Mr. Brookes in this film.
rival: someone you compete with (in sports,
business, love, etc.). (see “transfer” for a sample sentence)
phrases or sayings:
“accept Christ as Lord”: to become a
Christian; the process is to (a) admit that you are not perfect and thus
need God’s forgiveness, (b) believe what the Bible says about Jesus (see
“Christian”), and (c) “confess” or “announce” to others that you have made
this decision (in China, this often includes being baptized). After that, on
a regular basis, Christians ask each other for forgiveness, study the Bible
together, and pray for each other. (Other terms for “accepting Christ”
include “make a decision for Christ,” “get saved” and “to be born again.”)
“pick a fight”: to do something that provokes/causes someone to get angry
enough to hit you (probably because you want to hit them and think you can
win such a “fight”)
“run out the clock”: toward the end of a football game, the winning team
plays cautiously so that the game ends without giving the other team any
more chances to get points
“shoot straight”: to say something in a clear, honest way, that the other
person probably does not want to think about. “Can I shoot straight with you
for a moment?”
“winning season”: in sports, this means that your team won more games than
it lost that year; the opposite would be a “losing season”
Sentences/dialogs from the movie:
(see below the “discussion” section)
1. If you are a medical student (like my
KMU students, when I created this page), read dialog 7 with a partner. What do you think of this doctor’s
way of telling his patient bad news? What would you have said to the coach?
2. Describe Coach Taylor’s “troubles” during
the first part of the movie.
3. Christians believe that many people refuse
to turn to God unless their lives get desperate. Is that true? Why or why
4. Read dialog 10. What does David’s father
mean by: “Your actions will always follow your beliefs”? Talk about a time
when someone’s actions were influence by what they believed about a
5. Read dialog 11. What does Mr. Bridges mean
by: “bloom right where you’re planted”?
6. Look at dialog 14. What did you think when
a parent secretly gave the coach a truck? This would be VERY unusual in
America! Do you think this would ever
happen in your home country? Tell about a time like this, or explain why it
7. Tell your partner what you think a coach’s
job is all about. Is Coach Taylor a “good coach”? Explain. (Read dialogs 12
and 16 if you wish.)
Sentences/dialogs from the movie:
1. Football announcer: The tigers will take over and run out the clock,
ending Coach Grant Taylor’s bid for his first winning season in six
year. [This means that Taylor’s team is about to lose, and for the sixth
year his team has lost more games than they have won.]
2. Coach Taylor: Did you think you were pregnant?
Brooke: I don’t know. I just wanna be pregnant so bad that my
mind plays tricks on me. You know, it’s been four years since we started
3. Coach (summarizing their problems): So we’ve got a leak in the back
room, the dryer only works half the time, the car’s dying on us, and now the
stove’s broken. No wonder I’m losing my hair.
4. Coach Taylor (talking to a rebellious player): You can't judge your
father by his actions and yourself by your intentions. It just doesn't work
5. JT: When a black man goes bald, he still looks good. Look at
Michael Jordan, George Foreman, Samuel L. Jackson. Classy-looking brothers.
Who you got? Kojak? Yeah, Coach [is] gonna get him some [hair] plugs.
6. Brady: [Does] That old man still come every week to pray in the
Coach: Mr. Bridges. Prays for the students as he passes their locker.
JT: How long has he been doing that?
Coach: [He’s been] praying for revival since before I got here.
Lord knows we need it. Apathy in the school’s as bad as our football
7. Coach (after a doctor tells him that he has a medical problem, which is
keeping his wife from getting pregnant): What does that mean? Is there a
procedure? What are my options?
Doc: Grant, first you need to realize this is a fairly common problem
for men. Thousands of couples are unable to have children. You do have
options. Although there’s only a 10% chance of success, many couples have
tried in vitro fertilization. [i.e., a process of trying to join sperm and
egg in a medical lab, resulting in prenancy]
Coach: We can’t afford that.
Doc: The other option is to adopt a child. But it’s about as expensive
either way. If you’re interested, I’ll put you in touch with the local
agency. I realize this is difficult for you to hear, but at least you and
your wife can make the best decision now that you know where you are.
(continued in the right column)