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A 2000 film Based on a True Story about a Virginia school that experiences an enforced racial integration in 1971, merging the black students with a white school and neither side being particularly happy about the arrangement. Both schools had a proud football team and now they are forced to come together and play as one team. In an effort to placate critics, they hire a new coach, Herman Boone (Denzel Washington), to replace the beloved coach of the white team, Bill Yoast (Will Patton). Boone disliked being hired over Yoast (having experienced some of the same racial politics in the past), but pleads with him to stay on as the defensive coach despite being qualified to take on head coach at nearly any school of his choosing.
Boone and Yoast lead the new team to training camp not far from Gettysburg and Boone enforces an integration policy that all of his players must abide by, the team will not separate into black and white "cliques." The various team members are fleshed out, with one of the strongest friendships form between the team captain Gerry and Julius, one of the leaders of the black side. The team eventually sees past color but once the season starts they find things to not be as easy outside the game. Despite this, they earn respect on the field and that unifies the town better than anything else.
- American Football: The sport that the Titans play.
- Big Eater: Implied. A restaurant puts up a sign that says, "Titans Eat Free". Followed by a montage of the Titans dining, followed by the same restaurant erasing the "free" part of the sign.
- Big Game
- Bishonen: Sunshine. He got wolf whistles upon entering camp and is rather popular with the girls in school.
- Chekhov's Skill: Minor instance - At one point, Sunshine is seen practicing Tai Chi outside school. In the next game they play, he uses the inertia of an incoming tackle to knock the opposing player on his back.
- David Versus Goliath: Subverted. The T.C. Williams Titans, were, on paper, supposed to be the best high school team in Virginia. They were essentially an already very strong team that was adding dozens of African-American players, which very few other Virginia teams had at the time. Their struggles came not from their abilities or lack of talent, but from the racial tension faced from both outside and within. They ended up overcoming that tension and living up to their potential as one of the top high school football teams in the nation.
- Dumb Muscle: This is what Louis considers himself to be, until Coach Boone encourages him to seek a college education.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: Invoked. Coach Boone got all the team members to work together by playing the part of the "Big Bad Coach."
- Follow the Leader: The success of this film is probably right next to Hoosiers in terms of "influential sports movie." Glory Road, We Are Marshall, Coach Carter and The Blind Side are right in the same category.
- Graceful Loser: The coach of the Titans' opponent in the state finals.
- Miracle Rally
- Mood Whiplash
- Opposing Sports Team: Played straight and subverted: The Titans' semi-finals game puts them against an openly racist coach and biased referees. The opposing team in their final game, on the other hand, show no racial prejudices and are just very good. The coach even comes out on the field after they lose to shake Boone's hand.
- Physical Fitness Punishment: As part of Coach Boone's Training From Hell.
- Starts with Their Funeral: The film opens and closes with the rest of the characters attending Gerry's funeral, although we don't actually find out whose funeral it is until the end of the film.
- Stereotype Flip: When the police officer pulls up next to Julius walking through a white neighborhood only to congratulate him on a well-played game and wish him luck. Not what you'd expect from a Virginia police officer in the 60's.
- Training From Hell: Boone's football camp was rough, but it was less the physical stress than the racial integration he forced everyone to be involved with.
- Not that the physical part was a cakewalk either.
Coach Boone: We will be perfect in every aspect of the game. You drop a pass, you run a mile. You miss a blocking assignment, you run a mile. You fumble the football, and I will break my foot off in your John Brown hind parts... and then you will run a mile. Perfection. Let's go to work.
Nurse: "Only kin's allowed in here."
Gerry: "Alice, are you blind? Don't you see the family resemblance? That's my brother."
- Who's Your Daddy?: Coach Boone towards Gerry, in order to make clear to Gerry who is in charge after Gerry tries to dictate to him how the team should be organized. What's worse, he makes Gerry say that Coach Boone is his daddy, in front of his own parents.
- Your Mom: Done as an informal team building gag.