Ryan Gosling is an attractive and talented individual. There’s no debating that. Throughout his acting career, he’s showed off a variety of skills, from getaway driving to restoring houses to playing jazz piano.
But one thing Gosling has shown is how he’s really not the best at sports. As for the evidence that fully supports this claim, my friends: The dude was an utter and complete failure on defense in Remember the Titans.
This fact has become a meme on social media, but that only goes so far.
Let’s start with T.C. Williams’ first game, against Hayfield.
It’s 1971, and Gosling plays defense for a high school in Virginia. The movie depicts the team going through its first year as an integrated school, as well as Gosling being horrible in coverage.
On the opposing offense’s literal first play, Gosling slips up. Please look at how far off he is from his man, and how crappy this attempt is once he tries catching up.
Right after this play, team captain Ryan Hurst yells at Gosling, telling him that, in man coverage (it looks like Gosling thought it was zone, tbh, given how far off he was), he needs to “stick to his man,” or the other team is going to score all night. Gosling says the receiver is too fast for him.
You’d expect this talking-to would make him step up his game, right? Nope, not in the least. ON THE VERY NEXT PLAY, HE DOES THIS!
He never even had a chance. First off, he’s not even lined up in front of the receiver by the time the ball is snapped. And the guy barely has to juke to get him to flinch. Terrible.
Coach Will Patton decides to take him out, something Gosling’s dad is quite upset about.
The best part about this moment is Coach Patton’s daughter.
She’s overly enthusiastic and involved from the sidelines throughout (aka me, from the age of eight to present day) saying, “He’s gettin’ beat like he stole somethin’!” to the dad. Yes he is, girlfriend.
In the next series, Donald Faison comes in for Gosling. He plays much better.
Gosling is then taken out for the rest of the season, pretty much.
This holds despite his dad coming into the coaches’ office and saying Gosling is a “five-time player of the week” and not “some walk-on scrub.”
Oh, and his dad makes a gross, racist comment toward Coach Denzel Washington, too.
In the Titans’ regional playoff game against Northern Virginia, Faison comes out of the game and says it’s because he’s being held every play.
Coach Patton says he didn’t ask for Faison’s excuses, then calls an excited Gosling in.
There’s isn’t anything shown from him in the limited defensive highlights during the rest of this game, so I guess he does OK?
Gosling starts in the state championship game.
Faison is still in the dog house with Coach Patton, so it’s Gosling who’s starting in the state title game. Aaaand look what he does on the other team’s third play of the game.
The touchdown puts the Titans in the hole early.
Gosling then says he shouldn’t be starting.
Right before the second half, Gosling wisely tells Coach Patton he can’t play with these guys, and it should be Faison playing in his spot. He adds he didn’t “warm the bench all year so he can watch his team go down on my account.”
Gosling gives Faison his spot, and Faison shows Gosling the correct way to play defense.
In conclusion, Gosling did some good for the team.
His dancing in the beginning is one of his more memorable scenes.
It is equally impressive in the locker room, too.
And to be honest, the Titans could have lost the state title game if it weren’t for Gosling’s awareness to know he wasn’t as good of a player as Faison.
Thank you, Remember the Titans, for designating Ryan Gosling as the team’s shitty defender and for letting him add dancer and player-coach to his resume.