Which Remember the Titans Titan was the most memorable? An EW investigation
"You make sure that they remember, forever, the night they played the Titans.”
Well, Coach Yoast (Will Patton), it's been exactly 20 years and we still forever fondly remember Remember the Titans. But, who do we really, really remember? To celebrate the anniversary of Denzel Washington's football classic, the latest EW investigation is looking back to see which Titan was the most memorable. And we're sticking to the players on the T.C. Williams team, because Denzel wins any competition he is in because he is Denzel.
Now, let's kick this investigation off.
Defensive End Julius Campbell (Wood Harris)
How we remember him: Being the strong side to Gerry's left side, going on to give an even more iconic performance a few years later on The Wire, delivering the wanting to get "mine" speech, bringing the team together via his relationship with Gerry, having a speechless reaction when learning of Sunshine kissing Gerry, making us cry when he cries upon seeing Gerry in the hospital, starting the "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" goodbye to Gerry at his funeral.
Linebacker Gerry Bertier (Ryan Hurst)
How we remember him: Being the left side to Julius' strong side, dating Kate Bosworth's racist character, having the biggest transformation in terms of attitude, turning on his racist best friend (different than his racist girlfriend), bringing the team together via his relationship with Julius, getting in a car accident that leaves him paralyzed, making us cry when Julius comes to visit him in the hospital (When a nurse tells Julius that only ″kin″ is allowed in, Gerry responds before raising his fist in the air, ″Alice, are you blind? Don't you see the family resemblance? That's my brother.″), watching the championship game from his hospital bed and getting so worked up that he throws his shoe at Alice (is Alice secretly the most memorable character?), being revealed as the reason for the Titans' reunion at a funeral, showing up almost unrecognizable in Sons of Anarchy and leading us to go, ″Can you believe that Opie (R.I.P.) was Bertier in Remember the Titans?!"
Quarterback Ronnie ″Sunshine″ Bass (Kip Pardue)
How we remember him: Having the best nickname on the team (sorry, Rev), losing his long hair, showing off his impressive arm by pegging Gerry with a football, kissing Gerry and then beating him in the subsequent fight (Gerry should really leave Sunshine alone), failing to understand the race dynamics of the South, not being able to nail the option pitch, proving to be a ″bad white boy″ with his hit on a defensive player and block on Rev's game-winning touchdown run.
Running Back-turned-Linebacker Petey Jones (Donald Faison)
How we remember him: Proclaiming to not be one to brag but still acting cocky as hell, ″being the running back, y'all,″ killing Coach Boone (Washington) with his fumbling issues, not being the running back anymore, replacing Ryan Gosling (at linebacker, even though I'd watch Donald Faison in Crazy, Stupid, Love).
Linebacker Alan Bosley (Ryan Gosling!)
How we remember him: Being Ryan Gosling before we knew who Ryan Gosling was, dancing a lot and showing off Gosling's Mickey Mouse Club skills, getting ″beat like he stole something,″ somehow being a five-time player of the week and yet also being a terrible football player, being Ryan Gosling (it's still hard to believe).
Quarterback Jerry ″Rev″ Harris (Craig Kirkwood)
How we remember him: Having the catchy nickname of Rev, getting hurt because Ray is racist, coming back in for the last play of the championship and running for the game-winning touchdown.
Tight End Ray Budds (Burgess Jenkins)
How we remember him: Being racist, letting Rev get injured because he refused to block for him, playing the Dean Martin to Gerry's Jerry Lewis, being the worst.
Offensive Lineman Louie Lastik (Ethan Suplee)
How we remember him: Being the one white player who never cared about race, thinking he's ″white trash" and not going to college, hugging Coach Boone before the big game because he became eligible for college, loving The Temptations, hurting his back after giving Petey's mom a piggyback ride, being delightful, having the voice of an angel.
Defensive Lineman Darryl ″Blue″ Stanton (Earl C. Poitier)
How we remember him: Always smiling or singing, being the soul man of the team, leading the ″We are the Titans″ dance warmup, needing water because he's weak and a coward (Coach Boone's words, not mine), wearing bikini-style leopard skin underwear, starting the ″Ain't No Mountain High Enough" sing-along.
Future Kicker Sheryl Yoast (Hayden Panettiere)
Okay, she wasn't on the team since Coach Yoast's daughter was like 9 years old, but we guarantee she went on to be the Titans' first-ever female football player. She literally kicks the guy who tells her dad that he isn't the head coach anymore.
How we remember her: Having a thick accent, acting ridiculously passionate about football and the Titans, being little Hayden Panettiere.
And the most memorable Titan is...
The duo of Julius and Gerry. To be honest, despite Ryan Gosling being Ryan Gosling, there was never a way that the outcome could be anything but the best Titans one-two punch of all time (Steve McNair and Eddie George are a close second).