OT: Last Chance U Season 5: Laney (some spoilers)

Anyone else start watching this? I'm on episode 5 so far, it follows Laney College in Oakland, CA. As someone who lives in the Bay Area, it's cool to see parts of the area I recognize. I like this season a lot, the vibe is a lot more refreshing. Coach Beam seems like he really cares about his players, and seems like a good person. He's the antithesis of Jason Brown and Buddy in a lot of ways. He's still hard on players if they mess up in practice or the games. But I think he really does care about his players doing well in school and their mental well being.

The players are all really cool too. They're way less entitled than the former D1 players from previous seasons. None of them are on scholarship, they don't get housing, some of them drive 2 hours to go to class and practice, yet this program has produced 20 NFL players, which is really remarkable. Some of them have some really sad back stories as well. One guy, the wide receiver Dior Walker, is literally homeless and sleeping in his car. He came to Laney to get film as a WR but had to play QB in 3 games, because every other QB on the roster was hurt, and he didn't even complain. I think he might be my favorite player out of any seasons.

Also being in Oakland they talk a lot about the culture of Oakland, and how it's being gentrified, forcing lifelong residents out and that in turn having an effect on the city, sorry the Town.

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Comments

I guess I'll save that series for football season. So I can be guaranteed of having one.

Like you said the players are all local kids just trying to make it rather than bounce back P5 little shits. It kind of seems off the "Last chance U" brand for that reason, but it's a breath of fresh air.

To me, the biggest difference between the seasons is the head coach. It's refreshing to see what a competently run football organization looks like. You know, one that has a bigger mission then "recruit elite players, and yell at them when they don't perform".

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I loved the first two seasons but didn't get into the second 2. I couldn't stand the coach at Independence. His arrogance and general attitude towards everything was terrible. Sounds like this season is a lot better

Honestly, i was a little underwhelmed by this season. It just seems ho hum, no real bad guys to root against, some adversity, but not as much for the team rather than just kind of personal adversity, though they have that in spades.

It's a much different vibe than the all out clown show of season 4, and I'm not saying it has to be at that level of dysfunction, but it felt like there wasn't enough dysfunction to be interesting.

This to me was the worst of the 5 seasons. Oakland has an interesting history but it focuses more on that than even the players and the team. It's like the organization was TOO clean. Not enough players doing dumb shit or players insanely talented but not meeting expectations. Wasn't enough about the football for me

This coach is a breath of fresh air compared to Buddy Stephens and Jason Brown. Both of those guys had me constantly on edge and cringing. I also enjoy the discourse about gentrification in the Oakland area. They definitely switched it up this season.

Marshall University graduate.
Virginia Tech fanatic.
Formerly known as JWillHokieAlum.

Personally I didn't hate Buddy. He's not everyone's cup of tea but I would play for him in a heartbeat.

Brown on the other hand is a bonafide jackass and I'd play for Nardouche before I even considered visiting a program led by Brown.

"It's a miracle in Blacksburg, TYROD DID IT MIKEY, TYROD DID IT!"

I wasn't a big fan of Buddy. I feel like his strategy was to scare off players who couldn't take their coach being an absolute lunatic sometimes, and there was enough talent to do that. Plus he got into a punchup with a referee one time. I know we've all fantasized about doing it, but I can't say I've seen that anywhere. I agree about Jason Brown entirely through. Buddy was at least calculated and seemed intelligent. Brown would call his players "slapdick" among other things and nearly got into a fight with his own coach one time.

Marshall University graduate.
Virginia Tech fanatic.
Formerly known as JWillHokieAlum.

The funniest thing for me this season was the part where coach Beam is having a conversation with his qb where he points out because of how the linebackers are aligned that a blitz is almost certain. Lots of little moments like that that made me realize just how little of that there was in the coach Brown seasons. Dude had no idea how to do anything but recruit, and even that kind of felt like he was promising recruits playing time he didn't really have.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Jet Sweep

Yeah, Brown was basically Butch Jones at the JUCO level. The only problem is that he tried to fight his assistants who actually were capable of coaching. He just struck me as a total moron.

Marshall University graduate.
Virginia Tech fanatic.
Formerly known as JWillHokieAlum.

Coach Beam seems like a genuinely great guy. Also, it's nice to see an old school coach who is willing to embrace and adapt to the changing tides in how to best deal with these young men. Him being more conscious of mental health issues on his team alone is such a huge step in the right direction. That kind of stuff has been neglected in spots for so long.

Best season yet!

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Is Dior Walker playing quarterback giving anyone flashbacks to Lynn Bowden Jr? I guess he hasn't punched anyone pregame, but still.

Marshall University graduate.
Virginia Tech fanatic.
Formerly known as JWillHokieAlum.

I just hope that man gets a scholarship somewhere and gets a great job one day. Such an incredible young man.

He's a great kid who really cares about the team. He will do anything it takes to win. Guys of his talent play JUCO to get recruited to play in the FBS. He began playing a position that he definitely won't be playing in the FBS to help his JUCO. Truly a team guy.

Marshall University graduate.
Virginia Tech fanatic.
Formerly known as JWillHokieAlum.

It's been a nice change compared to the last.

Some of the stories show the struggle moreso than the other seasons I feel like. Not the struggle to go pro, but the struggle in general and how these kids put so much on making it to the next level.

Rezjohn comes off a bit arrogant, and I just couldn't imagine some kid lining up and telling another player "I got 6 offers, what you go". And then in my opinion didn't perform like someone who they kept hyping.

I want to root for Nu'u so bad, because he wants to do whats best for his family, but then just seems to be slacking with the schooling. I'm glad he put a stronger effort in the game later in the season.

RJ cracks me up, because he says he is D1 but seems to always run the wrong route.

Dior has a lot of heart and I wish him the best. But with his measurables, you have to be lights out in your play, and I don't see him that way. Not sure where he would really fit, maybe an LT type of player, eventhough he is shorter then him still.

Definitely interesting seeing the gentrification and changes to Oakland, though we could dial it back a bit. Seeing the housing the school helped the TE get is nuts. My wife woke up during that point and was like WTF, thats the best they can do. So unique perspective on what these kids go through.

Beam is old school and I think Gardner said it best, he is having to change tires more and more now. I wonder how much more time he has coaching. Seems to generally care about the kids, though some keep complaining he isn't trying to get them into a school. Granted, that may be more their expectations being too high, thinking D1, as they did show a bunch of D2 interest.