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Moment of Goodness

Moment of Goodness: At Halftime, TK Stands by his Quarterback, Necessary Roughness Season Finale 

Photo Credit: Andrew Eccles/USA Network

I think it was a reporter near the end of the Necessary Roughness season 2 finale that called Rex Evans’ public admission that he was gay a defining moment in sports history. So true. Even in fake TV land, it was great to see the Hawks’ quarterback come out. And to have the support of most of his team. But in this episode, there was also a defining moment for TK.

When Dani suggested Sexy Rexy turn to someone within his team to support him during this delicate time, he went straight (excuse the pun) to TK. It was an interesting choice considering the quarterback had been a complete and utter jerk to the wide receiver ever since he got out of rehab. But it was clearly the best choice he could have made.

TK has been struggling as of late. He hasn’t really had the support of his team post-rehab. He was basically replaced as the number one receiver while he was gone. “Toes” Kittridge stole the title and let him know about it every chance he got. Rex continually threw the ball to “Toes” even when TK was open. It’s been difficult to see TK get shut out this way but it’s really telling how mature the guy has become. He’s handled the adversity brilliantly.

He got himself a sponsor. He relied on Dani and her expert advice. All of a sudden he has a maternal and a paternal figure in his life. It has provided him with a great foundation to live the rest of his life.

There were bumps along the way, of course. The athlete fell off the wagon — alcohol-wise — but he got his s–t together and continued to live his life. How great were those scenes in the penultimate episode when he took up ballet at his sponsor’s urging? Normally TK would be dismissive. And he was, for a little bit. But he realized how much it would help him be a better player and a better person.

Well, all that growing and stumbling and maturing and not avoiding his issues has paid off. Yes, TK balked at playing supporter to Rex. He had no problem with Evans being gay. He had a problem with Rex being a douche bag to him. When he needed support, Rex wasn’t there for him.

The old TK would have let Evans flounder in the wind on his own. But this isn’t the old TK. The selfish guy is a thing of the past (we hope). He, once again, became the Hawks’ best weapon when he stepped up in the locker room during halftime of a game the team was losing ugly. Each guy in the room knew that one of the Hawks athletes was gay, they just didn’t know which one. There was a lot of hate going on. And TK had enough. So he (falsely) outed himself. Then he gave a speech to his team that was uplifting and team-building and awesome:

TK: “The only disgraceful people in this room are the ones spitting that hateful garbage. Now, most of us come from nothing. And I get it — we’re fighters. OK, that’s why we’re here right now. And we’ve earned the right to do one thing — and that is live our truth. My truth? I’m an addict. What’s your truth, Reggie?”

Reggie: “I can’t swim.”

TK: “Now, we got guys in this room who have crashed cars, who have waved guns at people, and done just about every stupid thing a guy can do in a short life. But when we get on that field, we’re a team…which means if you work your ass off and you play hard, we got your back! If you do whatever it takes to win, we will stand beside you. You leave your heart, your guts on that field, we will not let you down…which is why we continue to support you, “Toes,” even though you are six kinds of an asshole.”

TK showed he really can be a leader. His locker room speech was legendary and inspirational not just for the team but for Rex Evans, specifically. TK helped give him the courage to come out to his team. And even though “Toes” stayed true to “Toes” and was all about hate and not love, the rest of the team banded together.

In the second half they went out and won the game. TK scored two touchdowns which meant Rex actually threw the ball to him. After their comeback was complete, TK again stood beside his quarterback. This time in front of a whole slew of photographers.

We can never forget that TK does love attention. He knew the benefits of getting this photo opportunity with Rex before the quarterback’s big “coming out” press conference. Evans is about to be the biggest story in sports and TK will be featured in those pics right beside him…which means more press and more face time for the wide receiver. Same old TK. It’s good that he hasn’t completely changed.

There was a shot of Dani looking like a proud mama. It was funny because I had that same big ol’ smile on my face when TK showed his support for his gay teammate on the field. It was a beautiful moment from a great character. TK’s maturation was a long time coming. When I was tweeting about the finale with @CandyMaize — she put it best.

@tinacharlestv Totally agree. It’s been great character development – totally earned, not rushed.

— Candy Maize (@CandyMaize) February 23, 2013

Kudos to Mehcad Brooks for being the perfect actor to bring TK to life. He definitely gets the game ball. More kudos to USA Network’s Necessary Roughness for an amazing season finale (although I won’t talk about Ray Jay. I just can’t.). So happy it’s going to be back for a third season. Don’t appreciate the fact it’ll be a shortened season but I’ll take anything I can get. This is such an underrated series.

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