This week on Sports On TV, we tackle the horror/comedy/drama/everything else of ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer,’ the 1997-2003 hit that catapulted Avengers director Joss Whedon into public consciousness, gave Sarah Michelle Gellar seven more years of television success and adapted a semi-forgotten Kristy Swanson movie into a layered, sometimes absurd and always worth-talking-about cult classic.
And yeah, believe it or not, Buffy had more than 20 great sports moments. I was originally going to supplement the list with a few ‘Angel’ moments (personalized hockey jerseys for babies!), but I revisited the show, re-watched several of my favorite episodes and found so many things to talk about I could barely fit it into a part 1.
If you’re a fan of vampires, good television or magical axes that give teens the power to kick through somebody’s chest, you’ll love this week’s column. Please click through to enjoy my picks for ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’s’ 20 greatest sports moments.
Episode: “Buffy vs. Dracula” (season 5, episode 1)
What Happens: There is an episode of ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’ where Buffy fights Count goddamn Dracula, and it’s pretty great. There’s a lot to be said about the episode, good and bad. Good: our first hints about Buffy’s inner darkness. Bad: when Buffy defeats Dracula, she doesn’t have to start over on the upside down version of his castle. Anyway, as good as it is, “Buffy vs. Dracula” starts off season 5 with the most season 4 moment ever — Buffy and Riley playing comedy football on the beach. Riley’s wearing a shirt here, because they learned from the Nerf debacle.
Key line: “Touchdown! Yes! Go team Me!”
The gag is that Buffy “throws like a girl,” so when Riley gives her the business about it (because he is insufferable), she blasts him in the chest with a pass and knocks him on his ass.
Because that’s the entire sports moment, here’s a quick list of 7 reasons to hate Riley:
1. His face
2. His weird plastic doll body
3. Marc Blucas is a terrible actor, to the point that the only work he gets is as the love interest on USA Network shows
4. Season 4 of ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’
5. His name being “Riley Finn,” which makes him sound like he should be played by either Mary-Kate or Ashley Olsen
6. The fact that his character arc ends with him becoming HUSBAND AND WIFE SECRET AGENTZ with some lady
7. The fact that ‘Buffy’ had an awesome episode in season 1 about invisible kids being herded away to secret government assassin camp, then did a season 3 years later where the bad guy is THE GOVERNMENT and never brought back the invisible kids