JD's always been ambivalent about the grand display of his trophies. And yes a trophy room is completely over the top and ... there's not much he can say about it.
He gets that his parents love him and are proud of him.
He gets that he's an amazing, once in a lifetime talent.
But at parties like this he feels that he's on display the trophy son.
Everybody knows that he's studied Jason Street's game film. Who hasn't?
But JD's studied Matt Saracen's game film, too.
Saracen's not a natural. JD sees all these things that he could do that Matt just doesn't seem to see, or that Matt has to work to make happen. It's not like breathing for him.
But he's also seen Matt make some amazing passes and do some damn good scrambles when a play gets busted and pick himself up and shake off the pain of an incredible hit.
JD's seen the bruises on Matt come Monday morning. His mom and dad would have a masseuse, or a physical therapist in if he got marked up like that, to help ease the pain, to reduce any damage, while Saracen's dirt poor and plays hurt and ... still manages to give it his all.
He's tough. Tough in ways that JD isn't. Yet.
And that's what JD thinks that Coach Taylor sees, too, that's why he's riding the bench. Partly. Matt's a senior and he needs this year to get noticed. Coach is giving him one last chance to shine for the recruiters. JD knows he's going to get scholarships. Knows he's going to a big name college. Knows that even if he didn't have a lick of talent and got nothing but straight Cs, he'd still be going to college because his parents have a truckload of money and would just back it up to some school and unload.
Matt has nothing but busting his ass in class to get good grades and busting his ass on the field.
JD's trying to show Coach that he's tough, too. He hasn't complained once. Hasn't said anything to the other players. Hasn't said anything to Matt. He's sucked it up and ridden the bench ... it shows that he's got character, right?
JD wants to talk to Matt. He's been wanting to for a while. But ... there hasn't been a good time or a good place to say anything more than the basic hello, goodbye, see you later.
So, when he sees Matt and Julie slip upstairs, JD talks politely with one of the boosters always be polite to a booster; the why of that's been hammered into his head by Dad and then finds a way to excuse himself a few minutes later.
He's not nervous. He's eager. Anticipating.
He's going to talk to Matt without any of the extra bullshit in the way. At last.
Except he finds Matt and Julie in the room that's stacked floor to ceiling with bullshit.
And yeah, what does his little Pop Warner participation trophy look like to a guy who threw a touchdown on his second pass, took his team to State, and has a State Championship ring?
God. This room ... he must look like such a fucking asshole.
Then again, Matt probably has one of those participation trophies, too, so it's kind of dickweedish of them to bag on his.
He's never felt more like the trophy son on display than right now. The only thing missing in this room is the life-sized cardboard stand up of him. No way is he going to get to have his cut-through-the-crap talk with Matt. Not tonight.
"They bronzed my first diaper," he says, hoping they'll laugh.
Hoping that maybe it will be enough to plant the seeds of something real.
Hoping that Matt will see.