RORY: Paris is practically spiking the football then doing a backflip.
Another sporting metaphor. In American football, it is common to perform a celebration after making a touchdown, such as “spiking the ball” – throwing the ball at the ground. The manoeuvre is credited to Homer Jones of the New York Giants in 1965.
Doing a backflip as a celebration after a touchdown is another possibility. The NFL has at various times been strict and then more relaxed about these celebrations.
RORY: Okay, the two of you need to take a time-out.
In sport, a time-out is a halt in play which stops the game clock and allows the coach to communicate with the team. In American football, asking for time-outs is a major part of strategy, extending the time a team has to score. Rory is saying that Richard and Paris need to take a break from their overconfidence.
[Picture shows the signal players give when calling for a time-out]
MICHEL: We talk about clothes and food and Posh Spice and David Beckham and that is all.
Victoria Beckham (born Victoria Adams in 1974) was one of the Spice Girls, previously discussed, where her stage name was “Posh Spice”. After the Spice Girls split up in 2001, she began an unsuccessful solo recording career, and even before that had made her debut as a fashion model. She has gone on to become a recognised style icon.
She married English football star David Beckham (born 1975) in 1999 – he retired from sport in 2016. They have four children, and together are worth an estimated ₤355 million. At this period, their image, lives and marriage were under intense media scrutiny and a constant source of gossip. They are still married.
PARIS: We dress up the kits with sparkles, colors, pictures of bands. Sport themes for the boys, animal pictures for the puppy and unicorn bunch, chess boards for the Bobby Fischer freaks …
Robert “Bobby” Fischer (1943-2008), American chess grandmaster and the eleventh World Chess Champion. He was a chess prodigy, winning the 1958 US Championship at the age of 14. He withdrew from the public eye in 1975, with reports of increasingly erratic behaviour through the years.
RORY: So, have a good game. Do that pointing to the outfield thing, that’s always very popular.
Rory is referring to a famous incident in baseball history, when Babe Ruth pointed towards the outfield before hitting a home run, in the fifth inning of Game 3 of the 1932 World Series, held on October 1 at Wrigley Field, Chicago.
His gesture looked as if it was promising a home run, but initially Ruth said he was simply pointing at the dugout to remind them he had one more strike. It’s also been suggested he was actually thumbing his nose at the opposing team.
Once the story hits the papers, the media-savvy Ruth went along with it. Over the years, his story became more embellished, until he was planning the home run before the game even started, while talking with his wife.
Whatever the truth, it soon became an established baseball legend, and part of American popular culture.
[Picture is the 1976 painting The Mighty Babe by Robert Thom, depicting the “called shot”]
Instead of going to watch Dean’s game, Rory is shoe shopping with Lane. And afterwards, she has Philosophy homework to do (a new subject for Rory). Dean pleads with her to at least bring her homework to the game, which sounds like a terrible idea, and is. Rory reminds him they’re seeing each other that evening, and that’s all the Dean she feels like seeing that day.
It actually seems more healthy that Rory is making time for friends, and school, and Dean in her life, but both Dean and the viewer can feel that Rory is losing interest in him.
Luke brought Louie home to be buried in Stars Hollow, next to his brother William, and this scene is set in Stars Hollow cemetery (it may be behind the church, and only seems to be a short walk from the centre of town, which is unusual for a cemetery, although not unheard of).
The minister conducting the ceremony is identified as Reverend Hackett in the credits (played by Brian McDonald). I’m not sure whether he and Reverend Nichols are both ministers in Stars Hollow, but of different religions, or if Rev. Hackett is a junior minister of some kind. Nor can I tell you if Rev. Hackett is the church minister who plays handball, although he looks young and fit enough for that to be believable. It’s all quite confusing.
William Tecumseh Sherman (1820-1891), general in the Union Army during the American Civil War, recognised for his military strategy and criticised for his harsh scorched earth policies against the Confederate States. His memoirs were published in 1875, becoming one of the best-known first-hand accounts of the Civil War.
Football signed by Johnny Unitas
John “Johnny Unitas (1933-2002) football quarterback from 1956 to 1973, primarily playing with the Baltimore Colts. He is consistently listed as one of the greatest NFL players of all time, and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1979.
Gas mask (from World War I or II?)
Pith helmet (safari helmet worn by European travellers and explorers, routinely issued to European armed forces in hot climates in both world wars)
Baseball card collection
Lou Gehrig (Henry Louis Gehrig, born Heinrich Ludwig Gehrig, 1903-1941), played with the New York Yankees from 1923 to 1939. Known as “The Iron Horse” for his durability, he still has the highest ratio of runs scored plus runs batted among Hall of Fame players, being inducted in 1939. His career was brought to a tragic end by motorneurone disease, still often called Lou Gehrig’s disease in the US.
Joe DiMaggio (born Joseph DiMaggio, 1914-1999), played for the New York Yankees from 1936-1951. Widely considered the greatest baseball player of all time, his 56-game hitting streak is a record which still stands. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1955. He is well known for his marriage to Marilyn Monroe, and lifelong devotion to her.
Willie Mays (born 1931), played for the New York/San Francisco Giants (1951-1972), before finishing his career with the New York Mets (1972-1973). Regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1979. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015.
Louie’s interests seem to be fishing, bowling, drinking, watching baseball and football, and collecting war memorabilia and sporting memorabilia. Some of the items he’s being buried with are quite valuable.
LUKE: Randy and Barbara don’t wanna miss their brat kid’s rugby semifinal.
Rugby union, commonly known as rugby, and one of the two codes of rugby football, a close-contact team sport. It originated in England in the 19th century with the game’s first rules written by students at Rugby School in 1845. The game spread from Britain, with early exponents of the sport including Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and France.
The first North American club was formed in Montreal in 1868, they introduced the sport to the US when McGill University played against a team from Harvard in 1874. Rugby union is the fastest growing college sport, and the fastest growing sport overall in the US.