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“The B-Team of Life”
|Season 1, Episode 14|
January 28, 1994
Cory and his friends are waiting in the class hallway for the list of players who made the team. They don't want to be second string, considering it worse than landing on the Empire State Building eye-ball first. While Shawn and one of the friends of the week are on the A-team, Cory is horrified to see he's on the B-team (a position even Minkus managed to score). Though his friends assure him nothing will change. they run off leaving him alone.
Evolution of mankind is on Mr. Feeny's teaching agenda that afternoon as he uses Minkus, Shawn, and another girl, as living props. Cory makes a poorly-time, late entrance and tells his teacher he was late because he was talking to the coach. He is still on the second string basketball team. When he complains to Mr. Feeny, his teacher agrees with him and uses Darwin as his evidence. Survival of the fittest dictates that Cory is not meant for the first string. In true reverse psychology fashion, Cory decides he won't settle for second best and leaves with a goal in mind.
At home, Cory turns to his older brother for help but it seems Eric is going through his own bout of self-esteem issues as he's pumping weight in an attempt to get more muscles. He's upset that all the seniors are getting girls and no girl in his grade will go out with him. Cory's first game doesn't go so well and when he gets home he starts to tell his mom about it but between sewing Morgan's princess dress and cooking, she doesn't have time to listen to him. His dad comes in and, though he missed Cory's game, wants to hear all about it but is interrupted by Eric who wants money for a car to impress girls. Cory finally has enough and when the family all gathers, he launches into an overactive play-by-play where he scores the winning point, then reveals it was all made up and he only made second string. He tells them as the middle child, he feels like he's second string at life too, then goes up to his room.
Cory's parents have a quick talk in the kitchen and realize they did sort of neglect their middle child, if only during that week, so they decide to focus their attention on him. At school, after a less than encouraging conversation with Minkus, Cory's friends show him a Sports Illustrated magazine with an article on famous athletes who started out on second string. This gives Cory hope that he could be a great athlete given time and a lucky break. Unfortunately, he finds out the B-team isn't allowed to go to the away games. He returns home dejected and finds no one is home. After watching TV for a few hours, he gets hungry and attempts to snatch Mr. Feeny's chicken right off the grill. He gets caught and learns from Mr. Feeny that that his entire family went to see his basketball game.
With the help of Mr. Feeny, Cory manages to get a ride to the away game and he actually got to play because three first string players were fouled out. His whole family is proud of him and after their oldest and youngest leave, Alan and Amy tell Cory that they're proud of him no matter what and that they hope he'll talk to him the next time something bothers him, even if he has to grab their face to get their attention. In the post-credits tag, Cory tells his friends about Mr. Feeny's amazing, crazy fast driving skills and they see for themselves proof when Mr. Feeny waltzes into school with driving gloves, sunglasses, and a coach annoyed at losing to an AMC Gremlin car.
- Ben Savage as Cory Matthews
- Rider Strong as Shawn Hunter
- Will Friedle as Eric Matthews
- William Daniels as George Feeny
- Lee Norris as Stuart Minkus
- Lily Nicksay as Morgan Matthews
- Betsy Randle as Amy Matthews
- William Russ as Alan Matthews
- Ahmad Stoner as Harris
- Hugh Dane as Coach
- Phil Proctor as TV Voice
- Robert Clotworthy as TV Voice
Cory: Look, Mr. Feeny, I know you think Minkus is like the next Alvin Einstein but if he's so smart why doesn't he know second string is for losers?
Mr. Feeny: "Alvin Einstein". This is my life.
Eric: They all dumped me. Every tenth grade girl in America dumped me.
Cory: What'd you do to upset them?
Eric: I'm not a senior. That's what I did! I'm a sophomore. Know what that makes me? Scum! Scum! Scum! (Cory joins in for a couple of those "scum"s) Seniors with their cars and their muscles and their Burger King trainee hats!
Cory: You see? I'm trying to spill my guts out and you guys are having a family meeting! This is why I have to make up a whole exciting life to get any attention!
Amy: Oh, Cory, that isn't true.
Cory: Yes it is! (to his father) You spend half your day with Eric at the store and the rest of the time you're talking about his pathetic love life.
Cory: (to his mother) And you're always braiding Morgan's hair or making a costume for her. And, I mean, I get it that she's the baby of the family and all but-
Cory: You know, being second string at basketball was hard enough. But I'm only on the second string in my own family.
Amy: I mean, this week Eric has girl problems, Morgan needs to be a princess, and there's a kid in the middle that didn't get heard.
Alan: Because there's three of them now. We let ourselves get outnumbered.
Amy: Yep. When there were two of them we had them covered, man to man.
Cory: My family went to my game? Why?
Mr. Feeny: One would assume that they wanted to watch you play.
Cory: But, I mean, I told them second string doesn't get to play. We just sit on the bench and rot.
Mr. Feeny: Well, then one would assume that they went to watch you rot.