Corrected entry: In one of the opening scenes, it says Aug 2, 1988, first day of practice. Hmm. Full pads on Day 1. In any high school in North America, no one gets full pads on the first day: the team gets those on Day 4. And as well, Billy Bobble-Head is giving a lecture about how "There is a team 15 miles down the road who want to win (State)." Uh, although Odessa is a part of the Dallas District, Dallas is 300 miles away.
Correction: Back before regulations were strict about student-athlete safety, it was common for full pads to be worn on the first day. Also, when Billy Bob Thornton talks about a team 15 miles down the road that wants to win state, he's talking about Lee High School in Midland, Permian's longtime football rival.
Corrected entry: After Permian loses to Carter, Billingsly is hugged by his dad. As he starts to hug his dad, he has gloves on both hands. His dad puts his ring on Billingsly's finger, and the glove is gone.
Correction: If you look closely you can see Don's dad holding his gloves when he puts the ring on Don's finger. So we are to assume that the gloves were removed, and didn't just disappear.
Corrected entry: All games throughout the regular season and the playoffs are held at Ratliff Stadium, the home of Permian football. No team has all of their games at home. Permian is shown in some games wearing black home jerseys and others wearing white away jerseys. It was easier and more cost effective for the production crew to only have to set up in one stadium and have the actors change jerseys.
Correction: Footage was also shot at Shotwell Stadium in Abilene, which is where the Permian vs. Abilene Cooper game was played.
Corrected entry: Although not mentioned in the film, it turned out that most of the players from the winning team had already accepted scholarships from colleges and was disqualified. Permian did end up with the trophy in the end.
Correction: Wrong. In real life, Permian high school played Dallas Carter in the State Semi-finals and lost 14-9. In the state championship, Dallas Carter defeated Converse Judson 31-14. It was discovered that a Carter player had a failing grade that was changed, so Carter was stripped of the title. Converse Judson was declared the 1988 5A football state champion, even though Permian lost by a closer score. Carter was NOT disqualified because players accepted scholarships (although some of their players were allegedly offered money, cars, etc by college recruiters).
Corrected entry: At the coin toss of the state championship game it is announced that "Permian will be the home team in white, Carter will be the visiting team in red". In football the home team is normally wearing the dark color and the visiting team is wearing white. They would have needed to know this so that they would pack the correct jerseys for the trip. (In all of the shots of Carter they are wearing red. It was more cost effective for Carter to wear red the entire movie than to purchase a second set of uniforms for them.).
Correction: During the bartering between the coaches before they played, Permian conceded to Carter the right to wear their "sacred red" jerseys.
Corrected entry: During the 1988 season, Permian did not make the State Finals as shown in the movie. They lost to Carter in the State Semi-Finals, outdoors at The University Of Texas' Memorial Stadium, in the rain on a 4th down pass incompletion.
Correction: The fimmakers made all these changes deliberately in order to make the film more dramatic, it is artistic license; they don't claim that this film is entirely factually correct.
Corrected entry: In this scene a penalty is called on a run that followed a timeout. The announcer says the clock will start as soon as the ball is set. This is factually incorrect as the clock would not start until the ball is snapped.
Correction: The penalty referred to was holding on the offense. The clock is only stopped for defensive penalties. The clock is restarted as soon as it is spotted for offensive penalties. This is to prevent teams on offense from intentionally committing penalties in order to stop the clock.
Corrected entry: Billy Bob Thornton asks one of his players if he got enough rest the night before. The football player answers, "Yes." Billy Bob says, "That's good, because we have a 6 hour ride ahead of us." They were going from Odessa, TX to the Astrodome in Houston, TX. Odessa is roughly 540 miles from Houston. It takes about 9 to 10 hours to drive there.
Correction: The schedule of the journey was most likely not over one day. When they leave it's daylight and as we see the cars behind following the bus, then we some of their headlights are on in the middle of the scene. In the next scene when they show the Astrodome (Houston) it is still daylight. Being that it is such a long drive and with the daylight between scenes they likely made an stop over somewhere along the way.
Corrected entry: In the Championship game, the Odessa team runs the ball to the 1 yd line, but it is called back for a holding penalty. A) Why would you give a team a free play? The defense should have declined it and let the clock run out for the win. B) Even if the penalty was accepted (like it was) the clocked would have stopped, not continued to run.
Correction: The reason why the defense accepted the penalty is because the offense had a 1st down on the 1 yd line. Instead they had 4th and 18 after the penalty was accepted. As far as the clock being stopped, it did stop until the ball was set (although that seems to have been addressed under another mistake).