Warning: Contains SPOILERS for Young Sheldon season 6, episode 15.

The revelation that Sheldon had some untapped athletic potential was completely wasted in Young Sheldon season 6, which is a shame as this could have provided a perfect backstory for The Big Bang Theory character. Sheldon has plenty of varied qualities in both Young Sheldon and The Big Bang Theory. However, neither show depicts the character as much of an athlete. Sheldon is comically averse to outdoor pursuits, is too competitive to play as part of a team, and loathes sports itself as a pursuit, a triumvirate of perspectives that conspire to make the character uniquely unsuited to athletic achievement.


Despite this, Young Sheldon season 6 proved that Sheldon may have harbored some untapped potential as, of all things, a football player. As Young Sheldon prepares for George Sr’s demise, the series gave Sheldon a rare sweet moment with his father that saw Sheldon successfully toss a football like a born natural. In Young Sheldon season 6, episode 15, “Teen Angst and a Smart-Boy Walk of Shame,” Sheldon asks his father to teach him how to throw a football so that he can become inured to the feeling of failure. To George Sr’s shock and Sheldon’s chagrin, Sheldon proves superb at football.

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Young Sheldon Season 6 Proves Sheldon Had Athletic Potential

Young sheldon and sheldon big bang theory

The idea that Sheldon could have been a great football player is a hilarious twist that The Big Bang Theory’s spinoff could have leaned into throughout the rest of “Teen Angst and a Smart-Boy Walk of Shame.” Like Paige’s Young Sheldon season 6 return, Sheldon’s unexpected football prowess was a storyline that the series didn’t exploit for its full potential. His fantastic football throw and George Sr’s awestruck reaction were a superb bit of misdirection after viewers spent years associating Sheldon with a complete aversion to sports of all sorts, but George Sr failed to subsequently encourage Sheldon to continue playing the game.

Sheldon and his father have never seen eye to eye in Young Sheldon but the character has a much warmer relationship with George Sr than his recollections in The Big Bang Theory implied. As such, it would have made sense for George Sr to use Sheldon’s football skills as a chance to share an interest with his often aloof genius son. While the breakup of George Sr and Mary’s Young Sheldon marriage obviously meant that Sheldon’s father was preoccupied, his occupation and personal love of sport could have still reasonably led George Sr to make the most of this rare moment of connection between him and Sheldon.

Young Sheldon Season 6 Could Have Used This Twist

Young sheldon George Sr affair

If George Sr—who is a high school football coach, after all—saw athletic potential in his son, he could have tried to convince Sheldon to play. This would have the pair more screen time together and potentially even a chance to bond as Young Sheldon comes closer to George Sr’s inevitable death. Since The Big Bang Theory canon states that George Sr died while Sheldon was still in his early teens, it is only a matter of time before the spinoff needs to address this plot. Like Jim Parsons’s Young Sheldon narration, this plot made more sense in early seasons and no longer fits the tone of the spinoff.

George Sr has proven to be a surprisingly likable character despite how he was portrayed in The Big Bang Theory. Less of a drunken philanderer and more of a flawed everyman, George Sr has ended up winning over many Young Sheldon viewers. As such, to soften the blow of his pre-ordained death, Young Sheldon season 6 could have given him a last sweet storyline with his son. If Sheldon had pursued football (even if this was only a short-lived attempt to get his mind off of his latest academic failure), this would have given The Big Bang Theory’s hero a chance to connect with his father.

Related: Young Sheldon Season 6 Hints At The Big Bang Theory’s Georgie Twist

Young Sheldon Season 6 Wasted This Story At The Worst Time

young sheldon season 6 george death 1

While Young Sheldon has justified many of Sheldon’s character quirks over the years, the spinoff hasn’t done much to humanize The Big Bang Theory character. Since George Sr’s affair has been established (as has his lean into alcoholism), Young Sheldon season 6 is likely the last chance the series has to establish a meaningful connection between George Sr and his youngest son. If ever there was a chance for George Sr and Sheldon to get closer before his canonical death, Sheldon unexpectedly pursuing football would have been it. However, Young Sheldon season 6 wasted this opportunity when The Big Bang Theory spinoff wrote the story off as a literal throwaway gag.

More: Young Sheldon Reveals How Georgie Succeeded (When He’s The Dumbest Cooper)

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