The county and city name, Nowata, is derived from a Delaware Indian word, noweata, meaning "welcome". According to one story, two railway surveyors rented rooms from an educated Cherokee woman and asked her for possible station names for towns along the line. The woman suggested "Noweata". There are two stories of how the spelling changed; one is that the post office misspelled the name of the town in their official records; another story tells of how a drunken painter misspelled "Nowata" on the depot and the name stuck.

Every single referee seen in the film during the Nowata football games, without exception, is played by the same actor, Darryl Cox.

The town of Nowata OK is a real place in Northeast Oklahoma. The real Nowata high school football team is called the "Ironmen".

The radio station KRIG is the actual radio station that broadcast Nowata's high school football games. KRIG is based out of Bartlesville, where Will's son was coaching.

In contrast to the team portrayed in the movie, Nowata has a strong football tradition, having actually played for an Oklahoma Class 2A state championship in both 1995 (three years before the movie was made) and 2014.