Last year, I was at a conference in Spain and I met two British ladies who worked for a travel company. When they heard I was from Texas, the first thing they asked me was if Friday Night Lights was an accurate portrayal of high school football in Texas. Yes ma’am!
I might not have answered that way if things had gone differently. Growing up in Texas, I was always aware of the importance of high school football. But I was homeschooled in high school, and grew up in a big urban area. It tempered the football fever quite a bit.
Then I married James.
James is a farm boy from a small west Texas town and he was a high school football player. Scratch that. He was a high school quarterback.
We met in Minnesota, so we were engaged before I ever visited his home town. The weekend of our wedding shower, we drove down. But before the Saturday shower, we had Friday Night Football. I soon found out James’ younger brother was playing running back, and was one of the stars of the show. The football game was clearly going to be a family event.
We drove passed a dark and empty downtown, as pretty much everything shut down during the game. As we arrived in “our seats” (blankets were placed on the bleachers earlier in the day to save spots), I heard people discussing the players like they were pros. Plays from the games prior were discussed in detail. Weaknesses and strengths were all known by those present, and the coach’s calls were second guessed. At one point, someone near me yelled “Somebody hit somebody!” James’ brother was injured above the nose and blood streamed down his face. They taped him up and sent him back out, an action that would be repeated several times.
That was seven years ago. I’ve become convinced that a version of the TV Show “Friday Night Lights” is playing out there and in every other small town in Texas. So if you are ever in west Texas on Friday night, just follow the lights…