Friday Night Lights

“For all intents and purposes, I was watching this for the first time. I’ve never seen the tv show either (although I’ve got it in my Netflix queue) but I’m starting to understand why it was so loved.

I grew up in Texas, and I can honestly say that yes it really is a big deal. And that’s that I’m from south Texas, not the real football country up north. My private high school was too small to sustain a football team, but my Daddy taught at a local high school, so we often went to their games. The experience in the film is not exaggerated.

I hadn’t realized this was based on a real team until we got the “”where are they now”” blurbs at the end. It follows a small football town, where the game is the entire population’s livelihood. For me, it’s tough to watch because I can’t see having my life revolve around something like that. Sure, I enjoy football (basketball more though), but it’s something that’s so fleeting. Outcomes can change on the turn of a dime. But for these small towners, that’s all they had.

THe other thing that made it a little difficult to watch was their star running back Boobie Mile’s knee injury. He tears his ACL in the first game we see, and that injury is something I do know what a bit about, having done that myself a decade ago (wow I feel old now). I don’t understand how he was walking, let alone trying to play. I always took my doctor’s directions very seriously, understanding that the added inconveniences at the moment would result in a better recovery and less problems down the line. I would not have been able to bring myself to take the risks that he did, and it was so tough watching all that play out.

Led by the force that is Billy Bob Thorton, we have a pretty awesome cast here. A lot of up and coming young guys who went on to bigger and better. Okay so maybe Garret Hedlund was the only one on to bigger, but guys like Lucas Black, Lee Thompson Young (*tear*), Jay Hernandez all showed up here and there for a while. I was most impressed with country music star Tim McGraw in his big screen debut. I remember thinking it seemed a lil strange that he would try acting, but watching him now, his character is so far from his real persona. I’m impressed.

Another thing I loved was the music, particularly during the final game. Such great classic rock hits electrifying the air and ramping up the energy. I tell ya, it had me on the edge of my seat.

This one plays out a little slower than most sports movies tend to, but it’s also more substantial than they usually are. I’m thinking maybe I need to hurry up catching up on my current shows so I can get around to watching the one that this spawned.”

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