Small Town Football Boosted by Friday Night Lights
Written by: Charles Chid
How was Small Town Football Boosted by Friday Night Lights
Friday Night Lights was an American TV Show that aired
between 2006 and 2011 and ended up changing the perception of most small town
folk and the value they attach to football. Based on a fictional town known as
Dillon, the show centered on the life and times of small town folks who were,
in one way or another, connected to the members and participants of the
football team who include, the coach, football players and general members of the town. Critics rated it one of the best sport-based drama flicks to ever
show on American television.
There was so much more attached to the show than just football, it addressed many societal issues
that affect the modern day American such as drugs and drug abuse, family
values, racism, school operations and funding, illogical competitions as well
as other chronic issues such as abortion and lack of economic opportunities.
By the time the show ended in 2011, it had garnered a huge fan-base who still refer to it whenever similar issues arise in the real small town scenarios. So how really did Friday Night Lights expose the
real common small town football teams and their interactions?
Small town folks within Texas do value football a lot
Being a football star is a big deal in real life Texas just as it was for Jason Street (Scott Porter) in Friday Night Lights. People follow the games and the town almost comes to a standstill whenever there is a match, especially
state championships. If you ask the folk in Texas, to this very day, about
their favorite pass time activity and sport, football will definitely be the
response. It is not restricted to just the players but their families, the
business people, the farmers and sometimes, even the dogs. It is like a
whirlwind that sweeps through the entire town.
The fight for supremacy is real
Being that football is such a big deal, everyone wants to be
part of it; and not just be part of it, but also be at the top. Parents want
their kids to be the best players that everyone talks about them when it comes
to football. So deep is this desire that parents are ready to go to weird extremes
even compromising other players that so their kids could shine. Just as it is
seen in Friday Night Lights, it is evident that whoever makes it to the top is
like a demi-god within the town just as Coach Eric Taylor (Kyle Chandler) did. Remember though, that
Joe McCoy was already there ready to bring the coach down. This was rightfully
depicted in the how and still stalks even modern day small town Texas folks.
Racism in and out of the football pitch does exist
Although racism still exists throughout America, the
closely-knit nature of small town folk within Texas makes racism even more
lethal in these areas. This is worsened with the fact that everyone wants to
make it to the top despite the color of their skin. As shown in Friday Night
Lights when Shawn Williams has a knee injury, folks are ready to look down upon
you based on your race just to bring you down and have them excel. Even as kids
grow up and become entrenched in football, they are exposed to high levels of
racism that is passed down through generations.
College football Scholarships are a big deal
When it comes to proceeding from high school and going on to
college through a scholarship based on your football kills, Texas folks go
crazy just as depicted in the television show. In Friday Night Lights, Smash
Williams shows unrivaled determination and desire to receive a college football
scholarship making him go the extra mile to ensure he is fit and suits all the
requirements and luckily he does eventually receive one. Parents and town folk
groom their kids straight from childhood to prepare them for high school then
college football being that it will save them a lot of money and make their
children stars. It is a plus for the kids as well as they will get education
and play their favorite sport. It, however takes a lot of consistency, skill
and determination to stand out.
Almost everyone in the town has ever played football
From the local gas station owner, to the large scale corn
farmer, all Texas folk have at one point in their life played football. Take,
for instance, in Friday Night Lights, one of my favorite characters Landry Clarke (Jesse Plemmons)
decides he will try out football by joining the Panthers in Season 2. If that
is not enough, he goes ahead and joins the Lions. This just shows exactly how
almost everyone in these small Texas Towns is a footballer, was a footballer or
is planning on being one.
A coach who succeeds is as good as mayor of the town
If you have watched Friday Night Lights then you definitely
know how big a deal Coach Taylor is. He literally sets the pace for the
entire film. Although his charisma and character traits make him an even more
effective coach, real life Texas football coaches are a big deal. They set the
standards for the entire team and give them the pace with which they go through
the entire season. If a coach takes the team to the state championships, he
even becomes a bigger deal. The guy literally almost runs the town if he
manages to win trophies, especially more than once.
Parents are involved a lot.
Watching Friday Night Lights reveals just how much parents
are involved in the football careers of their kids. They walk with them through
the journey, help them build up their skills, push them positively to their
limit and just make the best out of their kids. A good example in the show is Corina
Williams (Smash’s mom) who was very dedicated to his son’s career.
Well, if you know how the small town folks in Texas behave
when it comes to their relation with and around football, Friday Night Lights
will just make you feel the impact further. No single show has ever effectively
depicted modern day Texas football interaction like FNL.