Watched the series’ finale of ‘Friday Night Lights’ tonight – a television drama series based on a high school football team in a fictional Texan small town. I think the show actually aired about 6 weeks ago, so I’m not exactly timely with this blog. But hey, it’s something to write about.
V got into this series before I did and when he first told me about it I wasn’t too interested. I wasn’t much into football and the idea of a high school sports show didn’t appeal to me. I imagined 90210 with cleats.
But after watching a few shows with him I got into it. Some of the characters were interesting, the acting generally good and the cinematography quite stunning. Although the show never gained a huge following, it did receive some critical success for its personal drama and strong acting. And even though it was billed as teen drama, two central characters were the coach (Kyle Chandler) and his wife (Connie Britton).
When I was doing the reading challenge a few years ago, I read the book ‘Friday Night Lights’. As with the show, I didn’t really expect to like it. High school football –not something I was exactly into. But, like the show, football served as a window into exploring identity, culture and small town dynamics.
I played sports quite seriously in high school – although not with anything close to the devotion that is given to small town football in Middle America. Actually, I think that more than high school basketball, my experience in military basic training has more in common with the type of training and bonding portrayed in the show and in the book. I get the team thing –how it can lift people above their individual circumstance. It can be incredibly powerful and, for many, life changing.
Watching Friday Night Lights reminded me of the power of a team. It also reminded me of the thrill of physical exertion and competition. I think I miss that more than I do the whole team aspect (which was always complicated by personal dynamics, jealousies, etc.) I miss the physical and mental challenge of giving 110%...
I feel old and nostalgic now.