These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Friday Night Lights

i saw the movie last night and enjoyed it -- for several reasons, including it being about a texas high school team and because it reminded me of where i came from.

there were certain aspects of the movie that made me laugh because i saw san diego, texas in the screen in front of me. tim mcgraw playing the hellishly angry father who'd done it, gone to state and won it. he wanted his son to do the same.

there was the part where this guy drives up in a souped up car. the guy inside invites the football players to a party.he drives off yelling and hollering. one of the football players says, 'isn't that guy about 35?'

then there was the whole mentality of the town. it was gung ho for football. they craved it, talked it, dreamed it. that is so texas. football and texas go hand-in-hand.

san diego was (and is) never anything special when it came to sports. during my tenure at the high school, they didn't do much, certainly not ever go anywhere near the state championship (our school was 3A, though, and not 5A like odessa permian).

there was this rivalry with a nearby town, benavides. it was completely ridiculous. both pissant football teams trying to beat one another. they weren't even in the same district. still, that hatred when the teams took the field was there. silly.

but was worse were the fans. they took it to heart.when either team lost, they were glum. sometimes kids would even break car windows and cause damage to places around the town. one year, one of the teams' members were caught egging a day or two prior to the game.

and the 35-year-old guy driving around town, the loser? well, that was still seen in SD. i remember once when i helped my brother with laundry in town. i walked outside the place. it was right on the main street. cars were driving by. one of them contained a classmate of mine. i saw him drive by over and over again. at that time, we were in our mid-20s. so you have this mid-20s guy, cap turned around in his head, glazed look in his eyes, hands gripped on the wheel. geez, get a life, man. i hope he's now settled down and doing something with his life other than curising around a town where nothing ever happens.

the days of cruising around that town are long gone. but when i was in school, it seemed that cruising (and unfortunately boozing) was fun. now, when i go back home and make my way through town, it seems dead and empty -- except for those few dedicated cruisers wasting gasoline.

but the movie, well, i have to give it props. i really liked it and managed to capture that element of texas high school football only seen there in that wild state.


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