When I was in high school, I was in the marching band. I was a proud member, I wore the uniform, the sheiko (that’s the hat), I followed the drill, I conducted the band as drum major. I was, for all intents and purposes, the biggest band geek that you would find.
I was forced each week by our director to stand in the stands for each home and away football game and cheer the Knights on as they played and made the school proud.
In marching band, we were undefeated. We won every single competition we entered into, for three straight years of high school competition.
The football team? They lost more than they won, except for one year where they made it to the playoffs, due mostly in part to the senior Haikee (who, for the record, was completing his second senior year…). I did not get along with a single football player. I would go so far as to say that I absolutely hated almost every single football player.
So by now, you’re thinking “Amrie, why are you spending so much time talking about your high school career?”
I’m just trying to set a background to prove how incredibly ironic it is that Friday Night Lights is my absolute favorite new show of this season! The storylines, I’ve lived them. I’ve seen the school rivalries, and the wounded hero. I’ve seen the team come back in the fourth quarter with the help of the QB2. But never in my few years of high school was I ever able to relate to the people around me, like I feel I can relate to these amazing characters.
Coach Eric Taylor, played by Kyle Chandler, is so great. He makes mistakes. He’s a faulted character, and he doesn’t do everything as perfectly as he should. He has a loving wife, an adorable daughter. He is one of my favorite people on the small screen. The football coaches at North Penn? A bunch of jerks.
When I was a senior, our star quarterback, our QB1, blew out his knee. Sure, it’s no spine crushing injury, but it was an injury, nonetheless. I had to no love for him. I didn’t cry for him like most of the senior class did. I didn’t form prayer circles in the middle of the hallway. Just like Jason Street, he was forced out of the limelight, and into physical therapy. I, however, am absolutely in love with Jason Street. I cry for him on a weekly basis. I am unbelievably moved by his plight and I want nothing more than for him to recover or adapt to his new life.
The new QB2? He was a junior. Blue eyes, gorgeous smile, attitude like no one’s business. He was not humble. He was not generous. He was not Matt Saracen. How much do you absolutely love him? He’s got so much going on his life, what with his dad overseas, his grandma going crazy, and his little crush on Julie Taylor turning him into a puddle of jelly when she’s around. Voodoo comes in and steals his thunder, and he just handles it like the humble pure character that he is. Matt Saracen is my new hero.
The aforementioned Haikee? He was a mouthy jerk who thought he ran the show. ESPN followed him around for 3 weeks, and he wasn’t humbled. He was admittedly more conceited. He was the epitome of a guy like the Panthers’ Smash, but he had no endearing qualities, unlike Smash. Sure, he’s a big jerk, and he doesn’t exactly get along with everyone all the time. He just has this thing about him – you can tell he cares. You can tell football makes him happy, not necessarily because it makes him “famous” but because he enjoys playing.
Our head cheerleader? She was pure evil. Dated the QB, ran all the committees, won homecoming queen. I wouldn’t have felt any compassion towards her if I had to. Lyla Garrity, with her talking through her clenched jaw, and her constant perfect hair dos? I empathize with her. I feel for her character. I want her to get out of the Jason and Riggs mess. I just can’t imagine having feelings of empathy for the cheerleaders I knew back then.
There was a girl like Tyra in our town, too. The one who wanted to get out of Lansdale, the one who slept with anyone that moved, to make herself feel better. She had no friends, and no one really showed her any support. But I want Tyra to find happiness.
The only person on my high school football team that I got along with was a shaggy haired loner named Mark. He’s the Tim Riggins of my life. That outsider, that’s best friends with the quarterback, sleeping with the head cheerleader, and still managing to play a damn good game of football.
Lansdale was like their town. It still is, in fact. Football is life, and nothing matters but the Friday night games. I wish, at times like these, that the characters Peter Berg created were the people that played on the Knights.
Because then maybe I would have enjoyed every game I was forced to attend.
How about you? Did you enjoy football in high school? Was there a Tim Riggins in your life?
In Other News
I have to start the “other news” section once more with my feelings on the phenomenal, and seriously depressing, season of Battlestar Galactica. I love that they made Helo be the true hero of the week, what with his successfully helping to avoid the genocide of the Cylon race. There was certainly not enough Starbuck this week. I love the Baltar storyline. I enjoy EJO and Mary Mac and they’re hanging out in the BSG equivalent of the oval office. It gets better each week, though, like I said, it’s crazy depressing. Hopefully it can’t get any worse!!
Veronica Mars still doesn’t have a full season pickup, though it did get an order for 3 more episodes. Hopefully The CW loves the new scripts and keeps them going for the rest of the season.
Dear new Gilmore Girls writers – I appreciate what you’re trying to do, trying to show that Lorelai needs to experience life with Christopher before she grows up enough to truly be complete with Luke, but I’m certainly not a fan of the storyline, so let’s get this show on the road, speed up this relationship that’s due to end anyway, and get Luke and Lorelai back on track!
I am really enjoying The O.C. so far. I cannot wait for the inevitable Ryan/Taylor hookup. I want Seth and Summer to be happy together, I want Kaitlin to stop speaking. I’m very excited to see where it goes!
I want to commend NBC for their incredible belief in what could be considered fledgling hits, at best. Studio 60, Friday Night Lights, 30 Rock – nothing is a big hit. Nothing is scoring as well as they should be. But NBC has shown a belief in their shows!! Congratulations!
That’s it for this week – what are your thoughts on the current state of TV?
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