Friday Night Lights

*There are going to be some spoilers here*

I’ve been binge watching Friday Night Lights, a TV show produced starting in 2006, adapted from a 2004 movie based on the story of the  Odessa Permian Panthers football team.

The TV Panthers are from a fictionalized town of Dillon, TX, located somewhere in west Texas.  And in Dillon, like just about every other town in west Texas, football is king.  The town leaders played it and still bask in their faded glory.  The current players are treated as princes, complete with fuzzy grade & class requirements, a program that’s financed to the detriment of the educational programs and “rally girls” ready to provide any favor to their Panther.   Friday nights have practically the entire town turning out to cheer their boys.

The main character is Eric Taylor, head coach.  He inspires his teams, deals with boosters and wins a lot of football.  He is husband to Tami, who goes from homemaker to guidance counselor & high school principal.  He is also father to possibly the most annoying character ever, Julie.  She is a not so bright, selfish, bratty & compulsively lying teenager.  Eventually, we get a new baby, Gracie Belle.  The show did not last long enough for her to get  too offensive.

And we meet the Panthers team:

Jason Street is “QB 1” who ends up paralyzed the first during the first game.   Over the years we see him learn to live in a wheel chair & eventually become a husband, father, coach & sports agent.

Tim Riggins is a fullback who drinks a case of beer a day, doesn’t bother attending class & lives with brother Billy.   We do meet dad in a couple of episodes.  No mention of mom.  He’s a “bad boy” with a heart of gold.   After graduation, he washes out of college in no time at all, comes back to Dillon & eventually goes into business with Billy, who uses their car repair shop as a car chop shop.   Because Billy has a family, Tim takes all the blame and goes to prison.  Again, he comes back to Dillon.  Not sure exactly how he ends up supporting himself.  One of my favorite quotes is from Coach, who finds out his daughter is dating the back up QB.  “At least she’s not dating a serial killer.  Or a Riggins brother”.

Matt Saracen is “QB 2”.   Matt is just a sophomore when he’s pushed into the spotlight.  He lives with his grandmother & comes from the poor side of town.  He ends up with a lot on his plate.  He works at a drive-in, supports his grandmother & has little money.  He ends up leaving Dillon to go to Chicago to study art.  Unfortunately, he ends up married to Julie Taylor and goodness knows he could have done better.

Brian Williams is the star running back.  He lives with his mom and sisters.  Full of confidence, looking to football to give him a better life.  I really liked this character.  After a small legal problem and an injury, he ends up a star at Texas A&M & hopefully beyond.

Landry Clark is Matt’s best friend, son of a cop & a brainiac.  He eventually ends up as a kicker and at Rice University.

After some disagreements with rich boosters,  Coach Taylor takes a job at  newly reopened East Dillon High School, on the really poor side of town.  Coach has to teach the kids how to play & how to win.  He has to get the community to trust him & eventually get excited about football.

The East Dillon Lions team:

Vince Howard.  “QB1”, who coach literally pulls out of a police car.  Mom’s a junkie, dad is in jail.  Eventually becomes a star at East Dillon and then senior year at Dillon High School after East Dillon’s football program is cut.

Luke Cafferty.  Farm boy, forced to leave Panthers for Lions.  Good player but not the best.  Ends up in the army.

Other people on the team who were kind of pointless.  I liked the first team alot.  I liked the Lions team ok.

Buddy Garrity is one of the former stars who is a car dealer and eventual bar owner who will do anything for the panthers.   We get to see his cheating implode his marriage and alienate his children.   There is one in every town.

And we have the girls:

Tami Taylor is a supportive wife and counselor.  She cares about her students.  She is the mom of all of the kids, few of which seem to have parents.   She’s at every game, she feeds the team, houses the kids between homes & is a great other half to Coach Eric.  Eventually, after years of putting Eric’s career first, she ends up a university admissions director in Philadelphia.  The last season finds Eric’s career in flux after the East Dillon football is axed & Tami with her fancy job offer.  Eric at first pushes back about following her to Philadelphia but finally gives in and moves with her.   I love Eric and wanted him to just put her first and eventually he did but only after much pouting and whining from Tami.   Tami also has THAT annoying southern Texas accent, that is not as common as Hollywood thinks it is.  She calls everyone y’all and has that sappy “bless your heart” phony personality.  Liked her and did not like her.

Julie Taylor.  See above.

Lila Garrity.    Daughter of Buddy,  at first girlfriend of Jason Street, then of Tim Riggins, then some guy whose name I don’t remember, a Christian radio guy played by  Matt Czuchry who went on to play on the Good Wife.    Goes to school at Vanderbilt

Tyra Collette  Lives with mom with bad taste in men & stripper sister Mindy.   First girlfriend of Tim Riggins, eventually girlfriend of Landry Clark who kills a man who attacked her.    Ends up going to University of Texas & comes home to explore relationship with Tim again.   Mindy eventually marries Tim’s brother Billy.

Mrs. Saracin is Matt’s grandmother who raised him after his mom abandoned him and his dad joined the army.  She’s a proud grandmother and eventually heads toward some dementia.

Becky Sproles falls for Tim who is too old for her and eventually Luke Cafferty.  Parents abandon her too.

Jess Meriweather becomes the team’s equipment manager & dreams of becoming a high school football coach.  Girlfriend of Vince Howard

I’ll be honest, most of these girls annoy me.  If they had goals, they were not explored.  I liked Tyra & Jess.  The others were the same airheaded,  narcissistic character over and over.  And I guess that is the way it was supposed to be…the show was about the boys.   There was a lot of sex and a lot of drinking.  Moving out an even one parent home to move in with boyfriends was pretty common.   I know high school girls are way more, well everything, than we were but I have a hard time believing a lot of it.  I was not too sad to see any of the girls go.

And what happened to JD McCoy, Santiago, above mentioned Christian radio guy, red-headed rally girl puppet from East Dillon & Epyck?  And who the heck names a child Epyck?

My opinion is the show went on one season too long but I’m glad they wrapped up stories and ended cleanly.

Thoughts to be edited later…


Dog Sitting

I’m not a dog person.  Or a pet person.  I’m not horrible.  I don’t kick them or anything but I also don’t like them jumping on me, licking me, following me around or looking at me.   To be fair, I’m barely a people person.  I like a discussion.  I don’t mind a 10 second hug by someone I like.  But let’s not get too touchy-feely.

I just spent the weekend dog sitting.  And he’s a nice dog but he jumps on me, licks me, follows me around and looks at me.  All of the time.  He wants to sit on the couch looking at me.  He jumps on the bed I’m sleeping on and won’t get off until I push him off and then I have to put him out in the living room to stop him from doing it again.  My cousin left me a list of “commands he knows”.  He should have written “none”.

I know he misses his people, who will be home tomorrow.  For Buddy and I it’s going to be a really good day.


Pictures & Clouds

Pictures first.

I’m really not a picture person.  I mean I like looking at pictures but that is about it.  I have some pictures of my family, in frames, but not many.  I did not grow up in a picture family.  I grew up in the old days when you had to buy and develop film.  It was expensive for us at the time.  I have one picture of my big sisters & me that was not taken in the front yard.  My uncle took it.  Cathy & Jo were probably 13 & 12, I was 2.  All other professional pictures were school pictures.  I had to take a head shot last year for my business card and that may have been the first professional shot since I graduated from high school in 1975.  Now we live in an era where if a parent pulls out their phone, their 2 year olds strike a pose.   I take pictures on vacation to put on Facebook but don’t really ever look at them again.  But for some reason, I feel like I should save them.  Hmmm.

This week I had a training class on Google Drive and part of that is Google Pictures, where the pics live on a cloud that I don’t understand.   I’m lead to believe that by setting this up all of my cell phone pictures & pictures I save on my computer go to the cloud and I should be able to delete from phone & pc and the cloud carries them.   I know I’m doing something wrong but the cell pictures are on the app on my phone and the pc pics are on the app on my PC.

Part of me hopes all of the pictures will meet someday on the same cloud.  But all in all I’d probably be ok if they didn’t.   I have a few pictures in a box & last year I made a picture book of my mom & dad & aunts & uncles for my niece & nephew.  But what exactly would they do with all of my pictures?  Not a sentimental bone in either of their bodies.  My pictures are just one more thing they will have to throw out when I go.  And I HATE it when people send me pictures of their kids.  I’m never sure what they expect me to do with them.   So if I know you, no offense, but don’t send me pictures.

I guess we’ll see what happens if I ever need to post another picture.

Adrian Beltre

I am a long time Rangers fan and my favorite player of all time is Rangers 3rd baseman Adrian Beltre.  Always has a smile on his face and has more fun playing baseball than anyone ever on the planet.  Today was possibly his last game.  He’s 39 years old and has had some tough injuries the last couple of years.  He has not said he’s retiring for sure but all of the interviews seem to be pointing there.  I saw one interview today, have read several on Twitter and I have cried every time.  It’s irrational.  I don’t even know the man.  But I know that the Rangers and 3rd base will never again be the same.  If I could same something to him, I’d thank him for giving me joy every time I watched him play.  And I’d tip my hat right back if I had one.  I may have to wear my Beltre jersey this week.

MLB: Texas Rangers at Seattle Mariners

Gary Puckett & the Union Gap

Ah, fair week!!   Corn dogs, strawberry lemonade & Methodist fried pies.  Yum.  And usually one fair show.  The radio stations give tickets away and our oldies station sponsored Gary Puckett & the Union Gap.   Their first hit was in 1968, just a smidge before my musical awakening but certainly I have heard most of their stuff all of my life.  There were a couple of songs that I did not know they had recorded but mainly I and everyone around me knew all the words.  As did Gary.  The voice was a little weaker than I remember but since he’s been singing for 50 years that’s to be expected.

We had senate hearings on Thursday before the concert where a Supreme Court nominee has been accused of inappropriate contact with a 15 year old girl when he was in high school.  I have to say when Gary was singing ‘Young Girl’ I thought, well, no Supreme Court for him!!  And frankly, the song was a little creepy when he was 25 and now he’s probably 75 so the creepiness tripled.  But again, we both knew all the words and I sang along.  The song is still catchy if you don’t think too hard about it.  Somewhere the is someone who would tell me I should be offended.

I tried to take pictures and from where I was sitting I had a black suit and a big blob of light where a head should be.  I found a picture on Twitter & contacted the photographer to see if I could use the picture here.  She not only said yes but was generous enough to send me additional pictures.  So thank you Jill Kerns for sharing your pictures with me.