Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Tao of Coach

"You are a molder of men."* And with that Tami summed up the whole Friday Night Lights ethos. Coach is more than a coach; this is more than football. Every decision he makes for these guys, could change everything for them. But he also has a job that requires winning games, and after Saracen's shattering and game-losing fumble last week, the pressure is on to play snotty nosed, football-savant JD McCoy. Forgive me for not feeling him, but I like my sport's heroes less programmed. (Yes, Cal Ripken has been playing ball since he was knee-high to a grasshopper, but, but, well, he's Cal Ripken!)

I prefer my sport's heroes more like Smash. Who will never forget his mama, or the Coach that made him grow up. I don't know if I believe that a coach at a football school like A&M, would have let Coach Taylor bully him into letting Smash have a walk-on, but I don't care. We got our something good happening.

After Corinna's stern reminder to Smash last week that she is the mama, and that he needs to mind his own business about how she raises her kids, I wanted so badly for her to see her son fulfill his promise. I didn't want Smash at the Alamo Freeze forever. What joy and relief when he got that call from A&M!

I have enjoyed seeing the id-controlled Smash of past seasons, who couldn't imagine a future different than the one that had been laid in front of him, come to grips with the obstacles that tripped up that perfect path. He's quieter, more thoughtful. Maybe he won't be as good of a football player, but he will be a better man.

His good bye to Coach was really something. And the guys in the car and on the field. This show, I tell you. If you could see me putting my hand on my heart and looking at you in that knowing way they do in the movies, the look that says, this moved me so I have to put my hand on my heart, you would understand what these scenes do to me.

In JumboTron news (I made it twoish words for Tami, but actually it is usually spelled Jumbotron), Tami lost. And despite Coach's early misgivings about Tami's fight, he became the principal's husband, the one she was looking for last week, and told her she was right and he meant it. He knows better than anyone that it is what happens on the field that matters, and the kids in the game, not the big screen it's being watched on.

Poor Tami wasn't even allowed to get angry about the whole shameful situation. Her bitter tears ran for every frustrated principal that can't get a damn thing done.

I wanted to hear her embarrass the board, but we didn't get that pleasure. She did "volunteer" Buddy for the chairmanship of a silent auction though. I'm finding Buddy actually makes me yell at the TV screen this season. I realize as the booster-wooer, he has a job to do, but his complete disregard for the human impact of, well, anything, makes him the antithesis of Coach and Tami. He's not good people.

Saracen was, as usual, dealing with his 40-year-old man problems in his 17-year-old life. More than any of the actors on this show, this kid really carries himself like a teenager. A teenager with a Grandma Saracen on his back. His mom reappeared this week, looking to make a few things right. I like that they are taking it slow, and he has a lot of life ahead of him to have a mother that loves him, so I hope she doesn't let him down.

Coach decided to start Saracen, but alternate plays between he and McCoy. It's a nice compromise that will hopefully keep him playing through the rest of his senior year.

Tyra ditched Landry again, officially, I guess. Poor kid. The rodeo guy is hot though and doesn't seem like a total jerk although he might be a bit of a pill enthusiast. I'm beginning to think the odds of Tyra getting out of Dillon are pretty slim. She might be the one left in the spray of dirt and gravel when everyone kicks out of town after graduation.

I realize, reading back over this that I talk a lot in my FNL recaps about these young guys growing into good men. It is of course, an overwhelming theme in the show, but why does it move me so? I am a woman. I have daughters. My husband, father and brothers are not deadbeats — quite the opposite actually. Is it that I think we value men who make good money over men who make good fathers and husbands? Is it the lack of real leadership from the men that have been in charge of this country, that has me preoccupied? Is it that I like a bit of decency to win out? All of it maybe. Anyway, it resonates. Next week, we find out what kind of man Jason Street has decided to be.

In blogging news: There will no new fresh episodes of Gossip Girl for four weeks, so no new fresh recaps. Maybe Tuesday I will finally write a product review of the greatest potato chip of all time. Doesn't that sound tasty!

* Loved that they were having this conversation at a bar after Coach needed to stop for a "scotch-flavored drink."


  1. I linked to your blog from and just had to say hello. I am also a mom of two girls living on the East Coast and in love with all things Friday Night Lights! ;)

  2. Thanks for reading (and commenting)! I hope you like the blog.

  3. love it. i'm so glad you're writing about FNL. haven't missed an episode and mark and i almost went into heart (cus we are moved to hand-on-heart moments throughout each epi) failure when the show did not make it on the fall line up... so glad NBC came to their senses and figured things out. on a shallow note (as of 2/13 epi), i'm very happy tyra is no longer curling her hair, that was wierd and made me feel uncomfortable. may i forward your blog to two of my girlfriends who are just as ga ga over FNL aka Tim Riggins? looking forward to your recap of 2/13's episode.