clear eyes, full hearts
With just over three minutes left on the clock, and the home team down by one goal, the game seemed lost but the fans in the stands kept up hope, banners waving as hundreds of eyes stared, unblinking, at the ticking clock. Suddenly, it happens: a whirlwind of action, a perfectly planned series of plays and — boom — back on top.
But wait. Are we talking about the Texas Tech – Red Raiders ’08 Gator Bowl showdown, or the beginning of the Dillon Panther’s ’08 three-game stint without star quarterback Smash?
Some Friday Night Lights fans prefer the series’ trademark dramatic tension to more sports-centric scenes, but no matter your interest level, there’s no denying the show makes every game seem as big as the Superbowl.
Dan Treadway, a former editor at the Daily Texan and the Texas Travesty, is currently the Assistant Sports Editor at The Huffington Post and a contributor to The Onion Sports. As well-versed in professional matches as fictional ones (and with a onetime Texan’s nostalgic appreciation for the tiny town of Dillon, TX), it’s only natural that he’s got opinions on the way the Tigers’ and Lions’ epic showdowns match up to the battles we’ll be watching in college football this year.
“I began this series basically because I moved to New York from Texas in the Fall and, as a result, wasn't surrounded by people obsessed with college football,” Treadway explains. “As a result, I often had to bring friends who weren't really familiar with the sport to bars to watch games with me. Eventually I was talking with one of my friends during a game and he mentioned that he had just finished watching the third season of Friday Night Lights on Netflix, and that's sort of where the idea took off.”
You can read the first part of the series, which covers the recent Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, MAACO Las Vegas Bowl, Pointsettia Bowl and more, right here; the second installment covers the Belk Bowl, the Military Bowl and more.
“I began making comparisons to players and situations in the football game we'd be watching to things that happened in FNL to make the watching experience more fun and engaging,” he explains. “It was kind of a fun way to connect my favorite TV show and my favorite pastime, so when bowl season rolled around, I decided to cater to the niche audience of Friday Night Lights fans who may or may not like college football by writing this up. It's been a fun writing challenge to be sure, and it's my little way of paying homage to a TV show that I thought was pretty special.”
Whether FNL’s on-the-field action is accurate or not, one thing’s for sure: those college teams definitely don’t get pre-game pep talks as powerful as this:
Check HuffPo Sports for more installments in this weekly series.