One of my favorite television programs came to an final end. "Friday Night Lights" has been on for 5 years. I have followed them from network to network and then, this last year they were only on Direct TV. Terry was able to get a copy from someone for now we are watching the final season. If you are not a fan, "Friday Night Lights" is about small town, high school football in Texas.
Both Terry and I were lucky enough to attend small high schools. Mine has a total of about 500 students in the entire school. I'm not sure how many were in his, but it was very similar. He played football in high school and then at a small, private university. All three of our daughters went to the same school I did. When your school community is that small, you know everybody. Much like the television program, the town rallies behind the players, the school and the students.
I think the die hard viewers, like myself, can relate to what was happening on the field and in the homes of this fictional town. In my own home, we agreed to have Daughter #1's best friend, in high school, live with us. She was 16 years old and both she and her brother had come from such screwed up, divorced, parents that both were emancipated at 15. This sweet young woman had lived with the football coach and his wife for a year before coming to us. The coach had grown children so she was a little lonely there. Her brother was an all state football player himself and lived with another team mate and his family.
She was with us for a about 1 1/2 years before she went back to her Mom's house. She was the Homecoming Rep riding the convertible that year, and on the Blueberry Festival Court. Her dad came to drive the car she rode in. Thanks Dad. He also gave her for a birthday, one year, one ticket to see Cher, at a venue 90 miles from us. Once ticket. Needless to say, she didn't go and no one would buy it. Not one, single ticket. Her brother got a number of scholarships and is a coach himself now. She also has a college degree and is doing well. That small town team of ours had a 62 game winning streak while my girls were in school. The signs that lined expressways from town to town cheered them on. They were eventually beat in a non league game by a rivaling, neighbor, school on their field. That 12 mile ride home was a long one.
Then there is the Kenny Chesney song "Boys of Fall" song. I asked Terry if he was aware that the last game was, really the last one. The last time he would put on that uniform. The last tackle. The last time he would walk off the field. The last time unlacing those shoes. The last time he would hear the crowd cheer. He said, "No, I just knew it was done. I knew I wasn't big enough to keep going."
Now my grandsons, ages 8 and 9 have put on that uniform. I hope the whole town is behind them too.