Clear Eyes, Full Hearts.

Y'all. In the name of all that is Texas football, WHERE HAVE I BEEN FOR THE LAST FIVE YEARS THAT FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS WAS AIRING ON TV?! Why on EARTH have I never (until now) let myself succumb to the fantastic world that is Dillon, Texas?

Sunday night we sat down with Season 1, Episode 1, and have blown through the first 8 episodes in two days. The story lines, the characters, the acting (minus Minka Kelly, ick), the DEAD-ON ACCURACY which the creators captured small-town, football-obsessed Texas with... it is all perfection. I have admittedly cried through a good handful of the first few episodes (if you're a watcher, you know why), and then I get happy and cry as well. And then it makes me miss home and I might cry a little there too.

There was a Dillon pep rally in one of last night's episodes- I was immediately transported back to my high school (Go 'Cats!) and the magic that was Football Friday. Throughout all of high school, I was on the dance team (sequined cowboy hat, white tassled cowboy boots, skirt with a petticoat- it doesn't get much more Texan than that), which meant that dancing at pep rallies and football games was a MUST. We were the halftime entertainment, my friends, and entertained we did! Kicks to our noses and jump splits through the air-- if it could make the crowd "Oooh" and "Aaah," we were THERE.

There might have been a wine-fueled moment a couple of weekends ago when I felt the need to prove to Brian that YES I CAN STILL DO A HIGH KICK! I succeeded, though Lord, how your flexibility goes when you haven't kicked your nose in, oh seven years.

So we're watching the episode and a pep rally the morning of one of the big games comes on. As much as I was excited and having my little ole flashbacks, Brian was confused. He looked at me and said "That's not what happens at a pep rally."


Apparently, these big elaborate pep rallies are not common. Apparently, they are limited to the football-proud high schools of the south. His question of "What happened to your morning classes?" was answered with "Um, on Fridays, first period was cancelled for pep rallies, obviously." APPARENTLY, in little ole beach town Massachusetts, a pep rally consists of the respective team in their nice tucked in polos, with a good encouraging speech from the coach, then everyone was sent back to class.

How would I sum up MY high school pep rallies? Face paint; different themes for every game/week; football players in their jerseys; coaches wives lined up with the babies (decked out in Wildcat blue, of course); little ones running around the gym floor, throwing footballs around, then turning to stare in awe as the big boys come walking in; the band playing; the drumline playing the entrance cadence before the fight song; everyone in the entire gym hooking pinkies and singing the alma mater... I'm not lying when I say that it gives me chills.

Brian laughs a bit when I get all emotional and wrapped up in the show, but I know that he doesn't get it. He's never really been a part of something THAT BIG. My entire hometown shuts down on Friday nights to go watch our Wildcats. Winning or losing, everyone's there. As much as I hated it when I lived there and couldn't wait to move away, now that I'm so far from it, I ache for it a bit. There are few things more exciting in life than the electricity that radiates from a high school football game in Texas.

I do pray that things might work in my favor and perhaps we'll make the move back someday. We shall see. Until then I will cheer for the Dillon Panthers (no, I'm not completely nuts; I'm aware that they are fictional) and smile to myself because I know that when they created this TV show they hit the nail on the head.

Texas Forever. Amen.


  1. Oh girl, I love those Dillon Panthers, too! I got hooked when I first got together with my fiance! We have most of the seasons and I can watch them a million times and still cry and laugh and love them a little bit more each time! We had pretty large pep rallies at my school growing up, but probably nothing compared to a Texas pep rally!! Love your descriptions and I am so envious!!

  2. I sort of understand. I was a cheerleader for 8 years, all through HS. Our pep rallies weren't THAT big, but we got out of afternoons classes on certain Fridays for pep rallies.