Now, it begins again… (Friday Night Lights)

It’s such a stupid, silly thing really. Whole towns losing their collective minds over a damn game played by children. I can’t defend it to skeptics, it’s not rational. I am all too aware of its abuses, especially on rainy mornings when my ankles creak and sing of forgotten glories.

Driving home late from another too-long workday, at a far-off distance I saw the shimmer of stadium lights rise over the pines. I thought about the “chimes at midnight” and the days we have seen. Stepping on the grass in the cool of evening brought a flood of sensation and memory as to make the mind reel…

Of the men who forged generations of boys into men by the fires of pain, discipline, and honor. Of endless blazing summer days, the suffocating gauze of humidity that steals your breath, but the delicate magic of Friday night. Of hard-fought victories and the rare heartbreak of defeat. Of good friends, the love of a community, and wonder-filled moments that pass all too easily but are not easily forgotten.

Towering lights and a field glowing green, cheers and handstands, twirling batons and marching bands. The veiled menace of fight songs, the raging bellows from the crowd, and the civilized mayhem of the gridiron.

It is a broken idol, a false messiah, and undeserving of worship, yes… but it is also something beautiful and amazing and worthy of love. It’s football and Texas forever, and so much of it made me the man that I am.

Now, it begins again.


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