Friday Night Lights

Episode Report Card
Drunken Bee: B+ | 2 USERS: A+
Getting In

Cut to some playoff bracket graphics presumably being aired on national television, with "television" voice over (oh, how much these TV announcers pale in comparison with Slammin' Sammy!). Then cut to the field, and general game night pageantry. The game starts, the Panthers are scrambling. Slammin' Sammy voice-overs that it appears national coverage has the Panthers dazed and confused. The offense just can't get it together. Arnett Mead runs for a touchdown, and play after play, the receivers are fucking up. Finally Coach calls for the ball to go to Riggins. He runs the ball, in two subsequent plays, and gets the Panthers close enough to kick for 3, which they do. Slammin Sammy exposits that the Panther aerial game has been completely MIA tonight.

Cut inside the locker room, all the assistant coaches are giving various players shit for stinking up the scene. Finally, Coach comes in to put the fear of God in them. He looks at them quietly, and then speaks quietly, asking the boys if they want to end this season tonight. He tells them they've got to get their heads in the game; the offense has got to execute, or he guarantees their season ends tonight. "Understood?" They murmur, "Yes, sir" but Coach CAN'T HEAR THEM! "YES sir." He still can't hear them! "YES SIR!!!" and they jump up shouting and jostling back out of the locker room. The players are a swift stream going one way, but an artfully placed camera -- high up and sort of secreted away -- catches Coach with his arm around Matt's shoulders, leading him in the opposite direction. Oh, that is beautiful.

Grandma Saracen is home, watching the game on television in her bedroom. Shelby is in the living room watching the same game. They both squeal when they see what happens next, Matt Saracen running onto the field, the announcers marveling that he seems to be going in as a receiver. Grandma comes running out of the bedroom, and they both immediately agree they need to get to the field. Get the blanket! What about tickets? Oh, no need for tickets, Jerry's in Grandma's Sunday School class, he'll let them in. Shelby grabs Grandma's jacket and tries to help her into it, and Grandma just about lets her do it, until, "Hold on there a minute! I'm not an invalid! Heavens to Betsy!"

Back at the field, the game is in the third quarter. Grandma and Shelby file into the stands. On the field, Matt is taking big hits, but he holds onto the ball "like he's holdin' onto his wallet." Riggins has the ball, heading for the endzone, and Matt comes in from the side to make a huge block, Riggins sauntering into the endzone. Announcer voice over that Matt Saracen is making the difference in the second half. It's late in the fourth quarter, the Panthers are ahead, but they need a fourth down to keep the ball right now. Tim busts through about six guys hanging onto him, and makes the down. Coach is on the sidelines looking a bit concerned; the Panthers are out of field goal range, but they need to get another first down or else Arnett Mead gets the ball in great field position. Or at least that's what the announcers are telling me is going on. I'm too busy looking at Coach's hair, which is very much "Let's go for it!" right now. And, that's exactly what Coach says now, to the assistant coach, "Let's go for it." Wade thinks it's risky, but Coach calls it: "Slide right, 44 flyer." Tim exposits, "That's you, Seven." And then they're back out on the field, the game hangs in the balance. The snap, Saracen catches it, he stays on his feet during one attempted tackle, and runs a few feet before being brought down. He stretches out as he falls, and the announcers aren't sure if he made the down. Everyone gets up, looking at the referee who slowly makes the motion: first down! Slammin' Sammy: Panthers win! Panthers win! They run down the clock, the fans counting down for them, and they take the win, 10-7. Wade tells Coach it was a good call, and Coach says for nobody's benefit but our own -- "There ya go, baby. There ya go." -- and it is HOT because Coach speaking Coach Speak just hits the spot every time. Matt sees Shelby and Grandma there together; they hug him and praise him, and he marvels that they came together.

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Friday Night Lights




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