Friday Night Lights
Mud Bowl

Episode Report Card
Drunken Bee: A | 6 USERS: A
YOU GRADE IT
He Builds It, And They Come

Out at The Field of Dreams, the media circles around while the rival coach whines that he's not going to play on this field. Some sort of independent commissioner is there to read off the requirements for play, which basically are that the field needs to be rectangular. Coach declares that this field is regulation. The Brantley coach continues to complain -- he says he thinking about his fans. Coach is very media-savvy as he first intimates that if it's money the other guy is worried about, the game is sold out, he already made his money. When the other guy backpedals and says it isn't the money but instead the ramshackle quality of the affair, Coach again puts words in his mouth and says that, oh, he sees, the other guy is worried about playing without all the bells and whistles, that he's afraid to come down there and "get your kiesters beat." Coach continues and asks, with his eyes flitting toward the cameras snapping his picture and the folks jotting down his words, "It's a football game. Whaddya need to play football but a field, 22 kids, and a pigskin?" Good lord, Coach Eric Taylor for President! This guy could sell an unjust war to an unsuspecting public no problem!

Er, ba dum dum? But Coach Taylor's reverse psychology works as the rival coach says that his team could beat Taylor's in an ice skating rink wearing nothing but socks. I sort of hope those socks would notbe on their feet, if you know what I mean. The rival coach is on a roll as he tells Coach that if he wants to play on this jenky field, well then "Butch up, Sally, you got a game." Handshake. End scene.

Montage time! Set to The Killers' "Read My Mind." The American flag. Final touches being put on the field. Banners, Cheerleaders practicing. Concessions. Smiling folks. Strange adolescent handshakes. And those Friday Night Lights. A local TV personality narrates to the camera that "not since the days of the leather helmet" have we seen the likes of this gathering, and that it all reminds him a little of Woodstock. He wonders if Jimi Hendrix might be on hand to play the national anthem. I like that little juxtaposition of that moment full of potential in the sixties, all that civic interestedness that got lost in subsequent decades, with this town and this game. Shots of all the characters we know, as well as lots of extras we don't, smiling and clearly totally excited at this unusual turn of events.

Cut over to a seriously weathered old farmer telling Tami that he paid for a fifty-yard-line seat. Tami just waves her arms and tells him to sit wherever he wants, "it's just a big wide-open space out there." God, this is some seriously American-style optimism. And, as cynical as I usually am, I am still a sucker for the idea of these big, wide open spaces. "And that is what football is all about, Charlie Brown."

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Friday Night Lights

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