Friday Night Lights

Episode Report Card
Drunken Bee: A+ | 8 USERS: A+
YOU GRADE IT
On the Inside

Back on the field, the song -- "Sigh Your Children" off of Madonna -- is mixed louder, Slammin' Sammy notes that there's only twenty four minutes of football left in the season, and everyone looks on in anticipation as the second half gets under way. The Titans kick the ball, the Panthers receive and then run it all the way back down the field. They're back in! Next snap, Matt gets the ball to Riggins who runs it into the endzone and then we catch him grinning behind his face mask, sauntering in slow motion as the song changes to something more swaggering and sexed up. Much jumping and clapping and smiling. Another play, another moment of awesomeness. Matt runs the ball himself into the endzone. As Sammy notes, "Coach Taylor's new old offense has his team a touchdown from the lead"-- it's 27-21 Titans.

The Titans snap the ball and drive it right into Panther arms, interception! The Panthers have the ball on the Titan thirty yard line. The snap, Saracen hands the ball off to Riggins who just rears back and launches the ball into the air, and we watch and watch and watch until the ball ends, totally improbably, in Matt Saracen's arms totally alone in the endzone. Aw, what a ridiculous play, but I don't care, because it's SYMBOLIC, see? Riggins and Matt playing football with joy, AS IF they are alone on the field, AS IF there is no pressure.

But now we get serious, the music fades out and we're left just with the noises of the game, and Slammin' Sammy cautioning us that the game is not over, despite the Panther fans cheering like they have it in the bag. There's 37 seconds on the clock and the Titans are driving down the field. And they drive. And then drive some more. And then a little more, until they get to the Panther 19 yard line, with six seconds on the clock. And now is when the somber music comes in, and Coach ruffles his hair, and we cut around to all of our loved ones, concern blazing across everyone's faces. And then, as viewers, we know. They aren't going to win. "This has been a valiant effort by the Dillon Panthers," Sammy says.

The game goes into slow motion, the boys on the sidelines hold hands in a line, the Panther flags run up and down the field as if pageantry could hold the inevitable outcome at bay. In the stands Tami knows, and so do the McCoys. Down on the field, Matt knows, and Tim knows. And Coach knows. And they can't do anything about it except watch the punted ball fly in a perfect arc through the goal posts, can't do anything about it but watch and breathe.

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Friday Night Lights

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