I grew up in Alabama, and somehow managed to attend the seemingly one public school in the state that didn’t have football. Despite my dad being glued to a TV every Saturday watching an SEC game, I didn’t really grow up with any interest in the sport.
That was, until college, when a search for a book took me into the immense world of both a real and fictional Texas high school team.
I’m not an avid reader, but I do enjoy the occasional book. More specifically, when I want some brain candy, I’ll read a movie novelization – when the book is based on the movie, and not the other way around.
About seven years ago, I was doing what I did most nights in college – sitting in front of my computer surfing the Internet in between writing a 15-page term paper. Thinking about books to read, I stumbled onto the IMDB page for Varsity Blues.
Remember that high school classic?
I thought the novelization might be a fun, quick read and I was looking for it after seeing it in the movie credits. Some 30 minutes later, and to no avail, I discovered that Varsity Blues was loosely based on a book from the 1980s called Friday Night Lights. A few online library searches later and I was on my way that weekend to check out a copy.
I throughly enjoyed the book, but didn’t think much about it after I finished it. Until only a few days later.
I was lying in bed watching Jay Leno, when I saw a commercial with a teenage boy in black shorts running down the street – like he was training for something. It was a trailer for a movie – the Friday Night Lights movie. I darted up in the bed. I’d just read the book literally days ago – now a movie? I should point out I had no prior knowledge that a movie had been made. On an unrelated note, thee main character was played by a guy that grew up a couple of towns over, and we used to play his school, in basketball, of course.
Fast forward to seeing the movie on opening night and me buying the DVD with my college money the day it came out.
Fast forward a couple of years later, and me sitting at my parents house one day. I saw a commercial for FNL the television show. I knew it was gonna be good.
Ultimately, life (and a job) set in and I didn’t make it past the first few episodes. A few years later, I ran across the DVD set in Target, and thought, “yea, yea, need to get into that… need to watch it one day…”
Then Netflix Instant came about – and every episode was on Netflix Streaming. On my husband’s suggestion, I decided to start watching. My husband and I watched an episode every single day. When the fourth season started on Direct TV, we waited and watched again.
I fell absolutely in love with this show. Describing how I really feel about this show would make me sound like a silly little fangirl, so I won’t go there. To put it simply – I told my husband: “This is my Star Wars.”
Even though I have the fifth (and final) season on DVD, I’m spreading it out as long as possible.
I close with this, which I truly believe to be one the the greatest television promos of all time: