I had the greatest drive home last night after golf. It was about 8:00p. The sun had set an hour or so before, and there was the slightest drizzle of rain on the windshield. I drove through two little towns and three or four suburbs. As I did, there was this amazing glow of white lights in every town.
As I got closer to the lights, I had to smile one of those big, cheesy smiles. You know the kind that you might try to hold in where there anyone else around? It just made me so happy to see all the cars in the parking lots at the high school football games. I wanted to stop and take it all in, but I found that I didn't need to – I already knew what I would find. It's the same in every town – Friday Night Lights.
The lights danced off the raindrops as I drove past neighbors coming together to cheer for their towns. Complete strangers were living and dying on the drama. I can just imagine them cheering the big plays. The high-fives of dads & neighbors and the boastful pride of hundreds of mothers as their children lived out their dreams of playing for their high school team.
In my mind, I could imagine the kids playing under the lights with just the awe-inspiring power of the wall of sound from the stands — the bands, the cheers, the fans. Kids who had practiced for years with hardly anyone noticing were now getting to play for thousands. By Saturday morning, strangers who hardly noticed these kids existed will commend their efforts. Come Monday, teachers and classmates will be talking about the game — the big play, the big stop, the amazing catch — as well as this week's game.
People ask, "Why do you love football?" How can you not? Under the glow of the lights, with an entire town gathered on a Friday night… legends were being born and heroes were being made.