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Posts Tagged ‘Landry’

Matt's not the only one crying.

Yes, I know my TV blogs became few and far between as I got caught up in my fic writing but that doesn’t mean I stopped watching my beloved shows.  And now that they’ve all faded to black for the summer, the only new thing going right now is Friday Night Lights.

I was thrilled to get it back but I’ve had a bit of disconnect this year.  This is not surprising since it was gone for an entire year, plus the majority of the young cast that I know and love was either gone or limited.  Sure, Matt was there but he was only a shell of a man most of the time (I’ll get back to him in a moment as he’s what this post is about) and Riggins is back to being a wastrel.  I hated JD from the get go and I’m certainly not going to like him now.  Coach Taylor has had to be a complete hardass to get his new football program going and Mrs. Taylor’s all caught up in politics and football.  I was watching and still interested but not nearly as much as I was previously.  That’s all changed due to the last two episodes, but I’ll be back with that shortly as well.

First, I want to discuss the new guys.  Specifically Vince and Luke.  I love the similarities and dichotomies between these two.  Both are poor, although Vince’s circumstances are far worse than Luke’s.  Luke works on his family’s farm and has to deal with getting up at the crack of dawn, doing chores, school, football, more chores…etc.  Now, he was at Dillon West, starring on the team there but it was found that he didn’t live in the new boundary line and they lied to try to keep him but he was forced to go to Dillon East and he wasn’t happy about it.  But he wants to play so he’s out there and working.  JD and his fellow assmunches are still trying to drag Luke into being a prick and attacking his teammates but Luke told them to go to hell recently which I enjoyed greatly.

Vince is in a single parent family and his mother is a drug addict who doesn’t pay the bills.  He’s got similar friend pressures like Luke but his are pressuring him into a life of crime.  He’s already got a record and if he gets caught again he’s in juvie.  He and Luke have butted heads several times but seem to have reached a detente now that Luke isn’t hanging around with JD and Coach laid down the law.  Vince’s situation tears are the heartstrings.  He found his mother passed out on a couch outside and carried her into their powerless apartment.  I find myself rooting for him to stay the hell out of trouble.

What’s interesting is just how real this situation is but it doesn’t hit you until you see it raw and personal like FNL portrayed it.  My school has been well known for taking on kids from “bad” backgrounds.  Some of them stayed out of trouble, others didn’t, and of course the ones that didn’t get all the pub.  I myself have muttered about “thug” players a time or two but never really stopped to think about the circumstances that might have created them.  Vince’s situation opens my eyes in a way that they rarely have been before.  I find myself rooting hard for him to stay on the path that Coach has put before him but fearing the worst.  I really like the kid, though not as much as I love my Matty and Smash and co.

My heart breaks for Matt.

Matt…good God he’s broken my heart two weeks in a row.  Like, I’ve been a sobbing mess several times over.  FNL is one of the only shows that does to me consistently and Matt and Smash have probably been my two biggest culprits.  Oh, before I launch into Matt, let me say that I was nearly screamed with joy when Coach was watching a game on TV and the announcer talked about Brian “Smash” Williams whipping off a 22 yard run and being something spectacular to see and saying he might be a starter soon.  I love that Smash is doing well.  And yes, I am aware that he’s fictional.  He doesn’t feel that way though.  None of the kids on this show do.  That’s why I adore it.

This season was sorely lacking in Seracen, at least in my humble opinion.  Understandable since he’s out of college and just working as a pizza deliveryman and dating Julie, but still, I missed the hell out of him.  And I hated seeing him look so defeated and stuck.  I never wanted that for him even though I did want him to stick around for my own selfish purposes.  I adore Matt Seracen, plain and simple.  He put aside his art school aspirations to take care of his grandmother and be there for Julie and he’s just been treading water ever since.

It wasn’t until his father was killed over in Iraq that things came to a real head for Matt.  His “artistic apprenticeship” with some weirdo really did nothing for me except show how much Matt didn’t really belong there anymore.  And it broke my heart because I truly want nothing but happiness for that poor character.  The ironic thing about his father’s death waking him up is that his father did the selfish thing by leaving his family behind.  Now, I’m not saying that going and serving in the military is selfish.  It most certainly is not and my father spent 26 years in the Air Force so that would be beyond ignorant to say.  But his dad knew that his family needed him, he was out and he couldn’t deal with family life so he went back in.  He died the way he wanted to and that was fine for him but it was terribly hurtful for his son, who was selfless for his family and truly just wanted his father to be someone he could love, someone like Coach Taylor.

And it killed me when he went to dinner at Julie’s after finally getting to see his father’s body.  He had to confirm with his own eyes that his father was dead and seeing it destroyed him.  He tried to hold it together but he just lost it, telling them that he had to give a eulogy for someone he hated and he just wanted to tell him that he hated him but how could he talk to someone who didn’t have a face?   He freaked out and left.  Watching him walk away and watching Coach Taylor go after him and give him that shoulder to lean on, act like the father he always wanted…well it’s making me cry again and I can’t begin to capture it in words.  It just killed me.

A happy moment before the tears, sorry so small, NBC did not have it any bigger, damn them.

This week, Matt was Mr. Solid.  He was fine; joking, throwing the football, wondering why anyone would be worried about him.  Julie convinced him to go to a concert in Austin with her, without her parents approval.  All was well until Landry called him and told him that Mrs. Taylor had not given Julie permission to go and that triggered an argument with Julie wherein he revealed that he didn’t want her parents to hate him, particularly Coach.  Again, the father he wishes he had.  Their argument led to Julie saying that he should go, she could feel how much he wanted out.  She cried and they made up and went to their concert and he asked her if she really did want him to leave.  She told him no, she loved him and he kissed her and that was that.

Tami Taylor is a fabulous mother, putting aside her anger to comfort her daughter.

But it wasn’t that, because the idea was there, in his head.  He went to drop her off and they had a sweet kiss and whispered I love you’s and a heartbreaking smile and “I’ll see you later,” from Matt.  Julie went into the house and just broke down, because she knew.  And I knew.  And Mrs. Taylor even knew, because though she’d been waiting to lay into Julie, she ended up holding her while she cried and told her mother that she knew she was losing him, that he was going to leave.

We cut to Matt’s house, where he sat in the car and listened to his mother and grandmother though the window talking about the $100,000 in death benefits she was getting from the military and what they could do with it.  And just like that, he was free.  His mother was there with grandma and they had enough money to get by and he could go.  So he did.

The next shot, the final shot, was of him driving past a field, the sun shining and finally, blessedly, a small and real smile on his face for the first time in ages.  He was free and he was going somewhere to do something.  Maybe to Chicago to go to his art school, maybe anywhere.  And I cried then and I’m crying thinking about it.  I’m so happy for him, striking out to find his happiness, but so sad for Julie and for myself for not getting to see him until maybe a cameo in the 5th season.

Zach Guilford is a completely talented actor and I hope he tunes up in something soon.  I connected with his character more than any other on this show and the thought of not seeing him weekly makes me completely sad but at least Matt got to go out on his terms to find his dream.  I don’t ever want to see him beaten down again.

I need a hug from Coach Taylor, stat.

Bravo, FNL.  Just when I was thinking you’d lost your magic, you brought it back in a major way.  I will miss Matt more than I can say but I will enjoy the new characters you have given me.  The title of this episode was aptly named “Stay” and that’s what I’ll be doing, when it comes to this show.  Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.  My eyes aren’t clear since I’ve been crying, but this show always fills my heart.  I’m glad it’s back.

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Coach gets a surprise to end the season, not a good one.

Coach gets a surprise to end the season, not a good one.

The thing that sucks about FNL only being 13 episodes a season is that it feels like it ends too quickly.  I’m not complaining though since I get two more 13 episode seasons to enjoy the Taylors and the show.  This week was all about changing and moving on.  Some voluntarily, some not so.

Tyra & Landry share a happy moment when she gets into UT.

Tyra & Landry share a happy moment when she gets into UT.

I guess we can definitely kiss Lyla and Tyra goodbye next year.  Both of them are headed to the schools of their choice, Vanderbilt and UT respectively.  Tyra had to claw and scrape to get into UT but she found out that she was in and got to share that moment with Landry.  I know those two probably won’t stay together but damned if I didn’t enjoy them this whole episode.  I loved it when he laid into Tyra about believing in herself and stopping her pity party.  And I loved that after that, when she got the letter and he was driving away she stopped him and he was there for her as she read whether or not she got in.  They’re an odd couple but they work.

Will Tim really go to college?  For now it looks like yes.

Will Tim really go to college? For now it looks like yes.

Lyla, meanwhile, was going to go to San Antonio State with Riggins much to her father’s dismay but he decided to swallow his pride and ask his brother for money so she could go to Vandy.  Lyla was going to give up that opportunity to stay with Tim but he talked her out of it.  Of course, part of the reason he did that was he was hoping to not go to college at all and just work with his brother in his new auto shop.  I thought for sure that’s where we were headed but Billy actually put his foot down and told Tim he’s going to college to make something of himself and to make his family proud.  I suppose the door is potentially open for a Riggins return, no way do they want to lose all the guys we have grown to love, but we’ll see.

Hee, this picture does not fully capture the wedding cheese but you get the idea.

Hee, this picture does not fully capture the wedding cheese but you get the idea.

Before I get on to the Taylors, I must express my joy at the fact that we got to see Mindy and Billy have their cheesy wedding.  While I didn’t get to hear the Finding Nemo vows (BOO) at least I got to laugh at her ridiculous dress.   I know, I’m a bitch, but that was hilarious.

Anyway, for once Coach Taylor doesn’t feel the axe hanging over his head at the end of the season, so of course this season he gets dumped.  Or, gets a new job I guess.  He and Buddy were out on the recruitment trail (which I totally didn’t know high schools did, but okay) and they were informed by a recruits parents that Joe McCoy and the QB trainer who called plays at the end of the season had already visited.  Coach was a bit perturbed by this and by the news that QB trainer was supposedly head coach of the Panthers.  He stopped off to confront Joe and Joe told him that if he could guarantee that JD would be starter unless injured then he could stay.  Coach is not about that so he refused and walked out.

Tami tells her man she'll always be standing by him.

Tami tells her man she'll always be standing by him.

Tami is told by one of the school officials that she might not want to go to the board meeting since they’ll be discussing her husbands job.  She refuses not to attend and tells Coach that he should come and fight for his job as well.  He’s not too thrilled about it but he does show up and make a little speech about loving Dillon and how it would be a mistake to let him go.  Tami finds him at the wedding after and lets him know with facial expressions and head shakes that he was not retained as head coach of the Panthers.  But it seems that they want him to be the coach at the new high school they’re creating, East Dillon, the Lions.  Seems to me he needs to take that job and then go out and beat McCoys ass, doesn’t it?

I didn’t like this one little bit but I knew it was coming (the only spoiler I stumbled across) so I was prepared.  The one thing that did please me is that Buddy was actually clueless to the treachery behind the scenes.  It would have angered me if he knew and didn’t clue coach in.  Buddy is few good things but he does seem to genuinely like Eric Taylor, so I can accept him for that purpose.  Joe McCoy is a gigantic ass and I truly hope that he has to eat a ton of crow next season.  I hate that guy.

Matt & Grandma at the nursing home, not for long!

Matt & Grandma at the nursing home, not for long!

I had to save my favorite for last.  Matty!  Matt took his grandmother to the nursing home and was preparing for heading to Chicago.  Julie was struggling with it but not saying anything, only telling her mom that she loves him and doesn’t want him to leave even though she knows he has to.  Matt was also extremely guilty about putting Grandma in the home and things came to a head at the wedding.  Julie decided to break up with him so they wouldn’t waste time trying to have a long distance relationship and breaking up down the road.  Matt just looked at her and told her “No” and she said “You can’t say no to this” and he said he could and got her to sit on his lap.  He told her loved her and they’d make it work.  My foolish heart melted.

Julie also made a comment about how much Grandma would have loved the wedding and Matt ran off to the nursing home to pick her up.  He told her that she had taken care of him all his life and he was going to do the same for her and he wasn’t leaving.  I know, this is not the right life choice for Matt, he should go out into the world and learn and become whoever he’s going to be.  The unselfish part of me recognizes that.  But the selfish part?  Rejoiced when Matt and Grandma showed up at the wedding and it was clear that he was going to stay in Dillon with Julie where he belongs.  He deserves better but I deserve to see him next year, for he’s probably the only player that I love that will be back full time.  I’ve lost Smash (who got a mention, I cheered!) and probably Riggins, so I need my Matt.  I just do.  And though it’s ridiculous to think that Matt & Julie will stay together forever at least I can live with the illusion for awhile longer, right?

So those were the big happenings to wrap things up on season 3.  Everybody was still together but some big changes were coming and we’ll see what season 4 holds.  Hopefully we’ll get to see some of our departing seniors now and then, or at least hear mentions of them.  I was hoping against hope that Smash would show up at the meeting and stick up for Coach Taylor but it didn’t happen….sigh.  Maybe next year.  At least we’re getting a next year!  I guess next year I’ll be saying Go Lions huh?  That’ll be different, but no doubt still good!

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Tim leaves high school football behind.

Tim leaves high school football behind.

Way to harsh my buzz, Friday Night Lights!  There we were, the championship game, little Matt Seracen has lead the team back from a 27 point deficit and the crowd is going wild.  This is a time when being a real football fan pays off, because I looked at the time remaining in the game, 1:30, and I said, oh no, that’s way too much time.  And sure enough, the other team drove the field and kicked a field goal.  I was given enough to time to hope that someone would block the kick, then enough time to hope that it would bounce off the goal post and the Panthers would be victorious.  But no, no, they had the ball sail through the uprights and the other team won the state championship.  Major bummer.  Reminded me so much of watching my own team lose close games over and over again that I actually felt a little sick.

Coach Taylor sees the championship go down the drain.

Coach Taylor sees the championship go down the drain.

I know, the show peaked too early.  They let the Panthers win the championship in their first season, which was great.  Last year was a failure for the team (and the writing staff).  This year everything was back on track.  Seracen and Riggins were departing seniors, the freshman phenom was stepping up and taking charge, things were great.  And then, you let them lose!  WHY?  WHY??  I know why, so the town can turn on Coach Taylor as they tend to do in these situations.  Still, I didn’t like it.  I wanted my boys to go out as winners.  Coach tried to tell them they still were after the game but it didn’t look like they bought into that whole idea.  The show ended poignantly with Riggins leaving his shoes behind at his last high school game.

In other news, Matt is thinking about going to art school in Chicago, much to Julie’s chagrin and his grandmother’s horror.  I was glad Julie acted somewhat mature about it but Grandma had to act like a helpless 2 year old again and guilt Matt into likely staying.  She seemed to regret that during the game, telling Julie she didn’t want to hold him back, but we’ll see if her actions end up backing up her words.

Bonding time in the truck over an essay.

Bonding time in the truck over an essay.

Things are looking up for Landry; he got promoted to a special teams starter and seems to have Tyra back (for now at least).  Of course he nearly ruined the special teams thing by getting drunk and missing the bus to the game but Tyra got him there in time.  I really do like those two together, he makes her a much better person.

I had to laugh out loud when Lyla announced to her father that she was going to go to San Diego State with Riggins and get a place together!  The look of horror on Buddy’s face was awesome.  That’ll teach you to steal your daughter’s college money, Buddy!  HA!

Let the war again, McCoy vs. Taylor.

Let the war again, McCoy vs. Taylor.

Looks like the Taylors are going to have some major issues with the McCoys from here on out.  They reported Joe McCoy to Child Services because they are required by law.  JD stormed in and demanded to know why Coach would do that and gave him a lot of attitude.  Mrs. McCoy and Tami no longer seem to be friends either thanks to them having to attend parenting classes and losing their kid if anything happens again.  JD responded to the family pressure by having a crappy game and screaming at his teammates so he got benched.  Next week Coach is yelling at Joe McCoy about destroying his family or something, so clearly retaliation is at hand.  Fun!

The Taylors will weather this next storm together, as always!

The Taylors will weather this next storm together, as always!

This episode was definitely a bummer with the small exception of Tyra/Landry and Lyla pulling the rug out from under her father.  I do think things will turn out well for Matt and Julie will have to deal with whatever he decides; the crappy thing about dating an older guy in high school.  I was there once upon a time!  Ahhh the memories.  I am still thrilled that FNL has been picked up for 2 more years, I need the Taylors in my life (and hopefully guest appearances by Smash and Matt and Riggins from time to time? PLEASE???)  Clear eyes, warm hearts, we’ll win again!

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The lovebirds bask in the afterglow before an untimely interruption!

The lovebirds bask in the afterglow before an untimely interruption!

I have again been lax in my Friday Night Light posts, not because I haven’t been loving the show as always but because I get distracted on the weekend and I’ve been outta town too.  So I’m going to make up for it and talk about the three or so episodes I’ve missed, hitting the highlights and things that really stood out to me.

Matt & Julie

My favorite couple on the show, aside from Coach and Mrs. Taylor, has far and away been Matt & Julie.  I struggled through last year with her being a mega-bitch and him sleeping with his grandma’s nurse and this year I’m getting major payoff.  They finally made love when Julie attacked him at the lake and have been happy together since.  Of course the big news was her father walking in on the two of them in bed together.  Coaches running out of the house reaction was priceless as was his silence on the drive home and his abrupt announcement to Tammy in bed.  It was all just so adorable but I was mortified for him and Julie of course.  I cannot imagine being in their place; what a nightmare that would be!

Of course Tami needed to talk to her daughter and what I saw was one of the most real, touching sex talks between parent and child that’s ever been done.  I was in tears watching Tami talk to Julie about sex and responsibility and what it means to love that way.  Julie’s fear that her parents would be disappointed in her was so real as was Tami’s sadness that she hadn’t wait but understanding for her at the same time.  Major kudos to Connie Britton and Aimee Teegarden for that scene.  It was beautifully done.

Lyla & her father

God, is there a bigger waste of space in Dillon than Buddy Garrity?  Well, yes, there is but we’ll get to him later.  Buddy apparently invested in some guy’s venture and lost $75,000, all of which was Lyla’s college fund.  After all her fighting to get Riggins to take his future seriously, hers is suddenly in doubt.  She blew up at her dad and moved into Tim’s house after a night at the Taylor’s.  They’re so fabulous, I want the Taylor’s to be real.  Anyway, since staying with Tim she’s been partying with Billy and Missy.  You know you’re in trouble when Tim Riggins is the responsible one in your relationship.  I think he got through to her at the end of this weeks episode, so hopefully she’ll reign it in and work on her future.  She can get loans if she has to.

Tyra & Landry

They’re making baby steps back together I think.  What had to happen for these two did happen; Landry called her on how she uses him and told her he wasn’t going to stand it anymore.  Julie backed up Landry’s truths and Tyra took a look and realized she was using him constantly.  She hooked his band, the hilariously named Crucifictorious, up with a gig and that has put them back on the path to friendship.  Of course he was busy helping her set up her sister’s bridal shower this last episode, but I think the using is tempered down somewhat.  We’ll see.  For me Tyra’s really only likable when Landry is around so I hope things work out for them.

JD McCoy & his father

The biggest douche in the town of Dillon is Jack McCoy; he’s definitely worse than Buddy.  You see, his son has dared to decide that he wants to have a life outside of football and he’s getting into girls.  Or one girl in particular, Madison.  Mr. McCoy took it upon himself to call the girls parents and demand that she stay away from him until after the season is over, but they weren’t having that.  JD refuses to stay away from her and that’s driving him nuts.  Worse, in his eyes, is that JD is not listening to him when it comes to football anymore.  He’s running the plays the way he wants to and listening to his coach.  His father fumed the whole playoff game because JD was throwing despite rainy conditions.  JD threw a pick and he nearly lost his mind.

Of course, JD also threw the game winning 2 point conversion (ballsy call by Coach Taylor when 1 would have tied and taken it to OT) but was his father happy?  No, he wasn’t.  And he stewed about it the whole way to the restaurant while JD chatted with Madison.  Then he screamed at him to get off the phone and laid into him in the parking lot.  JD said he wasn’t going to give up the girl and he won the game and his father needs to chill.  They started pushing each other and next thing you know, Mr. McCoy is whaling on JD while his mother screams.  Coach and Tami saw this from the restaurant and ran out to stop him; taking Mrs. McCoy and JD to their home for the night.  JD and Coach had a heartfelt talk about his dad’s actions and Coach said he was there for them and had them stay over.  Is it any wonder I adore the Taylors?

The other big happening is they want to redistrict the schools and create a new one that would cost the team some of it’s star players.  Buddy and the fellow douche boosters do not want this and are redrawing the boundary lines to their liking.  It’s rather hilarious.  Coach is worried about losing his players but he’s more worried about the way that the boosters are controlling things.  I kinda got spoiled on where this is going and it should be interesting to watch how things play out.

So those are the big happenings in the town of Dillon that I hadn’t discussed the last few weeks.  I still adore this show beyond all measure and some recent reports indicate that it might be given another 2 year Direct TV/NBC order, which thrills me to no end.  The Panthers are headed to state and it looks like Matty is going to have step back in at QB next week, which thrills me to no end.  He’s so my favorite, at least now that Smash isn’t there. Looking forward to it.  Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose!  Go Panthers!

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Smash plays one last game on his high school field; look at that face!

Smash plays one last game on his high school field; look at that face!

This week’s FNL brought a smile to my face and honest to goodness tears to my eyes.  Smash is on his way to college and I reacted like a proud family member rather than a silly TV watcher, but that’s just the effect this show can have on you.  I’ll get to that shortly, but briefly discuss the rest of the show first.

Tyra catches Cash's eye.

Tyra catches Cash's eye.

Tyra met her a cowboy!  An honest to goodness rodeo star.  And it came at the expense of her friendship with Landry.  Though they broke up they seem to spend as much time together as a regular couple and she promised to be there to entertain Landry after he had his wisdom teeth pulled.  But of course the cowboy came a calling and Tyra blew Landry off for him.  Landry ran into her with Cash and figured out that she’d lied.  Big confrontation during which he tells her that she’s practically his girlfriend and she disputes that, but I gotta say, she really kinda is.  Anyway, she chose stranger boy so Landry washed his hands of her.

Landry confronts Tyra and her cowboy.

Landry confronts Tyra and her cowboy.

Matt’s mom showed up out of the blue to help him out with his grandmother.  At first Matt wasn’t embracing this idea but he decided to let her take Grandma to the doctor.  She didn’t like that at all; apparently she has a lot of hatred for her son’s ex, but Matt convinced her to go.  Later, Mom tried to insert herself again by grocery shopping and Matt told her off in front of Julie.  Then Grandma told him that maybe she wasn’t so bad after all and Matt met her for lunch and agreed to let her spend some time with him and help him out and be a mother to him for the first time ever.

Coach talks to Tammy about his QB dilemma.

Coach talks to Tammy about his QB dilemma.

The best story, my favorite story other than Smash himself; was with the Coach and Tammy Taylor.  Coach had to determine the best way to win this week’s game and he was feeling the pressure of whether or not to start Matt.  He had a wonderful conversation with Tammy in which he told her that he knew he needed to get JD starting, he was their best chance to win, but that he knows just how much it would hurt Matt to be removed as the starter.  This touched me, because it’s very rare for a football coach to think about a kids personal life when making decisions that affect the whole team.  Coach finally decided to get JD McCoy some playing time; decided it was best to let the boys be co-starters, with Matt running the i-formation plays (which is the running back in the backfield behind the QB for the non initiated) and JD run the spread offense (no running back in the back field, he and the receivers are split wide and spread out).   Matt’s not thrilled but I think he’s a lot less upset about it than he would have been had he been booted completely.

Matt's not too thrilled to be sharing time with JD.

Matt's not too thrilled to be sharing time with JD.

Tammy, meanwhile, after way too many stubborn attempts to fight the scoreboard, finally gave in on the issue and let Buddy put up his damn Jumbotron.  But she actually got wise and more or less blackmailed him and the board into having some kind of charity event to raise money for the academic side of the school.  I don’t know why it took her so long, that’s what I would have done from the get go.  I’d say, you want a scoreboard then get me matching funds for academics and you can have your stinkin’ Jumbotron.

Smash listens as Coach Taylor demands he get his tryout.

Smash listens as Coach Taylor demands he get his tryout. Look at that face, he's in awe.

And now, to my Smash!  The day of the tryout was approaching and Smash tried to feel the coach out about which coach he was going to be auditioning for.  Turned out it was a front office exec and not a coach but Coach convinced him that it would be okay.  They arrive at the college and are ignored for over an hour, then told that there’s just no time to try out today.  Coach takes Smash over to the head coach and demands that he give him that tryout.  The college coach is none too pleased but admires the moxie Eric Taylor had in demanding that he look at his kid.  What was beautiful was watching Smash’s face as he listened to Coach Taylor push for him and talk about his heart out on the field.  He looked touched and in awe and completely blown away by his coaches faith in him.  He also looked like he was going to cry.  This is when I started crying by the way.  They let Smash line up with the starting offense and he has a couple of nice runs and catches, then whips off a long one for a TD.  Watching Smash light up that football field made my day.  The coach asks Coach Taylor which knee Smash hurt because he couldn’t tell watching him run; Eric smiles and tells him that’s exactly the point, isn’t it?  The coach makes no promises right then and there but you can tell that Smash is in.  He says he’ll call him.

Smash gets the call and first pulls a fake out on his Momma, making her think it was just some random call.  Then he tells her he’s going to college and you can just feel the joy from the whole family.  And then, this was truly beautiful, he went over to tell Coach that he got in.  I loved this moment so much that I’m just gonna document it word for word.  I want to have it here to remember and review anytime I want.  Cheesy I know, but it really did set me to bawling my eyes out.  I watched it 3 times and it never got less touching.

Smash:  Coach, I’ve been called.  I’m in.

Coach:  Is that right? (priceless look on his face)

Smash (talking fast):  He wants me at practice in the morning.  I’m leaving tonight, the guys are driving me.  I just figured I’d stop by before I left.

Coach:  Got your playbook?

Smash:  It’s in the car.

Coach:  Remember what I told you about those dorm rooms down there right?  Athletic dorm is nothing but trouble.

Smash:  Yes sir.

Coach:  You better not be skipping any classes and keeping your grades up.  I’m gonna keep an eye on them.  (both guys are talking at the same time, coach trying to give him fatherly advice and Smash trying to stop him).

Smash:  Coach, just hold up.  (Teary voice).  I wanted to stop by and say thank you.  You know.  For everything.  I couldn’t have done any of this without you and that’s for real.

Coach shakes his hand and gives him a hug as Tammy watches with a smile.  He tells him he wants some OU tickets and parking passes.  Coach watches as he drives away with Landry, Matt and Riggins.  Those 4 head to the football field and play a quick game, with Smash getting a TD and grinning a mile wide and saying, “Where you at baby, where you at?”

And thus ends Smash’s run on the show, though I have high hopes that he’ll reappear from time to time on college breaks.  I’d love to see him stop by and tell Coach about college.  I’d love to see Coach get his OU tickets and go watch the player that he went out on such a limb for play his college ball.  All of this took place within the last 20 minutes and it was the best part of this show for me.  The best of the 3 years it’s been on.  The way Coach Taylor cares for those boys just reaches out and grabs you by the throat and you have to feel for them too.  Having the boys recognize that and appreciate it is wonderful.  Kudos, FNL.  I will always remember this episode and I will always love it.

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