The Little Big Folk of the West Texas Friday Night Lights

The Little Big Folk of the West Texas Friday Night Lights

By Jack Walker - Sports Editor

 

 

 

It’s Friday in Texas. The School year has gone and come again and will soon be gone as quickly as the Lone Star weather can shift in the Winter’s moonlight. Northerners and vacationers stop along the lonely highways of the hill country and snap photographs of their company immersed in the inviting bluebonnet fields that scour the landscape as though their existence serves to provide adventurers and explorers with a clue to a secret undiscovered land of wonders—almost an enchanted world that everyone somehow believes –despite their inner logic- does indeed exist however is too easily dismissed as that of a gifted writers imagination, a place of mysteriously delightful lore. {{more}} It begins in Abilene, the Key City that begins the highway drifters journey into the rugged and dangerous sandlots and granite paths to Midland and Odessa, through the giant breezeways carved into the earth by God and the dreamers that chase moments they are completely unaware of yet driven to run after and climb the shifting landscape that is forever the Big Country’s greatest escape and ticket to salvation amidst its barren, spooky and just slightly lit eternal patches of nothing along the roads to nowhere. The High School Football stadiums breath light into the tiny towns that everyone’s never heard of. The blue turf of Trent in between Sweetwater and Tye, perpendicular to Breckenride, Albany and Snyder but parallel with Colorado City and Big Spring down to Stanton where they say the Field of Dreams lights up the entire city as though it’s sole existence is to provide a not so brilliant backdrop for the Cave of Wonders did to accentuate the enigma in tales of the Arabian Nights. This however is far greater, where one second can be too long and make the difference in sheer misery over eternal bliss. This is Football Graceland, the place where tickets are punched to stare in awe and reverence at high school football players as though they were the soldiers of Zion or the Gladiators in the great Roman Coliseum fighting for fairy dust and an automatic entry fee waved to bypass the gaits of Paradise. This is a small town’s salvation and a big city’s abysmal fall of the flat edge of the planet as if it evaporated in mid-air. Like a solar-powered electric circus that shines somehow under stars and below dreary moonlight and intrigue. These are the Friday Night Lights of West Texas where Football is King. The little cities or big towns flex with all their might this time of year, sort of puff up like a strutting peacock trying to impress a suitor. They love and hate each other with the most fragile and ferocious passion known to competition. The colors come to life; speaking softly and shouting with rage and empathy simultaneously. Each blade of grass is a turbulent obstacle inside a wide-open labyrinth with a misplaced map with corners built out of tears and black holes that can make one’s soul go numb or run away and only turn around to smile in satisfaction at the unfortunate lost being it no longer has to live inside. These are the Friday Night Lights of West Texas where Football is EVERYTHING. These are the Friday Night Lights of West Texas where Football is more than EVERYTHING. So breathtaking and intriguing it doesn’t even have to make sense as long as it is compliment to the rugged fearlessness harbored beyond the endless glare that comes from the empty press box in the Spring where even nature knows that Football season is just right around the corner. The sinister Texas heat suddenly is long-forgotten for a few short seconds that seem like centuries because in these parts the whistle is as hypnotic to the ears as the arms of the striped officials who carry them are to the eyes. This is where we get lost in the spirit of the season and find ourselves at end, so so far from what seemed to be such a simple beginning and meanwhile we’re still wondering where we were going with all of this. But that doesn’t matter here. These are the Friday Night Lights of West Texas… where football is so so so much more than everything that it doesn’t matter how we got here— now— to the end and if all of it did make sense it wouldn’t be nearly as much fun as if it didn’t.-Jack Walker, West Texas Tribune Sports Editor and High School Football Beat Writer. Follow his season coverage on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube via/ @MediaStringer.