This evening marks the end of one of the best television shows that unfortunately not enough people watched. I have given up on most shows, but you can bet that tonight at 7PM Central, I will tune in to see the series finale of Friday Night Lights on NBC.
I am not sure why I was first drawn to this show. Maybe it was the football or the fact that it was filmed in my city, Austin, TX. But after watching the first episode I was hooked mostly because of the great life lessons that came from the show. It’s not just a show about football; it’s about relationships, passion, and most importantly, leadership!
The leadership aspect in the show is why I can write about it in this blog. Friday Night Lights is about a coach and his wife and how they deal with the many challenges that they face. One of the keys to them overcoming so many things is that they stick together. Too often in our world, couples face adversity and end their relationship. A lot of television shows portray that because for some reason it sells. But the marriage of Eric and Tami Taylor (Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton) is an example for all to follow. Their relationship sold me.
Other than the marriage example, you may be wondering how leadership is present in the show. Well, in the very first episode you have two main leaders. A coach and a star quarterback. Before the end of that episode, you have a coach whose star quarterback has been paralyzed. Only a great leader could lead a team through that, and that’s what Eric Taylor did. Of course, he had other leaders step up like his back-up quarterback, Matt Saracen. He led the team to a State Championship even though no one thought he could. He also did so while juggling school, work, and taking care of his grandmother who had dementia. Everyone he loved abandoned him. But Coach Taylor believed in him and great things happened.
Belief is so important in leadership, and it is clearly present throughout every episode of Friday Night Lights. Throughout the series, every now and then, Coach Taylor would look a player in the eye and tell him “I believe in you.” When he said that, you felt that he really did. You felt that he was saying that to you, the viewer. That’s the sign of a great show.
Friday Night Lights ends this evening, but it will live on. In fact, I think it will have a greater effect now that it is over. I compare it to the movie, Shawshank Redemption. No one cared about it when it came out, but now you would be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t love it. So if you have never seen Friday Night Lights, I encourage you to catch the re-runs, buy the seasons, or watch in on Netflix (or Blockbuster due to some recent pricing changes). You will not be sorry!
But most importantly, I hope that you remember: “Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose!” Don’t just watch the show; go out and take action. Clearly define your goals, your vision for the future. Fully believe in yourself and the people around you! And you will WIN in anything you attempt!
“Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose!”