When people think of Texas, the first thing that probably comes to mind is southern drawls, sweet tea, and football. No, not college football or even the NFL, I'm talking about good old Friday Night Football. Those three words are enough to make any native Texan reminisce on the glory days of bright stadium lights, healthy (albeit, a little crazy) competition, high school sweethearts, and the best concession stand food you could ever dream of.
Friday Night Football in Texas isn't just another sporting event. These nights are the highlights of the school year that everyone looks forward to. It’s a time for girls to wear a little more makeup than usual to impress their favorite football player, time for people to unite as one and cheer on their alma mater. Most importantly, this is a time to show off school spirit, which small towns are extremely proud of. Before every game, you can find a series of pep rallies, parades, and tailgating parties.
Friday Night Football in Texas isn't just about the football. There's a much deeper meaning to everything surrounding a simple sporting event. Of course, it's amazing to watch your children show off the skills that they have worked so hard for, but years from now, people won't remember who tackled who, they will remember playing with friends and sneaking a kiss behind the bleachers. High school football is a big event in Texas. People drive for miles to sit in the stands and clap along with the cheerleaders. There won't be a person in sight who isn't wearing a t-shirt in the school colors, and the school song is sung just as loudly as the national anthem. To Texans, you can't get more American than this. Friday Night Football in Texas holds a special place in all Texan's hearts, including mine.
Where else can you experience young love, sports, cheesy nachos, family, and music all in one place? Yes, there will be heartbreak and sadness, but even those memories are welcomed with a smile. I remember the first time my school team made it to the playoffs. The whole town of 500 people followed that school bus to every game, and every game we yelled until we could yell no more. It didn't matter if we won. It just mattered that we were united. Nothing else mattered on Friday nights.
It may sound silly, but football games are a source of peace and good fun in almost every Texas town. To people on the outside, it is hard to understand. It is just as hard to explain for people on the inside. Some of my best memories happened at a Friday Night Football Game, and if you ask the rest of Texas, I'm sure they'll agree. There is nothing quite like it, and that's probably for the best. It's crazy, loud, and definitely wild. The nights will be long and the bleachers will be crowded. Sometimes you'll win and sometimes you'll lose, but in the end, you just have to experience it in all of its glory.