Joe Dyton

Posts Tagged ‘J.D. McCoy’

Friday Night Lights recap: “Tomorrow Blues”

In Friday Night Lights on April 11, 2009 at 2:49 am

Editor’s note: This entry was originally posted on January 19, 2009 after DirecTV’s run of “Friday Night Lights'” third season. It has been updated now that NBC has concluded its run and the announcement has been made that the show will be back for two more seasons.

Hello Dillon Panther fans! Tonight, NBC finished its Season Three run of “Friday Night Lights” with the season finale, “Tomorrow Blues.” Now everyone has had a chance to watch this wonderful season unfold!

As for the season finale itself, what else can I say besides it was excellent. Even without any game play, there were plenty of stories that kept us in suspense, mainly Coach Taylor’s future with the team. We also spent the hour wondering if Tyra would get into college and if Lyla would stick with her plan of going to San Antonio State with Tim or attend her dream school Vanderbilt courtesy of funding from Buddy’s less-than-beloved brother, Gary. Let’s take a look at what happended, shall we?…

Coach Taylor, thanks for the memories.

Wow, football really is a, “What have you done for me lately” type of business, isn’t it? Despite leading Dillon to three straight playoff appearences, which included a state championship and another state finals appearance, Eric was shown the door to make room J.D. McCoy’s personal quarterback coach, Wade Aikman. Did anyone find this as ridiculous as I did? I guess money talks, as the board felt they’d rather have Joe McCoy’s financial backing amongst the boosters than Coach Taylor’s coaching experience. I think what surprised me the most about the situation was when Joe was more or less threatening to have Eric fired, one of his demands that J.D. would be the starting quarterback next season. Was there any doubt he would be? The kid led the team to the state finals (although he was pulled), was named the high school player of the year and Saracen was graduating. Of course, he was going to start at QB next year.

Joe’s other demand is probably what more so made Eric tell Joe to “stick it.” He wanted Wade to call the plays, which would make Eric’s current offensive coordinator, Mac obsolete. I was happy that Eric stuck to his guns and told Joe he knew what he could do with his “opportunity,” even if it did cost him his job. I liked that Coach did the right thing and showed up at the board meeting to defend himself.

His speech was short and sweet, but true: “If you want to replace me with a guywith a lot money whose son has a rocket of arm, you are wrong. You are dead wrong.” I was paraphrasing, but you get the idea. And who knows, maybe by him showing up, it helped him land his new gig: as head coach of the East Dillon Panthers. I wonder if I could place a bet somewhere that next season, East Dillon will face Dillon in a crucial winner-take-all matchup. It’s just a hunch, that’s all.

Tyra’s going to be a Longhorn!

After what seemed to be an uphill battle a season and a half, Tyra battled her way into not only college, but a good one, Texas U. It’s funny how when this show started, she was more or less a fringe character, but now she’s front and center and a wonderful part in this cast. When she opened her acceptance letter, I felt that was one of the most triumphant moments in the show, maybe the most triumphant since Smash dove into the end zone to win the state title in the Season One finale, “State.”

With this storyline, came a great pep talk, or maybe it was more of a venting session from Landry. After Tyra stormed the Texas admissions office begging for a slot on the freshman call sheet and found out she had a one in a thousand shot of getting off of the wait list, she really began feeling sorry for herself. Thankfully, Landry, the voice of reason, finally got out of the car because he couldn’t take her whining anymore. Basically he told her she can be anything she wants to be and needs to believe in herself. I can’t help but wonder what will happen with these two, who make a good couple. They bring out the best in each other.

Lyla and Riggins part ways

Well, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that Tim and Lyla were going to San Antonio State together in the fall. As it turns out, Buddy may have found a way for his fisrt-born to go to Vanderbilt after all. It seems like he’s willing to swallow his pride and his brother for the money. Which begs the question, why didn’t Buddy think of this weeks ago when Lyla moved out because she was so mad that he blew her college fund? Wouldn’t that have saved everyone a lot of heartache and aggrevation?

The answer is yes, but of course that would not have made for great drama. As great as “FNL” is, it is still a TV show.

To add more drama, Lyla had the ultimate decision to make: go to SAS with Riggins, or attend her dream college? She predictably decided to stand by her man and go to the lesser school. But Tim unpredictiably wouldn’t let her do it. He didn’t want to be “that guy” that asks his girlfriend to stay only to resent him for it later. I have to say that Tim has really grown from the slacker who only loved girls and football in the beginning of the series. He really has become quite wise, even if he almost decided not go to college. Thank goodness his brother Billy told him he had to go to college if for nothing else to show his future niece or nephew, or maybe even his own kids that anything is possible if you go to college. That was a very touching moment between the Riggins Bros.

Speaking of bad decisions…

Matt’s staying in Dillon?

Last week we learned out of nowhere that Matt was an incredible artist, which got him into the Art Institute of Chicago. Everything looked like it was set up for him to head up to the Windy City. He and his mother were packing up the house so Grandma Saracen could make her way to a retirement community. But then he pulls a 180 and decides to take his grandmother out of there and that he’s not going anywhere. Huh? I understand Matt feels he owes his grandmother because she’s the only person who never left him. And that he didn’t want to break up with Julie, I get it. But I just don’t buy him giving all of that up, even though it’s something his character would do. I guess I was more suprised that his grandmother didn’t give him the same “Go” speech that Tim gave to Lyla. I can’t wait to see what Matt’s doing with himself next season. I’m hoping after he and Grandma danced, she talked some sense into him, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s working at the Alamo Freeze in the Season Four premiere.

What happens now?

With Riggins, Lyla and Tyra all headed of to college and Coach Taylor taking over a new team, our beloved show will have a new look next year. I have to give Jason Katims, the writer of this excellent episode, a lot credit. The episode ending the way it did (with Eric and Tami standing in the center of the poor-looking East Dillon field looking around) made it a perfect season or series finale. Fortunately, we now know that this was only a season finale.

Two random notes because I didn’t know where else to put them:

*I loved the cowboy hats Billy and his groomsmen wore during the wedding.

*How nice of the Eric and Tami to buy Julie her first car.

What did you think of this episode, and this season as a whole? How excited are you that “FNL” will be back for not just one, but at least two more seasons? Feel free to comment below!

Have a comment, question or criticism for Joe? He can be reached at


Friday Night Lights recap: It Ain’t Easy Being J.D. McCoy

In Friday Night Lights on February 27, 2009 at 8:56 pm

It Ain’t Easy Being J.D. McCoy


Greetings Dillon Panther fans!


I apologize for the delay in getting my “FNL” recaps posted. Starting with this Friday’s episode, “Keeping Up Appearances,” I’m hoping to have my recaps up the following day, Sunday at the latest.


Alright back to the action. I thought this episode was solid, just like the rest have been this season. Rather than go storyline by storyline like I usually do, I’m just going to touch on the highlights with some quick hit thoughts.


*My favorite moment of this episode was watching Grandma Saracen attack Coach at the supermarket about benching Matt. Say what you want about her, but she cares about her grandson. Even better was after she had her say, she had to admit it was hard to stay mad at Eric.


*Even if Coach put him up to it, I enjoyed Riggins giving J.D. a tour of “his” Dillon. I found it humorous that he pointed out a strip joint and a bar to a high school freshman. Only in Dillon I tell you.


*I also got a kick out of Landry’s band auditions. They introduced Devon, who I think could be a nice match for Landry; much better than Tyra is for him.


*I was very happy to see Matt and Julie reunite. I liked their awkward conversation in the supermarket while Matt’s grandma tore Coach a new one. I have to admit, I was very surprised they consummated their reunion so soon. I’m sure Matt won’t care that he’s QB2 anymore after a night like that.


*My second favorite moment in this episode was the scene between Eric and Jason. After realizing he might have made a mistake investing in his house; Coach gave him the pep talk that he needed. Coach was right; Jason’s 20 years old, he doesn’t need to have all the answers right away. The important thing is that he’s trying. It was just a phenomenal scene. My guess is Coach helped Jason out a bit with some of the repairs since he showed up at the dance with paint in his hair.


*Besides that scene with Coach and Jason, I’m not too big on the house storyline. All it is to me is Jason and his crew arguing. No one seems to have a clue about what they’re doing. Here’s hoping this wraps up soon.


*I’m also over the Tyra/Cash romance. She should have kicked him to the curb even if that kid wasn’t his. I will give him credit for offering to pay for Tyra’s college applications, but he’s obviously not good for her. I hope she realizes this before she gets hurt.


*And finally, I’m really down on Joe McCoy, Sr. Wow, talk about your typical stage parent. It was bad enough when he told Mrs. McCoy that J.D. didn’t have time to worry about cheerleaders, but then he comes into the locker room after the game to congratulate his son, rather than wait outside with the rest of his parents. To make matters worse, he spoils J.D.’s plans to celebrate with the team by saying they’re going to Applebee’s. The worried look on Coach’s face said it all. None of this bothered me more than when Mr. McCoy felt the need to make J.D. tell Coach that he got drunk and apologize. Seriously? Did he really have to involve the Coach in a matter that should have been handled between father and son? If this how Joe Sr. treats Junior after a big win; I hate to see what happens after a loss.


I hope you all enjoyed this episode too. Feel free to comment below!


Have a comment, question or criticism for Joe? Contact him at

Friday Night Lights recap: “Every Rose Has Its Thorn”

In Friday Night Lights on February 27, 2009 at 8:52 pm

Greetings Dillon Panther fans!


Just as soon as we saw Smash Williams move on to greener pastures at Texas A&M in the fondest of farewells, we welcomed back another Dillon hero, Jason Street. It was great to see him on the show again. Meanwhile, Julie made an ill-advised decision regarding body art, Tyra continues to carry on with her cowboy-friend and Matt looks like he lost his job as QB1 to a freshman. Here are the highlights…


Welcome back, Jason


It was great to see Street again on Friday. It had been too long. The last time we saw him he found he was miraculously was going to be a dad and was begging the mom, Erin, to keep it. Well, it looks like he wish was granted as he’s a proud papa. Unfortunately, he’s not making the kind of money he needs to support his son, Noah. This is definitely not the time to be a car salesman.


But, Jason is smart and resourceful, so his plan is to buy Buddy Garrity’s house, fix it up and sell if for a profit. That part of the plan isn’t so bad. Part 2 of this plan is where things go south, since he can’t afford to buy the house on his own, he’ll need some investors. Unfortunately, the only ones he can think of (or get) is the idiot brigade of his roommate Herc and the Riggins brothers. Yikes, no wonder Buddy was hesitant to sell the house. Although, I felt this part of the storyline was unrealistic. He was desperate to get rid of that house, so much so that he was willing to sell it below market value. Why would he care who buys the place? I thought he’d be happy just to get out from under that mortgage.


Oh well, at least this unrealistic scenario gave us a chance to hear a brilliant monologue by Jason. It was very moving watching him convince Buddy to sell him the house. It was a brilliant move by Street to convince Buddy by bringing up a big football game that he won for Dillon during his sophomore year. As they say, you have to know your audience. Jason knew his, and Buddy sold him and his crew the house. Yippee! Now all they have to do is get it fixed up. After seeing the boys arguing the first day on the job, it looks like it’s going to be a major uphill battle. And is anyone else worried that the Riggins’ share of this big investment came from money the got by selling stolen copper wire?


I felt awful for Jason when he found out Erin was taking Noah and moving back east. After all the hoops he went through to get his plan going, it didn’t seem fair for her to just up and leave like that. He is doing this for her and Noah after all. I also found it naïve of Erin to tell Jason he could visit, “whenever he wanted.” Something tells me it might be a little tough for him to jet off to Jersey whenever he had some spare time. I hope for Jason’s sake, she comes to her senses and moves back to Texas. Street’s a good guy and has had enough bad breaks already. He needs something good to happen.


What I did like during the farewell scene was after Riggins saw what was going on through the window, he didn’t call Jason on it. He just asked him what happened and let Jason lie by saying Erin was really excited about it. It wasn’t much, but I just thought it showed a lot of character on Tim’s part.


Julie gets inked


One of the biggest mysteries for me is how Eric and Tami, the greatest TV parents this side of Clair and Cliff Huxtable, could have raised such a brat like Julie. It really blows my mind. It really bothered me how nonchalant she was about getting a tattoo and then not understanding why her folks were so upset about it. I gave Eric and Tami a lot of credit for not absolutely losing it when Julie gave them the, “It’s on my body now and there’s nothing that can be done about it” remark. I don’t know Eric didn’t drag her out of her room after that.


I enjoyed the second conversation Eric and Tami tried to have with Julie about her new artwork. The sequence when Eric asked her what the (heck) she was thinking, followed by Tami asking in a more PC way, “We wanted to know what your thought process was,” and then Eric saying, “Like I said, what the (heck) where you thinking” was hilarious. That of course was followed by another classic line by Tami after she told Julie she was going to get it removed, “Until you’re 18, that leg belongs to me.”


The storyline wrapped up with another classic mother-daughter scene between Tami and Julie. Who would have thought Tami was a wild child when she was in high school and it was Eric who helped her find her way. Wouldn’t you have bet it would have been the other way around? I loved this scene, especially when Tami told Julie that she thought she was smart and independent and wouldn’t need a man to pull her on the straight and narrow path. Let’s just hope Tami’s faith in her first-born daughter isn’t blind. As for the tattoo removal? I think Tami said it best, “By time you’re 30, you’ll want to remove it yourself. I’m not paying for it then though.”


Tyra & Cash


Despite Tami’s warnings and wishes, Tyra thinks she’s found herself a good man in Cash. Never mind the fact that she’s skipping class to hang out with him at his request. A good guy wouldn’t encourage his girlfriend to just ditch class like that. Unfortunately, Tyra’s too head over heels about her cowboy to realize he’s no good. I mean, he took her to see a newborn horse, so he had to be a good guy, right? Run, Tyra, run away while you can! I know Cash is the exciting option, but Landry is the better man for her.


The Game

Despite Coach’s oddball strategy of rotating quarterbacks, Dillon topped Ft. Hood in a barnburner, 42-39. Things looked bad early for the Panthers due to the running different offenses with a different QB every other play. This led to multiple delay of game penalties until Coach was able to settle down J.D. and Matt. It was great that Saracen was the one who got to score the winning touchdown, but the look on face made it seem that he knew he might have run for his last score.


There’s a new QB in town


I found it very interesting that even though the Panthers won with Eric’s multiple QB strategy, Mac and the other coaches were, “done with that.” Excuse me? Isn’t Eric the head coach? Doesn’t he decided when the coaches are done with anything? I guess Eric doesn’t feel that way because he opted to choose one starting quarterback—J.D. McCoy. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I don’t know how a coach could bench a senior who’s in his third year starting in favor of a freshman. I don’t get it. I know J.D. is talented, but hasn’t Matt earned the right to finish his career at Dillon as QB 1? To make this situation more believable, the writers should have had Matt stumble out of the gate and had the Panthers win a game or two in spite of his poor play. That way, it would make sense that people would want a change at QB. It would be one of those, “Coach I know we’re winning, but if we don’t make a change now, Saracen could kill us down the road” situations. It wasn’t like that though, Saracen had been playing great; why in the world would Coach bench him?


I have to give Coach Taylor credit for doing the right thing and delivering the bad news to Matt personally. He could have called, and I’m sure he wished he did when Grandma Saracen pulled up and gave him her patented overly excited welcome whenever Coach stops by. The pained, awkward looks on Eric and Matt’s faces were priceless; especially when Grandma Saracen said Coach “practically walks on water at their house.” Ouch.


I loved the showdown between Matt and Coach as well. I always thought football was something Matt did, but never cared too much about. But after watching him bang helmets all over the place, it’s obvious he cares, a least a little bit. I was happy to see he was able to vent his frustrations to the coach. He said everything I had been thinking, he won a state title and did everything Coach asked, but somehow he’s not good enough anymore. I can’t blame him for wanting to quit; I was surprised Coach was able to convince him otherwise. I liked the heads up he gave Eric—that he’d come to practice and sit the bench, but he’d hate it, and Coach would hate it too. I guess time will tell if that is true.


The Saracens


Ah, there hasn’t been a dull moment in the Saracen household since Matt’s mom, Shelby blew into Dillon. She’s offered to help Matt out with his grandmother until he graduates, much to Grandma Saracen’s chagrin. I loved how Grandma Saracen gave Shelby a hard time about every item she purchased from the grocery store. Poor Shelby was just trying to help, but doesn’t she realize that nobody likes grape jelly? I did find that admission from Matt strange because I thought grape was the standard jelly flavor.


I liked the tender moment between Matt and his mom when he admitted to her that he lost his spot as QB1 to a freshman. I thought she was very supportive—almost like a mom! I hope Matt becomes more accepting of her presence as this season wears on.


So, what did you all think of the episode? Did Coach make the right call about his quarterbacks? Were you happy to see Jason return? Will he and his pals be able to sell Buddy’s house? Comment below!


Have a question, comment or criticism for Joe? Contact him at

Friday Night Lights recap: “Hello, Goodbye”

In Friday Night Lights on February 17, 2009 at 9:13 pm

 Hello Dillon Panther fans! In this week’s episode, we bid farewell to a Dillon great and welcomed a new scoreboard, a rodeo star and possibly a new QB1. Here’s how it happened….

Smash is going to college!

Hey, no point burying the lede, right? The main, and the best, storyline of this episode was this one. I loved that coach Taylor thought rescheduling Smash’s tryout was unacceptable and marched right on the field and told the head coach if he didn’t give Smash a look today, that he may not get another chance. I loved how Smash played the Big Call as if it were just a call about his shoulder pads. I loved the moment of triumph when he told him mom that he got in and the Williams family celebration. I loved the final two on two football game with Smash, Riggins, Matt and Landry at Hermann Field before they head to A&M. But most of all, I loved the final scene between Coach and Smash. It was a little short, but the point got across. It was a treat watching a humble and grateful Smash thanking Coach for everything that he had done for him. I could go on a lot longer about how much I liked how Smash’s exit was handled, but there were other storylines in this episode like…

Tami vs. the Boosters

Oh, poor Tami. All she wants is for her students to have good supplies and a fully-staffed faculty. How dare she want what’s best for the school! The heck with that darn school-learnin’, Dillon High needs its Jumbrotron! At least in the boosters’ eyes they do. I really felt for Tami in this episode. She knew she was fighting a losing battle, especially with her less-than-successful “stalking” of the superintendent. When he told her that the boosters gave that money for a Jumbotron, she knew her fate was sealed. I still find it hard to believe a decision like this would fly, but football is taken pretty seriously in Texas.

The best part of this storyline was watching Eric being the “prinicpal’s husband” that Tami had been dying to meet. His pep talk to her about fighting the boosters even if she knew she was going to lose was phenomenal. I’m as big a fan of football as anyone, but my favorite part of this show is the interaction between the Taylor family. It’s so real.

Tyra, Landry and the rodeo cowboy

As much as I felt for Tami in this episode, I felt just as bad for Landry. The poor guy goes through the painful wisdom tooth removal, only to find out Tyra blew him off to make time with rodeo cowboy, Cash. The Smash-Coach good-bye scene was the best of the hour, but the Tyra-Landry blowup which ended with her saying she was choosing Cash came in a close second. It was a flurry of incomplete, interrupted sentences until Tyra finally laid it out there and sent Landry combing through his power ballad collection. Poor guy.

And I liked the not-so-subtle touch by the costume department of putting Cash in a black cowboy hat. In the old cowboy movies, the villain usually wore the black hat. It could be a coincidence, but something tells me Cash isn’t the charming well-behaved cowboy he seems to be.

The Saracen’s

I was glad to see Matt’s mom, Shelby offer to stick around Dillon for awhile to help him take care of his grandmother. I think one of the most bizarre situations regarding this series was Matt having to go to school, play football, work and take care of his grandmother without any help. The kid’s a miracle worker, I tell you. With that said, it was a bit of surprise he wasn’t interested in Shelby’s offer, you know since she ditched him all of those years ago. I can’t blame him for not wanting her around, but seeing that this is her senior year and all, this isn’t the best time for him to be proud. I was happy that he (and his grandmother) finally came around. I loved when Grandma Saracen said she could have done more for Shelby when she left and when Matt asked what she meant her reply was, “I meant what I said, let’s not make a big ol’ soap opera out of it.” She’s the best. Now that Matt’s got some help back at home, he’s got some bigger fish to fry. Such as…

Is a quarterback controversy brewing in Dillon?

Last week’s loss coupled with a bye week was not a good thing for young Saracen. All that did was give the town (and Eric’s coaching staff) time to consider switching to the golden boy, J.D. McCoy. Like I’ve said over and over, I just can’t understand why there is any debate about this. Why in the world would people expect a coach to replace a senior with state title under his belt with a freshman? But, it looks like that could happen as Coach is struggling with the decision. His struggling did lead to the best exchange of the episode though:

Eric: “I need a drink.”

Tami: “We have wine at the house.”

Eric: “I need a scotch-flavored drink.”

So, after clearing his head, Eric took the easy way out and named Matt and J.D. co-starters. That can’t mean good things for Matt who after being QB1 for two seasons will be sharing his snaps with a freshman. Next week’s game should be very interesting.

What did you all think of this episode? Did the writers give Smash a good farewell? Will coach Taylor’s two-head quarterback scheme work? Feel free to comment below!

Have a comment, question or criticism for Joe? Contact him at

Friday Night Lights recap: “I Knew You When”

In Friday Night Lights on January 17, 2009 at 8:02 pm

Welcome back, Dillon Panther fans!


Last night, NBC began its season three run of “Friday Night Lights.” I have DirecTV, so I’ve seen the entire season already, but I didn’t start this blog until there were about four episodes left in Season Three. So, I’m going to write recaps about the first nine episodes. That’s right, I like this show so much I’m going to watch it again during NBC’s run. Also, I will do my best to write these recaps like I don’t know what’s going to happen, so I don’t spoil anything for those who haven’t seen this season’s episodes yet. So if you don’t want to be spoiled, whatever you do, don’t read my recaps titled, “The Giving Tree,” “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall,” “Underdogs” or “Tomorrow Blues.” Those are recaps of future episodes.


Now, let’s get back to business. Last night’s episode began season three and picked up with a new football season. We find out that last season ended without a return to the state finals, mainly because the team’s biggest offensive weapon, Smash Williams got hurt. This season, Smash has graduated, and its up to senior quarterback and newly appointed tailback Tim Riggins to pick up the slack. Will they be able to do it? I guess we’ll find out….


Coach Taylor’s on the hot seat


The town of Dillon is not so sure about Eric’s coaching despite being one year removed from a state title. He took the brunt of the blame for last year’s playoff collapse because he didn’t have a backup plan after Smash got injured. Now he’s burdened with questions about whether Riggins can effectively take over for Smash and if the new freshman phenom quarterback J.D. McCoy will replace Matt Saracen. It’s all is a day’s work, right coach?


There’s a new sheriff in town, and her name is Tami


That’s right, folks. Tami has been promoted to principal of Dillon High. When “FNL” creator Peter Berg asked Connie Britton to be on the show to reprise her role from the movie, he promised her more to do this time around. He wasn’t kidding. She quickly went from “Coach’s wife” to guidance counselor at the school to principal. Not a bad turn of events for her I’d say. But Tami learned quickly that heavy lies the crown. She’s now stuck with trying to figure out how to pull Dillon High out of its economic crisis. That sounds eerily familiar to what’s going on in real life, doesn’t it?


Tim Riggins and Lyla Garrity: Secret Lovers


Last year’s season finale was titled, “May the Best Man Win.” Well, it looks like Tim won as we saw him having a sleepover at Lyla’s house unbeknownst to her father, Buddy. It looks like these two had quite a summer together, but once they get back to school, she’s decided she wants to keep it hush-hush. I guess I can’t blame, she’s right about Tim: he drinks constantly, skips out on class, has rally girls do his homework, why should she take him seriously? It’s like Tim’s brother, Billy said to him, “She went to bed with Jesus and woke with…you. You’re a rebound from Jesus.”


By episode’s end though, Lyla must have seen some potential in Tim, at least enough to give him a big kiss in front of everyone at the Pathers’ post-game rally, much to Buddy’s chagrin.


No college for Tyra?


Ah poor Tyra. After goofing off for a better part of her high school, career she learns point blank that her college prospects are bleak. Despite cranking it up and improving her grades, her current GPA was a pedestrian 2.6. The vice principal told her point blank that state schools were a pipe dream and she should be “realistic” about her post-high school plans. I wasn’t sure how I felt about the way he went about explaining Tyra’s situation to her. On the one hand, he was just being honest. Why build up her hopes only for her to end up disappointed? On the flip side, I can’t help but feel as an educator, he’d want to encourage Tyra and make her feel if she continued to work hard, who knows what could happen. Thank goodness there’s Tami to do that. I’m glad Tyra realized she’s better off at least trying to get into college rather than end up like her sister Mindy who earns her living dancing for dollars (not that there’s anything wrong with that) and marrying a slob like Billy Riggins. After realizing this, she probably could have waited until the next school day to talk to Tami about this rather than waking her up in the middle of the night, but whatever works.


Will Smash bounce back?


After Smash’s devastating knee injury last season, we see him working with Eric to get back to his old self in hopes of landing a football scholarship somewhere since Whitmore took back its offer. After finding out from the doctor that his knee might be as good as its ever going to get, he decides he’s going to give up. That really surprised me since all Smash wanted to do since the series began is play college football. It seemed out of character for him to be discouraged so easily. Fortunately, Coach wasn’t willing to give up as easily, and told him he’d keep working with him. We’ll have to wait to see if Smash takes him up on his offer. Hopefully he will because as Eric put it, “I need something good to happen.”


The Jumbotron


One of my favorite characters on this show is Buddy Garrity and last night is one of the reason why I like him so much. Despite Dillon High’s financial woes, he presents Tami with a huge check from the boosters to purchase a Jumbotron for the football field. He just cracks me up with how short-sighted he can be sometimes. Never mind the four teachers who quit or the fact that Tami was forced to decide between buying soap or chalk because the school couldn’t afford both, what Dillon needs is a Jumbotron!


I have to be honest, I was very surprised that Tami so brazenly decided to go against the boosters wishes and use the money for school funding. She made the right choice of course, but I don’t’ think the boosters are going to see it that way. There’s nothing Dillon, TX loves more than its high school football. She might be fighting an uphill battle on this one. Of course what will make this interesting is what side Eric is on in all of this. Does he back his wife or side with the boosters as they’re the ones that back him and his boys?


The Game


Well, I guess the Panthers are going to be OK, aren’t they? Geez, all that panic about losing Smash seemed like it was for nothing as Dillon mopped the floor with South Pines, 44-13. Hopefully the critics were silenced after the performances Saracen and Riggins put up.


I have to say, Matt may have a right to be concerned about his job security as QB1. Freshman phenom, J.D. McCoy looked pretty good in garbage time, didn’t he? The look on Matt’s face (and his grandmother’s) said it all.


My only complaint about the game was why was Coach Taylor still calling passing plays when they were up, 38-13? He doesn’t seem like the kind of coach who would run up the score, does he? Wasn’t he the same coach who had the defense let South Pines score a TD last season so they wouldn’t be shut out?


Overall, I felt Season Three of “Friday Night Lights” is off to a good start. Last night’s episode was solid. I especially liked the interactions with Coach and Smash and Tami dealing with her new position. I’m not too keen on the father of the whiz kid J.D., Joe McCoy. Who offers a coach Cuban cigars and a bottle of scotch unless they want something in return? His kid is a freshman for crying out loud! He’ll have three more seasons to lead Dillon to state titles. I did get a kick out him sending a smoothie truck to the field though. It was just ridiculous enough to be funny.


Whew, so that’s enough writing for one episode. I’d love to hear what you all thought of the premiere. How happy are you that the show is back? Will Matt lose his job at QB, will Smash and Tyra get into college? Will Hermann Field get a Jumbotron? And where the heck is Jason Street? Feel free to comment below!


Joe Dyton can be reached at