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I have a confession to make. I'm 40 years old, unmarried, childless. Yet I will drive hours to a remote town, the redhead in tow, and watch other people's children play a game beneath the Friday night lights. My life is one of simple pleasures, some might say odd pleasures, and I can't argue with them. But there's something about the sight of stadium lights glowing in the distance that draws me, moth-like, in search of something I can't quite explain.

Perhaps there is something poignant about watching young men at the pinnacle of their athletic lives, waging a battle for recognition and respect, their moms and girlfriends looking on, the Friday night lights illuminating their glory for a few hours a week, a few months a year, until the lights go dark for good. And then, for all but the lucky ones, real life begins.

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Friday Night Lights
November 2006