Friday Night Lights: Why High School Football is Better in Texas

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High school football is a way of life in small towns across the country, but in Texas it is life. Stadiums seat 20,000 people, coaches get paid more than lawyers and playing varsity for your hometown high school is just as big as suiting up for a big-time college program. Maybe, just maybe high school football is better in Texas and being a longtime Texas resident, I think I know why–

1. Running Backs
Maybe it’s something in the water. Maybe it’s something in the air. Whatever it is, Texas knows how to grow stellar running backs. Consider just a few of the notables: LaDainian Tomlinson, Eric Dickerson, Thurman Thomas, and Earl Campbell. Every Friday night, the next generation of Hall of Famers takes the field and rushes towards the end zone. Speaking of the Hall of Fame, Texas has more inductees than any other state – a whopping 30!

2. Dr Pepper
This amazing soda was introduced in Waco, Texas way back in 1885, and there is no better complement to your Frito pie on a Friday night. I have traveled to New Hampshire and not one single establishment that we entered could serve us a Dr Pepper. No such worries in Texas! An important side note here is that Frito-Lay is also headquartered in Texas. Bring on halftime and the concession stand.

3. Homecoming
It’s cliché, but everything is bigger in Texas. The mums outweigh the girls at some schools, featuring lights and cow bells. If you have ever watched Christopher Walken host “Saturday Night Live,” you know that you “can always use a little more cowbell!” More is better with ribbons and trinkets too. The cheerleaders have a special routine that will blow you away at the pep rally, and the front yards of the football players are covered in banners featuring the school colors. Go Home Team!

4. The Drill Team
Covered by an infinite number of sequins, these lovely girls dazzle at the halftime show. Look for the knee high boots and cowgirl hats, and you will not see a better line of high kicks in all 50 states. The best of these high school girls will go on to college pom and drill teams, and some will even make it on the world famous Kilgore College Rangerettes.

5. The Fans
Texas fans know their football. When they argue with a ref’s call, they don’t just boo. They can tell you the exact rule and infraction and why their team has been wronged and abused. And it’s not just the parents of the players, band and cheerleaders who show up. It’s not just the high school kids. It’s the whole town. The entire community supports the team. Shirts in school colors are a must, and as soon as the band starts playing, you can be sure that everyone knows all the words to the fight song. Fans in Texas bring their A game, and in the words of legendary University of Texas football coach Mack Brown, “Come early, be loud, stay late!”