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Friday Night Lights: Comparing the Characters to NFL Players

Brandon ReiterCorrespondent IIOctober 20, 2011

Friday Night Lights: Comparing the Characters to NFL Players

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    Friday Night Lights, the greatest football TV series of all time, finished its last season this year. The show focused on the importance of high school football in Texas, and the difficulties that follow with it. Eric Taylor was the main character, as the story followed his career from West Dillon to East Dillon where he led three teams to the state championship, over six years.

    Friday Night Lights won numerous Emmys over the course of its six-year run. The show was like an extended version of the movie, Friday Night Lights, except it was an improved version due to the fact that it did a better job of capturing all the aspects of life in Texas, because it was more than two hours long. 

    Friday Night Lights featured many characters in it, a lot of which were football players. Their on- and off-the-field characteristics can all be compared with actual NFL players.

Jason Street: Joe Theismann

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    Jason Street and Joe Theismann can be easily identified as quarterbacks with a promising future that got cut short because of a devastating injury.

    Street was being recruited by Notre Dame when he tried to make a tackle after an interception, but because of his lack of defensive knowledge, he was paralyzed by the hit.

    Theismann was quarterbacking for the Redskins when Lawrence Taylor sacked him, snapping his leg into two pieces.

    They were both lovable guys that you wanted to root for, but unfortunately, fate was not on their side.

J.D. McCoy: Eli Manning

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    Both were highly talented, young quarterbacks that came in and took somebody's place.

    For Manning, it was Kurt Warner. Warner was only on the Giants for a short while, but he was benched to the young Manning shortly after he was drafted. Manning was a great pickup, winning a Super Bowl and becoming the franchise player.

    McCoy replaced Matt Saracen. With help from a powerful father, McCoy replaced Saracen for most of his senior year, as a freshman. There was a lot expected from him, and McCoy displayed his talent.

Landry Clarke: Adam Vinatieri

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    The clutch kicker that hit the field goals when they mattered. Nothing to hate about either of them, but not that much to like, mainly because there is not that much to say. Well, except for the fact that Landry killed a dude, but it was by accident—so no harm no foul.

    They both manage to pull a lot of hot girls. Landry dated Tyra and Jess, two pretty high-schoolers way out of his league. Vinatieri was a really hot wife, Valerie. I mean, he is an NFL player, so she is not too far out of his league...but then again, he is a kicker.

Dallas Tinker: Terrence Cody

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    The fun and lovable fat guy.

    When Cody made those two blocks for the Tide, everybody was on the Cody bandwagon. Why? Because, what's not to love?

    Tinker was the helping hand to his teammates. He was a great contributor to the Lions, as well as a loyal friend that cracked the occasional joke every episode or two.

    Come on, just look at the huge grins on both of their faces!

Smash Williams: Tiki Barber

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    Great talent and great egos. Both of these running backs let their egos get the best of them, and rob them of a greater potential. 

    Tiki's ego cost him a Super Bowl ring, because his ego caused fights with his teammates, thus leading to his early retirement in 2007, the year before the Giants won the Super Bowl.

    Smash's ego cost him an easy path to the NFL. In Texas, he thought he was larger than life. He punched a peer at the movie theater in Dillon. The media blew up the story, causing colleges to turn away from Smash. After much pursuit, Smash got a scholarship to Texas A&M, but there could have been better options for him that guaranteed him a starting job.

Tim Riggins: LaGarette Blount

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    "Chill, man"—the reaction that both Tim and Blount receive from their teammates.

    Both of these guys have a short temper, and love to start fights. 

    Who could forget Blount's punch on the opening game of the 2009 NCAA season? Even when in the pros, Blount started fights in the locker room in Tennessee.

    Riggins constantly fought with Smash, and other teammates, displaying his tough-guy image.

Luke Cafferty: Reggie Bush

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    Both extremely dangerous running backs.

    More importantly, both told a lie that led to a scandal with serious effects.

    Luke lied about where he lived in order to play for the better West Dillon Panthers, as opposed to the East Dillon Lions. He was soon exposed, and forced to attend and play for the Lions.

    Bush lied about accepting money from sponsors while he was running the table at USC. He was discovered, which led to the vacation of his Heisman Trophy and the 2004 USC national championship.

    OK so Bush's was more significant—it is the thought that counts.

Matt Saracen: Matt Cassel

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    Saracen, like Cassel, had to lead a dominant offense with no experience. Both of these guys got their first start with the sudden injury to the prized starting quarterback of their respective teams. Cassel and Saracen both had success when given the job. Saracen led the Dillon Panthers to the state championship, and Cassel turned himself into a franchise quarterback. 

    If it wasn't for the bad luck of their teammates these quarterbacks would have been insignificant. But injuries opened the door for both of them.

Vince Howard: Cam Newton

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    The unpredicted, prized possession. No one predicted Auburn to win the championship, and the East Dillon Lions were not supposed to win a championship either.

    Cam was picked up by the Tigers after playing for a junior college. He led the Tigers to an undefeated season and a national championship, while winning the Heisman.

    Vince was turned from a utility player into a quarterback. He led the Lions to a state championship victory in his second year.

    Another similarity is that both questionably contacted colleges in an illegal manner. 

    Both quarterbacks have a strong arm, and the ability to use their speed as a weapon.

Eric Taylor: Bill Belichick

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    Both of these coaches know how to deal with given circumstances. Both coaches turned backup quarterbacks into successful, team-leading, winners. Not once, but twice.

    Taylor turned Saracen into a starting quarterback after the untimely injury to Street. He also turned Howard into a quarterback when he was unwillingly forced to coach at East Dillon instead of West.

    Belichick created arguably the best quarterback ever in Tom Brady (whose best receiver was Deion Branch for a number of years), after the season-ending injury to Drew Bledsoe. He also turned Cassel into a franchise player, after the season-ending injury to Brady

    Both of these coaches know exactly how to win, and how to bring out the maximum talent in every player.

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