Friday night lights in West Texas means only one thing, FOOTBALL!

Yes, that friendly sport where 22 high school age young men enter the field of battle with protection body gear that makes them look like they are heading for a jousting contest before the King!

The term Friday Night lights (also became a popular TV show not long ago) came from the early beginning of the small West Texas towns illuminating a football playing field made up of dirt, dust, cuckle burrs and tumble weeds that would play host to these 22 athletes banging into each other until one team wins or loses.

The other ingredients for Friday Night lights is that the town basically closes down at high noon and rather than going to the OK corral the citizens go to the stadium for excitement of watching the game, the cheerleaders, and the marching band at half time. The other good thing about the “lights” is that when you approach the town from any direction the flat West Texas terrain allows you to see the stadium so you do not have to ask for directions. Of course men don’t like to ask anyway so this makes it perfect for me.

This past Friday night I attended one of the most exciting Friday Night games I have ever seen or played in. The Muleshoe Mules were playing the Littlefield Wildcats for first place in their district and had the home field advantage. Since the Cats are my old home town and former team I went directly to their side of the field.

While they had ample stands to sit in I decided to walk the side lines behind the fence to watch the game. This is an older tradition done in the old stadiums before they had fences and other barriers to keep you off the immediate sidelines. But, the devoted sideline watchers were able to make it work and it put us closer to the action and real sounds of football coming from the pads hitting each other, the grunts, groans, and commands from the coaches and game officials. This is real hard ass football only played on Friday Nights in West Texas. It is like heaven on earth to an old bunch of West Texas football players.

Now as I look at this field I don’t see dirt, dust, cuckle burrs and tumble weeds. What I see is beautiful green artificial grass, perfect field markings, very bright lights and modern comfortable stands and rest rooms with more than one urinal! Wow, this wasn’t like the field I played on 55 years ago!

What a change but you know the football played on this field this night represented all of the great things that happen during an exciting game played by teams that are well coached and have talented, tough players. Never say die was the name of this game, ending in a score of 49-42 with the Mules kicking the Cats for the victory.

The sad part is that both teams deserved to win but that is not the way it ends, as one team must leave the field with a victory. My congrats go out to the great scoring, hitting, and tough football that was played in this game. Plus the sportsmanship was beyond reproach, I commend the coaches and players for this and it made me proud. Go Cats and Mules watch out if we meet again in the play offs!

“Moneyball”, *****, This is a very good true baseball movie. Much more about the front office actions of a poor down trodden team than it is of action on the field. This movie has a great baseball backdrop that will make even those who do not care for baseball, at least for two hours, care about Billy Beane and the 2002 Oakland Athletics. Based on truth, the script allows Brad Pitt(as Beane) to rebuild an undercapitalized major league baseball team into a winner by using a statistical theory by Ivy Leaguer Jonah Hill. His theory is based on unwanted players who “get on base and score runs.” There are flashbacks to Beane’s days as a player that add some spice to the story. Rated PG-13 for strong language.