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The Allure of Texas High School Football
Even if you’ve never attended a high school football game in Texas, you probably know that these games and the fans that follow them are somewhat different from other high school football games and fans. In Texas, football is not a sport and it is not an extracurricular activity. No, it has almost been elevated to the level of a religion. To say Texas high school football fans are passionate about the spot would be an understatement; a huge understatement.
Friday Night Lights may have been a popular book first and then a movie, but it all started with the true story of a season with the Odessa Permian Panthers. Hollywood didn’t need to inflate this Texas high school team’s real-life story with fabrication; the real story was already legendary enough to bring it to the big screen.
If you think you know high school football, you haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen it from the Lone Star State. Even the small schools really get involved. It’s not uncommon to see entire trailers hitting the highways of Texas on Friday nights; the football team, the drill team, the cheerleaders, the marching band, and the sponsor. All of this can easily require a dozen or more buses. And that’s not even including the hordes of parents and fans who travel with them. In relatively few other events you’ll see dedicated fans traveling hundreds of miles for a playoff game; and keep in mind that in Texas it is totally possible. The border from east to west stretches for almost a thousand kilometres.
So what exactly is it about Texas high school football in particular that seems to appeal to such a massive following? Although there is no definitive answer to this question, there is certainly one certainty: nothing else on earth has the same intensity and passion. You can feel it ringing through the air as you walk into any high school football stadium across the state.
Texas high school football fans aren’t just passionate about football; they live it and breathe it. Every Friday night of the Texas football season, you’ll likely see as much violence in the stands as on the field if one fan annoys another.
And that’s not to mention the rivalry that can take place between Texas teams. While it’s not at all uncommon for neighboring towns across the country to form high school football rivalries, the Texans take it to a whole new level. In many cases, extra police have to be called during big rival games just to keep the peace among the crowd. In a few cases, some towns even had to stop playing each other altogether because of the ensuing violence between supporters in the stands and on the sidelines during rival games.
The exact appeal of high school football in Texas can be somewhat difficult to describe, but one thing is certain: you feel it when you experience it.
If the rest of the world loves football, Texans love football.
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