Clean Hands, Full Hearts, Can't Lose: The 'Friday Night Lights' COVID-19 Speech

Coach Taylor
Friday Night Lights EP Jason Katims wrote a scene for the "would-be" COVID-19 episode. 

Katims wrote this for Vulture, and it's a pep talk to go with the times we're in. Coach Eric Taylor was known for addressing the characters of the show, and the audience, with these types of monologues. Now all we need is for Kyle Chandler to hop on Instagram and deliver if for us. 

Friday Night Lights feels like an awfully long time ago. The core of the show was always lessons about family delivered from the heart (and heartland). It was one of the rare shows or movies that dwells not on what we can be at our worst, but what we can be at our best. 

It's never an easy task to write those shows. It can come off as conflict-free (conflict is often the source of true drama) and in this day and age everyone is looking for the darker and grittier take on things

On the other hand, there is a power to positivity. If a show can pull it off, the results give us all something to believe in. Especially when we enter uncharted choppy waters as we have in recent months. 

Take it away, Coach. 

INT. PANTHERS LOCKER ROOM

COACH TAYLOR
The district announced schools will be closed starting tomorrow, so this is the last time we’ll be meeting for a while. Maybe a long while. The least important thing right now is football. However. Still damn important. You’re still on this team. You still have football responsibilities. We’re lucky enough to live in Texas. There’s tons of empty spaces. Go find one and do your running, do your suicides, do your stretches. If you’re a quarterback, hang a truck tire in your yard and throw a football through it an hour every day. Is that understood?

TEAM
Yes, sir.

COACH TAYLOR
Meanwhile. There is a certain segment of our population who believe that the rules do not apply to them. That they don’t have to worry about all this. And I’m staring at 60 members of that segment of our population right now. Gentlemen. You will put yourself and your family and your community at serious risk if you act like a jackass. So I’m asking you to take this is as seriously as you have taken anything in your life. Practice your social distancing. Stay at home. Your social calendars are officially on hold. And in case I haven’t made myself clear enough, let me state it more plainly. No parties. No sex. No physical contact. Is this absolutely clear?

TEAM
Yes, sir.

COACH TAYLOR
Good. Do not let me down on this one, gentlemen.

He looks at them. He knows now he’s got to say good-bye to them for a while. This is hard.

COACH TAYLOR
There’s a reason why we got a football team and that’s not just to win games. It’s so in difficult times we have each other. Well, this is about as difficult of a time as any of us could imagine. I want you to use each other. Stay in touch as a community. Be there for each other on your phones, on Twitter, on FaceTime or whatever other kind of crap you use. And you all got my number. Call me. I know I usually tell you knuckleheads not to call me on my cell unless it’s an emergency, but right now everything is an emergency. You feeling a little sick, call me. Feeling a little down, call me. Is that understood?

TEAM
Yes, sir.

COACH TAYLOR
We may not be on the field together right now, but we are all in this together. Together, we are going to stay strong. We are going to stay united. We are going to stay healthy. And anyone who thinks that we’re not going to beat this, they don’t know this town, they don’t know this nation, and they sure as hell don’t know this team. I’ll miss you all. Tell your families that Tami and I are thinking of them. Tell them you’re all in our prayers. Stay healthy. Stay safe. Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.     

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1 Comment

It's really motivational, the lesson is we don't need to lose any hope. We can fight.

April 7, 2020 at 11:11PM

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