In the locker room, Street stands in front of a play-diagrammed chalkboard and tells the boys that if they learn these plays now they'll be ready to play for the Panthers when they get old enough. The kids are on the floor, looking up with those little craned necks. One boy tells Street that he should play professional football. Street, himself a man-in-training, responds correctly (as always) that he'll go through school first, "son." That "son" gets me; it's too old a word for Street. It makes you feel for the high school kids; they aren't kids anymore but they aren't adults either. Street, his face literally glowing with all-Americanness, says "Let's pray," and then kneels to do so. The boys clasp hands, but not before yet one more Tiny Tim moment, as one of them asks, "Mr. Street? Do you think God loves football?" Street says he thinks everybody does, and they all launch into the Lord's Prayer. Off-putting or not, the prayer-in-school-sports seems like verity here, and certainly not an aspect of contemporary life that gets all that much representation on TV. In any case, the scene is all about continuity, about how traditions get passed on -- often unthinkingly -- from one generation to the next. Football is next to godliness. The desperate hope for conversion happens just as readily on Friday nights as it does on Sunday mornings.
Thursday. Coach Taylor stands outside a two-story brick house, a definite upgrade from the ranch they're currently in, with the nasty Blitz Lady from Tuesday night. He says Tami will love it. She asks if he's going to make an offer. He says he has to wait to see what happens on Friday night. Jesus, talk about having a lot on the line.
Nighttime, Coach Taylor drives home listening to disheartening commentary on the radio, complaining that he'll probably rely too much on Street on Friday, that he passes too much ("This ain't the West coast, this is Texas football!"), and that he under utilizes Smash Williams as running back. He furrows and frowns.