I just started watching the tv series Friday Night Lights on dvd, and I am totally hooked. For one, as I learned in my 7th-grade Tennessee history class, Texas and Tennessee have some shared history and therefore culture (the accents are more similar than one would expect, e.g.). The portrayal of a small town's obsession with high school sports is eerily familiar. The gender politics, the mixing-in of religion with every daily activity, the insane pressure from every corner to win state, a good-looking, hard-nosed coach, all of these are spot on. As those of you who watch it know, this show is very well done. I can't believe it nearly didn't make it on the air.
I'm only a couple of episodes in--so no spoilers, dammit!--but so far I've noticed a few missing elements that, if they had been included, would have further augmented the show's hyperrealism. (Of course maybe they show up later in the season, or subsequent seasons.)
1. a shitty concession stand at the games. it needs to reek of ketchup, corn oil, and garish yellow light and be staffed by booster ladies. more fans need to be drinking out of waxy pepsi cups that disintegrate in their mouths and scarfing down oversalted popcorn.
2. making out underneath the bleachers. there are, after all, more reasons for non-athletes to go to games than just to root for the team.
3. The smoking crowd. The vo-tech crowd. The drug crowd. (significant overlap here).
4. There definitely needs to be one or two disabled fans who yell obnoxious things at the coach and the players. Ours had one leg, crumpled skin, and wore a trucker's hat sideways. He called himself "Crip," and he would lean on the chain-link fence for all four quarters, hollering.
6. Pep rallies, on Friday afternoon, with hilarious, attention-loving hams who also play on the football team.
7. Other athletes, besides football players--you know, baseball, basketball--who strut into the football games with their letterman's jackets on. Of course my school was so small that all the teams had all the same people on them. But still.
8. Cars. Shitty cars with loud radios and louder engines.