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Can Coach Taylor buy my football fandom?

What can a beloved TV series teach me about football? Let’s find out.

AUSTIN, TX - JUNE 10: A general view of atmosphere during the Friday Night Lights Tailgate and Pep Rally Reunion at the ATX Television Festival in Austin, TX on Friday, June 10, 2016. Photo by Rick Kern/Getty Images for Entertainment Weekly

Hey y’all!

I’m Sie, one of the new Community Editors here at SB Nation. I have a feeling I won’t find many familiar faces here, but in the spirit of the project I’m about to reveal to you, let’s step out of our comfort zones together.

First, a little bit more about me: I’m a baby millennial living in rural Michigan where I somehow became a San Jose Sharks fan. I’ve been credentialed with all three men’s professional hockey leagues over the last several years and running Fear the Fin, the Sharks’ SB Nation site, over the last three NHL seasons.

The thing is, before I got into hockey, I wasn’t much of a sports person. I was in marching band in high school (colorguard, technically, so give me my due credit as the nerd equivalent of a cheerleader, please), so I have watched football games happen. But since I left Western Michigan University, I haven’t watched football on purpose ... well, ever.

Let me assure you: I have nothing against football. I just didn’t understand it then and never cared enough to learn — especially once I was already invested in learning about hockey and the growing field of hockey analytics. But now that there are no live sports to otherwise take up my time, I feel like maybe there’s an opportunity for me to finally venture fully into a new sport.

You might be wondering how I plan to learn about football without anything football happening at the moment and the state of next season fluctuating in sync with coronavirus news.

Before I tell you, let me say that I am asking for you to meet me in the middle on this concept here, okay? I know I’m asking you to care about something only tangentially related to your Chargers fandom. But I hope that by accepting that compromise, you know you will be given opportunities to make me a legitimate fan of your team and actually watch someone fall in love with your sport.

That sounds pretty cool, right? Okay. Great.

I’m going to learn about football by watching the television series Friday Night Lights.

Yes, I am aware that the Los Angeles Chargers are not directly tied to Texas High School football (at least not in any way that I, a person who knows nothing about either of those things, can tell). I get that, absolutely.

However, Friday Night Lights is about the culture of football, probably more than the sport itself (again, I say, having no knowledge of the show, or the sport). I’m from a rural town and though it wasn’t something I fully participated in, it was still something I was familiar with. I also grew up in a hockey culture, even though I didn’t take to the sport until much later. I still relate to those kinds of cultural emotions tied to sports. That feels like a real, genuine way for me to get interested in a new sport, especially now.

And from what I know, the show was huge, something that a lot of people (who enjoy football to some extent, presumably) have seen and could understand references to. There’s not one particular NFL team fanbase that has a higher percentage of FNL fans.

Is this project a little indulgent and silly? You bet.

Without sports to distract us, though, I really hope you’ll let me be self-indulgent for the next — oh, two and a half months, approximately.

Here’s the deal: every day I’m going to watch one episode and run a recap here on BFTB with a few simple concepts in mind:

  1. What did I learn about football from this episode?
  2. What questions have now been raised for me about football?

Along the way, we may have some special events — maybe something like a reverse AMA, where you answer all of my Chargers questions, or eventually watching something that will actually teach me about football — so that I can get to know all of you, too. Who knows, by the time sports come back to us, you may have won over a new person to (commiserate? celebrate? cry? I truly do not know the temperature of your fanbase, I’m so sorry) with you next season.

Hit me with everything you think I need to know in the comments and I’ll see y’all tomorrow with Season 1, Episode 1: Pilot.