Around the web: FNL; Ishmael Beah; A retirement of staggering importance; Eugene Peterson.

Good news for fans of NBC’s critically acclaimed, though little watched, show Friday Night Lights. It appears, according to Deadline Hollywood Daily, that the peacock network, in tandem with DirectTV, plans to bring back the show for a third season (the second season was cut short by seven episodes due to the writer’s strike). Reports suggest that Friday Night Lights, which is about a small Texas town, the people who live there, and their passion for high school football (and everything that it means to the town which is more than touchdowns and tackles), will be aired both on NBC and DirectTV and that DirectTV will help fund the show, thus making the third season financially feasible for NBC.

Reports also suggest that FNL’s dedicated fan base had something to do with with the show’s renewal. A number of fan driven websites sent hundreds of tiny football and light bulbs to NBC executives in efforts to put pressure on the network.

I for one am very happy to see my favorite show on television returning. No show captures real life so well or so poignantly. The characters are real people experiencing real struggles, some growing up, some growing old, some failing and some enduring. The acting is the best there is on TV these days, led by Connie Britton and Kyle Chandler, as is the production. There is something earthy, something organic, something short-story, about the show. If you have yet to check FNL out, give it a chance. All past episodes are available on the show’s website.


Slate has an interesting article on Ishmael Beah, the author of the popular memoir A Long Way Gone. It appears that parts of the story may have been fabricated, as an Australian team of journalists claims. If so add Beah’s book to the long list of controversial modern memoirs that includes James Frey’s A Million Little Pieces.

Of course, this is nothing new. Memoirs and autobiographies like those of Olaudah Equiano (first slave narrative), Frederick Douglass, and Benjamin Franklin have all earned criticism and reports that they were falsified for the sake of drama.

Thanks to Relevant for the link.


One of my boyhood heros has retired from the NFL. Green Bay Packer’s quarterback Brett Favre has called it a career after seventeen memorable seasons, sixteen with the Packers. Coming from a family that has been full of Packer fans since 1921, I learned at a young age to root with all my might for the green and gold on Sundays and the occasional Monday. As kids, my brother and I lived and died every week based on the final score. In the fall, the week days led up to Sunday and Sunday meant Brett Favre.

We loved Favre not only because he won games for us (which he did, by the way; more than any other quarterback ever has) but because of how he played the game. He played with a passion and toughness that was inspiring. It’s a horrible sports cliche’, but Brett Favre did indeed leave it all out on the field every Sunday.

Favre also taught us about the value of hard work and preparation. No one worked harder to become good at what he did than Favre.

He taught us how to compete. We learned from him to always go hard at whatever we were doing but always to do so gracefully, win or lose. In victory he was never boastful; in defeat, he gave credit to the other team, congratulated them, and went to work again.

And when he battled with addictions to alchohol and pain killers early in his career, Favre taught us about the value of humility. He humbled himself, admitted his failures, and sought to re-order his life.

Over the last few years, as his father died of a heart attack, his brother died in a tragic ATV accident, his wife battled breast cancer, his house was destroyed in hurricane Katrina, and his team suffered there worst years under his guidance, we began to feel that he was just like us. He was a super-star, it’s true. He still is. But like he said in his retirement press conference, he is like us, he just plays football. And I for one am very glad I was able to spend my youth rooting for him, and learning from him, and living or dying with each passionate hurl into the endzone. All 442 of them.


Check out this really interesting and enlightening video featuring Eugene Peterson — he of The Message fame — wherein he discusses the art and nature of story-telling and even references Wendell Berry. Many thanks to Andrew Peterson over at the Rabbit Room for this one.


One thought on “Around the web: FNL; Ishmael Beah; A retirement of staggering importance; Eugene Peterson.

  1. Oh, I didn’t know that FNL had been effected by the strike, because the episodes kept coming for a while. So no more till next season? That stinks, but I’m really glad there’s a next season coming.

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