Clear eyes, full hearts!

Trip Start Nov 20, 2013
Trip End Nov 24, 2014

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Flag of United States  , Texas
Sunday, November 24, 2013

For those who don't know, we're both huge fans of the television show Friday Night Lights, hence the title of this entry.  It's based on a small town Texas high school football team and really portrays the importance of high school football in the state.  So for years, we have talked about how cool it would be to actually see a high school football game in Texas.  Since Garyn is a teacher and the season runs from September-December, it wasn't a possibility.  So, aside from visiting family in Dallas, one of the major reasons we started our journey here was to see a high school football game.  

As it turns out, we got to see 3 AND got to visit a $60 million dollar, 18,000 seat HIGH SCHOOL stadium in Allen, TX.  This stadium completely blew us away.  Not only was the actual field incredible, but the gym and indoor practice field were top notch and nicer than anything we've ever seen before.   Allen high school is defending state champs and one of the model football programs in the state and likely the country.

Since it's playoffs, the majority of games are played at neutral sites, so even though Allen was playing Friday night, they weren't playing at their home stadium.  We went to watch them play at the Cotton Bowl, which is an historic college stadium in Dallas.  The night and experience was perfect except for the weather.  It was FREEZING and raining.  Thankfully we bundled up, although we were still really cold.  The experience was quite surreal though as we were finally getting to be part of a Friday Night Lights atmosphere.  With about 20 coaches on the staff, a 600 student band, large cheerleading and spirit squads, it was an experience different than anything we've ever been part of before.  Because of the weather and the fact the game was televised, Allen didn't get their usual attendance numbers, but there was still a fairly big crowd. Allen won the game in a blowout (they're top ranked in the state) and we lasted until the end of the 3rd quarter before the weather drove us out.

The next day (Saturday) was another incredible (and cozier) high school experience.  There were 4 games being played at AT & T Stadium which is where the Dallas Cowboys play.  Everything is bigger in Texas and that includes this stadium.  It cost a billion dollars to build and is beautiful.  Thankfully, it's indoors!  The cost to get in the stadium was $10 to see up to 4 games and we ended up sitting at the 50 yard line.  The football was great and exciting and the atmosphere was surreal.  We kept reminding ourselves that this was only high school, not the NFL, yet there was definitely a professional feel to the whole event.

High school football is definitely a way of life here in Texas and something we can check off our bucket list!

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