If NBC Is Going To Trot Out A Bad Version Of “Lights”, Surely “Playmakers” Can Return

By Gregory Moore
Updated: August 7, 2006

SAN ANTONIO — Don’t expect NBC’s “Friday Night Lights” be around for the second quarter this season. If you ever want to know where all of the money being wasted in this country resides, it’s in Burbank and Hollywood, California on hapless television series that waste the viewers’ time in trying to captivate them.

So when the peacock decided that a TV adaptation of a somewhat ‘flawed’ movie was a good idea, all I could do was shake my head and say internally, “Where in the hell is my remote so that I can turn the channel to ‘Playmakers’.” Evidently this is the new craze in entertainment and we are going to be suffering for this mishap. To begin with, trying to capture life of a small town on the screen where football is king is a monumental battle that will be very unrealistic.

For creators Brian Grazer and Peter Berg, what they will find out is that not everyone across the country is enamored with Texas football. I’m quite sure somebody up in northern California will have something to say about how the show isn’t profiling the open-air attack of their version.

I’m sure that in Louisiana, the state where more football players are actually generated, they will say that nobody is doing a show about their brand of the game. Or how about Ohio or Pennsylvania. New York State, Connecticut, and Florida all have reason to not watch. Heck even in Texas there will be grumblings.

There is simply dangerous ground here when a network decides to try and put a Hollywood spin on something that truly isn’t all that glamorous. In case the shellacked haired, Armani suit moneybag men in tinsel town don’t realize it, Texas football isn’t just Friday night anymore.

It’s Thursday and Saturday too. And besides, where the hell is Dillon, Texas anyways? Can’t be anywhere near Midland or Odessa because nobody from those two cities where ‘Friday Night Lights” gave birth are going to be as hokie and fake like what we are about to see in October.

Okay I’m serious. Has anyone seen my remote so that I can see this week’s episode of Playmakers with Terrell Owens and Donovan McNabb playing big time agents after the top rookie this season?

DOES THE ROOKIE SYMPOSIUM ACTUALLY HELP? Had the PR gurus over at the NFL send me a quick topic list about this year’s rookie symposium because I wanted to do a story about whether or not these young men are really learning anything from all of the speakers.

Well, that may actually be a slow process because the only way to truly judge the success of this year’s symposium is to see which rookies get in trouble and which ones have headed the warnings.

But looking at the information that Greg Aiello and Dan Masonson sent me is actually quite informative. There are life skill breakout sessions that are very important to the development for these young men.

The symposium was a three-day mini camp of some serious discussions on finances, diversity, dealing with homophobia and with your family. There was a bed check every night and from what Masonson reiterated to me via e-mail, it was like a training camp session.

No matter what you think about this symposium, the premise of trying to equip NFL rookies with as much information as possible on what’s in front of them now is imperative to them being able to handle the pressures of being multi-millionaire individuals.

When guys like Jay Glazer and Adam Schefter from the media world come in to try and help out other experts in their fields of expertise, then this is a major deal.

T.O. SAYS HE’LL BE MILDER IN BIG D…YEAH RIGHT Okay I’m having a hard time drinking the blue and silver kool-aid that Terrell Owens made this summer. I just can’t stomach the taste because this year I’m going to be very pessimistic about this Dallas Cowboys team.

Oh sure, I’ve got some media friends who are saying oh they’ll be 10-6 and go to the playoffs. I’ve got others saying that T.O. is that type of player. Yeah okay. Go ahead drink the drink but I can’t do it.

I have to look at what’s available as an option to me. With Owens a Cowboy, with Bill Parcells actually looking for leadership, I simply just can’t buy into the system. So pardon me if I’m not to thrilled right now about my favorite pro football team.

The Cowboys will go 8-8. Unless there have been some major changes on both sides of the ball, all I see is the same old clear liquid with sugar in it. Sugar water that has been the norm for so long the staple of Cowboys fans.

The only way I’ll change drinks is when this team shows some drastic changes on the field in their first four games. Unless T.O. is going to change everybody’s mindset, it will be hard to change mine for now.