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Tag: Zach Gilford (1-2 of 2)

I'm Still Not Over... Matt Saracen from 'Friday Night Lights' in 'The Son'

To be honest, you can just say the words Friday Night Lights to me, and I’ll probably start tearing up. FNL fans know what I mean: The series as a whole was just the perfect mix of heartwarming and tragic storylines, and as a crier, I’m particularly vulnerable. Coach’s “we will be tested” speech in the pilot? Sobs. The Mud Bowl? Waterworks. Tyra getting into college? Niagara Falls on my face.

But nothing made me bawl more than season 4’s “The Son,” which — spoilers ahead, obviously — centered on Matt Saracen and his struggles to grieve over the death of his father, a man he hated. I didn’t need a Kleenex for this one; I needed a towel.

And I still do. Because anyone who has lost someone understands how hard it is to grieve and to go through the numbness that happens in the aftermath. And for Matt — awkward do-gooder Matt Saracen, number 7 and former QB1 — his father’s death doesn’t just numb him, it destroys him.

In Matt’s eyes, Henry Saracen was a terrible father. He was never around, always enlisting back in the Army and leaving Matt to take care of his grandmother. But when Henry dies in combat in Iraq, Matt’s forced to listen to one soldier after another telling him how heroic, how “funny,” how patriotic his dad was, and to him, it’s torture. Why should he remember someone he hated as “a good man”? Why should he have to eulogize someone he’s never really known? And from there, the episode launches into a barrage of character-defining, gut-wrenching Matt Saracen moments, each more painful than the last, and each contributing to why I just can’t get over “The Son”:

Left side, strong side: 7 tear-jerking scenes from football movies (and a TV show)

This year’s Super Bowl pits brother against brother (49ers coach Jim Harbaugh vs. Ravens coach John Harbaugh). When this story inevitably becomes a movie (or, probably, made-for-TV-movie), we’re betting there will be a scene of mutual acceptance where one brother says he’s sorry he underestimated the other and the other responds “having you for a brother is greater than any Super Bowl ring.” And we predict we will need tissues.

There’s something about football (and football movies) that heightens emotions. Maybe it’s the competition, the agony of defeat, the glory of victory, the metaphors of what bringing a team together really mean, but whatever it is we find ourselves uncontrollably sobbing after every major touchdown, career-ending injury, or life-affirming gesture. Here are seven (well really nine) moments that left us reaching for the tissues.


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