Friday Night Lights

Friday Night Lights/NBC/Direct TV/2006-2011  (Wheelchair/Injured Spine)

Jason Street (Scott Porter), disabled seventeen-year-old high school senior at Dillon High School in Dillon, Texas. Jason was the starting quarterback for the Panthers football team until a devastating spinal injury ended his promising career.

friday-night-lights-jason-street-scott-porter-wheelchair

He was hurt tackling a rival player from making a game-ending touchdown. Jason’s injured the C-7 and T-1 level of his spine. He was paralyzed from the chest down. He can move his arms and hands but has limited use of his fingers.

With the help of his family and friends, Jason struggled to cope with his new reality of life as a paraplegic. But, living in a town that worships athletes is difficult for Jason to overcome, but eventually he finds purpose in his life. Meanwhile:

  • Jason’s girlfriend, Lyla Garrity (Minka Kelly), a former cheerleader becomes a Christian Youth leader.
  • Jason befriends Herc, his rehab roommate and wheelchair rugby teammate.
  • Lyla grows apart from Jason and dates Tim Riggins (Taylor Kitsch), the fullback for the Panthers and Jason’s friend.
  • Jason works as an assistant coach for the Panthers but quits after the first game when he disagrees with the authoritarian style of Bill McGregor (Chris Mulkey), the new coach.
  • A road trip to Mexico finds Tim Riggins and Jason looking for a non FDA approved treatment for his paralysis.
  • Jason moves in with Herc and gets a job at Buddy Garrity’s (Brad Leland) car dealership as a salesman.
  • Jason has a one-night stand on a blind date with a waitress named Erin (Tamara Jolaine Hassan) and gets her pregnant. He offers to do the right thing and take care of the woman and the baby.
  • A real estate venture finds Jason and friends flipping Buddy Garrity’s house for a profit.
  • Jason finds an entry-level job at a sports agency in New York City, and moves to be close to his girlfriend and newborn baby, Noah who have relocated to New Jersey to live with Erin’s parents. As Jason said, “far enough away that I’m not going to be stalker…but close enough that I can be here.”
  • Jason, now a full-fledged sports agent, returns to Dillon and meets his former mentor Coach Eric Taylor (Kyle Chandler) to see if he is interested in taking a college coaching job. The coach politely declines his offer.

Note: FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS was inspired by H.G. “Buzz” Bissinger’s non-fiction book “Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream” (1990) and the 2004 film based on it. The book explores the 1988 season of the Permian Panthers, a high school football team in Odessa, Texas.

The Jason Street character was inspired by the career of David Edwards, a high school player in San Antonio, Texas.

In the last episode of the series (“Always”) an ending montage show the words “J.Street” written below the “P” in the Dillon Panthers’ locker room.

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