"I said you had to strive to be better than everyone else; I didn't say you had to be better than everyone else. That's what character is. It's in the trying."
- Eric Taylor, Friday Night Lights, 2006 - 2011
This Father's Day Made Possible by Pop Culture would like to take some time to salute a man who is not only raising his own two daughters but also a whole team of young men, and a nation by proxy. Eric Taylor (Friday Night Lights) doesn't just take sniveling, at times spoiled, and often ungrateful kids and turn them into self-respecting young men worthy of the rest of our respect, but he also does the same for his peers.
As if taking in Tim Riggins and offering an assistant coaching job to both Jason Street and Billy Riggins when they were lost, and talking Buddy Garrity through his tough times with fatherhood all wasn't enough, he constantly and consistently delivered words of advice and wisdom that could be applied to the game of football or the game of life or both simultaneously. He played protector, too, always looking out for his daughter, whether it was from an assumed threat of a boy with a reputation or an actual threat of a man who hurt her own reputation.
He was always quiet, always unassuming, as the gears in his mind churned out his gems. He was always staunch and stoic, the strong, silent type. He always carried the weight of being a man square on his shoulders and never let anything rattle him too much. And he taught us all so very, very much.