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Golden Globes' Sunday versus 'Friday Night Lights' -- whose football is it?

January 17, 2011 | 10:55 am

Here’s some literal Monday morning quarterbacking on the Golden Globes:

Nothing, nada, zero, ever, for the American TV series "Friday Night Lights," which has run off the field and off the screen after its fifth and final season.

While "Glee" is on a post-awards high following Sunday’s event, it has been noted far and wide that there were, there have been, no Globe awards, not even any nominations, for the series based on Buzz Bissinger’s superb book about the life and people in a small Texas town gripped anew every year by the mania of high school football.

The show is so resonant with enormous and enormously significant American themes that it's won a Peabody Award, for heaven’s sake. It’s won Emmys. So how is it finishing with a clean slate from the Golden Globes?

I expect there are a lot of theories out there. Here’s mine.

At first I thought the snub was because the bulk of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. comes from soccer-mad countries, and they don’t "get"  our football, with its complex rules and myriad stops and starts and the violent balletics of its play.

But then, "Friday Night Lights" was about football in the way that someone might say "The Social Network" is about laptop computers.  Football is just the frame on which to hang the many points it makes about American life, just as certainly as soccer, with its devotees and hooligans and heartbreak, says much about life in the nations that play it so ardently.

So I’m left with the second conclusion: that the people of the world’s soccer-loving nations are thoroughly ticked off that what they call "football" means, in this powerful and influential country, something else completely, that here, their idea of "real" football has to be  called "soccer" to differentiate it from the American game -- and that they’re so peeved at the hijacking  of the word "football" that they can’t bring themselves to honor a TV program about the sport that stole their thunder in this country.

So, now that the big rush of the Globes is over, maybe the HFPA members can relax and ask Netflix to deliver every season of "Friday Night Lights" -- just to brush up on the game before the Super Bowl. Are they ready for some football?


Oscar showdown looms between 'True Grit' and 'The Social Network'

-- Patt Morrison

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