It's tough to articulate how impactful last night's game was at Freeman High School.
If you watch KREM every night, you know that the shows haven't been normal and in my world, we haven't had a normal sportscast. In fact, we actually haven't really done sports at all the last few days. It just doesn't seem right to talk about something as frivolous as sports when there are much more important things to discuss in the show.
Last night was different, though.
Under the 'Friday Night Lights,' the Freeman students showed sometimes the spectacle of sport completely outweighs the substance of its existence.
The lines started forming almost 45 minutes before kickoff. Families and alums who haven't been to a game in years caught up with familiar faces and each embrace I saw shed comfort on a soul who has zero connections to the area. I felt the pain for every second these hugs lingered. These weren't 'Nice to see you again hugs.' These were, 'I feel what you feel type hugs and I'm here with you.'
The reciprocal energy boiled up into a delicate moment of silence before the game. With the sun painting a perfect backdrop in the midst of an unimaginable tragedy, the silence echoed.
This marked the bridge between the week that was and what lies ahead.
The healing will continue and for the entire community the healing will all move at a different pace, but no matter the speed of recovery, the town will trudge forward on the same road together.
Sports might be frivolous in nature, but it sure does bring out every emotion in all of us. I don't think the students understand the impact they were making last night to play the game, but they will in due time.
With childish invincibility withering away, they took the field to help everyone heal and they happened to win, but that final score doesn't matter. Years down the road, the details of the game will fade from our memories, but never will we forget the importance of this contest and how it allowed everyone to begin the process of returning to normalcy...
Even though 'normal' will never quite be what it once was.