Ultimate 6er | Clear eyes, Full Pints, Can’t lose
I recently experienced one of the least fun football related weeks I can remember. My San Francisco 49ers were annihilated on Thanksgiving day by Seattle (the city I live in). Two days later I watched, with my in-laws from Michigan, flipping between the games, the Michigan Wolverines lose 28-42 to their perennial rivals Ohio State and my beloved UK Wildcats lose 40-44 to in-state rival Louisville. The “icing” on the cake for both of those college loses? Both teams had logged 5 wins at the time, meaning they not only lost the rivalry game, but they also lost bowl eligibility.
My reaction: “I hate football. From now on the only team I root for is the Dillon Panthers.”
That’s right ladies and gentlemen, the fictional team from the not-quite-a-hit, critically acclaimed TV show Friday Night Lights. I mentioned this article to my friend and fellow PD contributor, Scott Hoffman (a Chicago Bears fan) and his response was “I actually just started watching Friday Night Lights again because of how terrible the Bears have been this season”. That should tell you something about FNL’s ability to rejuvenate your soul.
The folks from Dillon, TX probably aren’t super familiar with craft beer. To be fair, Dillon is not a real town, but whatever. If I were to make my best estimate, given that the majority of the characters are high school students and the rest are middle aged men more concerned with high school football than, say, their marriages, I’d put the over/under of craft beers consumed in Dillon at around ½ pints, and you could easily talk me into the under.
But, fantastic characters and personalities abound, so without further ado, I dedicate this Ultimate 6er to anyone from Oakland, New York, Jacksonville, Tennessee, Tampa Bay, D.C., or any number of college towns around the country in an effort to show you that football, and life itself, still matters.
(*Note – all comparisons are from FNL Season 1 because that’s the one I’m watching on Netflix currently).
Buddy “Bud Light” Garrity
Buddy Garrity exemplifies a sense of good-old-boyness that pervades many a small town. He’s one of my favorite characters on the show because 1) Brad Leland does a fantastic job of playing him, 2) he’s sleazy while being oddly endearing, and 3) his hair and profession as a used car salesman are amazing. But you know the one thing that’s absolutely true about Buddy Garrity? He’ll buy a winning team if he has to. Reminiscent of our friends at AB at all?
Superficial and a little dirty, what other beer would Buddy Garrity possibly drink? He doesn’t necessarily have bad intentions, but they aren’t exactly altruistic either. Bud Light truly is the used car salesman of beer.
Tim “Lone Star” Riggins
I mean that really could be the end of my point. I looked all over the internet for pictures of Tim Riggins drinking what I strongly believe is Lone Star beer, but the labels are always obscured. I guess that’s one of the artistic moves one has to make when portraying a 17 year old.
But let’s not kid ourselves. That’s Lone Star in those tall boys. How do I know? What other long haired, alcoholic, good-looking, chronically depressed, interpersonally challenged individual with a Southern drawl have we seen on TV in the last few years? I can only think of one…
Smash “Guinness” Williams
The first thing you can say about both Guinness stout and The Smash is that they are both undeniably smooth. Well, I guess Guinness has never referred to itself in the 3rd person as “The Guinness”, but still.
Another commonality? Guinness is often described as heavy, but those in the know are aware that it’s really a relatively easy drinker. Likewise, Smash is the go to RB for the Panthers, but shows signs of weakness until he dabbles in steroids. Is nitrogen a performance enhancing drug? I’m not sure, but you can’t deny that it certainly builds body!
Lyla “Radler” Garrity
I won’t lie; I found the Jason Street story line to be somewhat less than compelling. Maybe I’m a hard-hearted jerk, but I was fully on board with diving into a Lyla/Riggins mess of a relationship. That’s because Lyla didn’t fully come alive on the screen until she fought/made out with Riggins, showing the full scope of her character.
Likewise, at first sip, you’d be prepared to say this brew from Stiegl is simply a sweet, citrusy, light lager. But as you get into it and get more of the grapefruit flavor you realize there’s some hop, and pith, bitterness, lending a depth you wouldn’t see from the start. High drama!
Landry “Caldera” Clarke
I’m not really keeping track, but I think this is my first cheap joke. Caldera makes a Ginger Beer… Landry has red hair… HAHAHAHAHA. Sorry for being so hilarious.
But in semi-seriousness, Landry is often an exhaust valve for what is a very emotionally charged show. If you’ve made it this far in this article and you have not watched Friday Night Lights just take my warning that you will get sucked in. Well if you care about things like human relationships.
But Landry is lighthearted, kind of disconnected from a lot of the drama (*Repeat of note – article based on Season 1 only), and funny. But even he shows a little spice when he’s supposed to tutor Riggins and probably gives the star his first dose of reality in a long time. It’s refreshing, just like Caldera’s Ginger Beer, coming in at around 4.5% ABV with a healthy dose of ginger to cleanse the palate.
Did I mention Landry has red hair?
(*Second note – Landry’s murderous ways in Breaking Bad were likewise not considered here).
Eric and Tami “Two Hearted” Taylor
What an impressive couple. If Coach Taylor gave me about a 1 minute pep talk, I could probably execute one solid double move route against a college cornerback, which is to say his words alone could increase my athletic ability by around 400%, and possibly make me 3 inches taller. Three Coach Taylor quotes to chew on:
“I said you need to strive to be better than everyone else. I didn’t say you needed to be better than everyone else. But you gotta try. That’s what character is: It’s in the try.”
“You listen to people that love you and you listen to people that you trust. Most of all, you listen to yourself.”
“Every man at some point in his life is gonna lose a battle. He’s gonna fight and he’s gonna lose. But what makes him a man, is that in the midst of that battle he does not lose himself.”
Take that Winston Churchill! Not to be outdone, here are an equally amazing three from Tami:
“There’s no weakness in forgiveness.”
“Well, you’re gonna win or you’re gonna lose. Either way the sun’s still gonna come up tomorrow morning.”
“There’s not a person in the world that could do this except for you. This is what you do. I’ve seen you do it with my own eyes. I believe in you. I believe in you with every cell of my being.”
Well now I feel like I could possibly run one solid double move AND lay down one impressive crack down block on a linebacker to seal the outside AND make several correct life decisions. Point being, I know it’s a TV show, but if my marriage can operate as effectively, with as much love and respect, shared non-verbal communication, and snappy banter as the Taylor’s, I’d score that a win.
Two Hearted Ale… it’s really perfect. Just the name itself encapsulates the show. But add to that the fact that the beer exemplifies a solid, well rounded beer? An IPA that doesn’t even really want to fool with labels? I can’t think of a better beer to exemplify the Taylors than that.
There are many characters I’ve left out here. Let me know your Saracen beer! If you haven’t watched the show, I clearly recommend it. If you have, you know what to leave in the comments:
CLEAR EYES, FULL HEARTS…