In Honor Of The Start Football Season, Relive Billy Bob Thornton’s Legendary Halftime Speech On ‘Friday Night Lights’

Friday Night lights

It’s officially the best time of the year again, because starting tonight, football is BACK.

With most high school teams kicking off their seasons tonight, and Nebraska and Northwestern squaring off in Dublin, Ireland tomorrow, we can finally say we’ve made it after what’s felt like a century of an offseason.

This time of year means good times, good friends, cold beer, cool weather (except for those scorching hot first couple of games), and some damn good football to watch either in the stands, on the couch, or on the back patio.

Man, I can’t wait.

With high school football kicking off tonight, I thought it would be a good idea to bring back arguably the greatest speech in sports film history…

And I’m talking about Billy Bob Thornton’s halftime speech when he was portraying the late, great Odessa-Permian head football coach Gary Gaines in Friday Night Lights, when the Panthers were getting curb stomped at the half.

WARNING: This speech may tempt you to run through a brick wall, which is highly ill-advised.

It goes a little something like this:

“Well it’s real simple… You got two more quarters and that’s it.

Now most of you have been playin’ this game for ten years. And you got two more quarters and after that most of you will never play this game again as long as you live. Now, ya’ll have known me for a while, and for a long time now you’ve been hearin’ me talk about being perfect.

Well I want you to understand somethin’. To me, being perfect is not about that scoreboard out there. It’s not about winning. It’s about you and your relationship to yourself and your family and your friends.

Being perfect is about being able to look your friends in the eye and know that you didn’t let them down, because you told them the truth. And that truth is that you did everything that you could. There wasn’t one more thing that you could’ve done.

Can you live in that moment, as best you can, with clear eyes and love in your heart? With joy in your heart?

If you can do that gentlemen, then you’re perfect.

I want you to take a moment. And I want you to look each other in the eyes. I want you to put each other in your hearts forever, because forever’s about to happen here in just a few minutes.

I want you to close your eyes, and I want you to think about Boobie Miles, who is your brother. And he would die to be out there on that field with you tonight. And I want you to put that in your hearts.

Boys, my heart is full. My heart’s full.”


If that doesn’t get your blood pumping right there, you may not have a pulse.

And to make the speech evermore impressive, Thornton admitted last year that he completely thought up the speech on the spot, on his own.

Needless to say, that just gives me even more respect for the talent these actors have.

Unfortunately, the real-life Gary Gaines passed away this week at the age of 73 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease, but his legacy will live on in West Texas high school football forever.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock