It’s Not About the Hike

It’s Not About the Hike
Football is more than just a game.

You’re probably well aware that earlier this summer the television show Friday Night Lights came to an end. The network season finale, in mid-July, triggered a wave of epitaphs from critics and slews of tearful “texasforever”-hashtagged tweets from fans, more reminders of the powerful chord that the scrappy football drama had struck during its five-year run. Though FNL struggled with ratings, it attracted an audience whose fervor overmatched its size (including us; last year we made the case that it was the most realistic TV show about Texas ever made). It also had a knack for enthralling critics for whom the world it depicted was entirely foreign, and even objectionable. “I hate to leave Dillon, Texas,” wrote Salon’s Steven Axelrod on the morning of the finale, “a fly-over flyspeck I would never have even wanted to visit in real life.” Well, how nice for you, Mr. Axelrod. The height of this sort of elitist-joyride-through-the-heartland came from the fiction writer and critic Lorrie Moore, who took to the pages of the New York Review of Books, in an article titled “Very Deep in America”—an article that

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