Saturday (Sept. 17) marks the 51st birthday of actor Kyle Chandler. While he recently played the role of Officer John Rayburn in Netflix’s “Bloodline,” many know him best as Coach Eric Taylor from “Friday Night Lights.” That’s quite a legacy, with all the roles in his career, to be recognized everywhere as the force behind Dillon — and then East Dillon — High School’s football team.
While the show ended in 2011, Coach Taylor’s legacy lives on with wit, wisdom and enduring sense of motivation. He is our collective father, husband and mentor. Below, are some of his best moments.
Failure is not the end
Throughout the show’s five seasons, Coach Taylor instilled a code of ethics into his team players. While the end goal was to win, that wasn’t always the case. Still, instead of beating down the boys after an upsetting loss, he did his part to lift them back up and teach them that failure is a part of life. As Rocky Balboa once said, “It ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”
An epic work ethic
It’s not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game. That tried and true quote can apply to every episode of “Friday Night Lights.” Winning is the icing on the proverbial cake but the true victory lies in the countless hours put in to make that happen. Putting in that “hundred percent of yourself” is something that leaves a mark.
A constant role model
Coach Eric Taylor may have been a football coach, but for “Friday Night Lights” fans far and wide, he acted as a surrogate life coach for us as well. If only real life high school coaches the country over could mirror the example that Taylor made each week on the small-screen.
His way with women
It’s pretty safe to say that, while locking things down on the football field, Coach Taylor faced worthy opponents away from the school. Without Julie (Aimee Teegarden) and Tami (Connie Britton) keeping him in check, it’s possible Eric Taylor here wouldn’t have operated at his full potential.
His unbreakable marriage
Sure, Tami and Eric butted heads throughout the show and there were a fair share of fights as they traversed the political world of Texas football. But nothing could break their bond. In fact, their relationship could be seen as a diamond in the TV rough as most couples in primetime have secrets and lies adding to their drama. That isn’t the case with Tami and Eric Taylor. Without them, the legacy of “Friday Night Lights” would not endure.