A show about a young alcoholic dealing with his inner demons (who happens to play football).

Beer Cries. Closed Hearts. Strong Booze.

Drinking With Tim Riggins: Season One, Episode Fifteen

"I’m starting to see a W in my eyes."

Tim Riggins coaches a game of powderpuff football. He shows leadership skills, yet despite his valiant efforts his team loses. That wasn’t a W in our hero’s eyes, it was beauty and despair.

***

(Sidenote: Tim Riggins didn’t actually drink in this episode of Drinking With Tim Riggins, nor did he get much screen time, but he made up for it by… well… we’re not sure, and for that we’re sorry. Sometimes this show is about football, apparently.)

The practice drill is to run towards Tim Riggins, making this the most enjoyable practice drill in the history of football.

The practice drill is to run towards Tim Riggins, making this the most enjoyable practice drill in the history of football.

Drinking With Tim Riggins: Season One, Episode Fourteen

After pulling a no show at a court hearing over a speeding ticket (and because Older Brother is not his legal guardian) Tim Riggins finds himself in need of his Absentee Father’s signature in order to keep his license. The idea of TR visiting their old man, whom neither of them have seen in two years, does not sit well with Older Brother, but Riggins is as stubborn as his jaw is chiseled, so he piles into the cab of his beloved truck and sets out to track down the man who made him.

***

Driving in silence on the highways of West Texas, Tim Riggins does what we all do best when behind the wheel: he remembers.

***

"Threw his sorry ass out six months ago, sugar."

At a roadside motel, the last known address of Absentee Father, Riggins talks with a smoke-wrinkled lady who loves country music (Conway Twitty, to be exact) and cigarettes. Though she hasn’t seen AF in quite some time, she points our hero to a golf course “out in the sticks” where his father has been known to make grocery money hustling on the back nine.

***

"Well c’mon! Give your old man a hug!"

No matter the history, there are few people in the world who don’t want to hear those words from their father, and Tim is no different. As he embraces the man who has abandoned him we see, only for a moment, his hand squeeze into Absentee Father’s back, like a child holding onto to the string of a balloon they never want to lose. There are no rules, dear reader, when it comes to love.

"Can you hang out for awhile?" AF asks with the voice of a man who knows he’s made mistakes.

"Yea, yea I can."

***

A couple of quick sodas (“Sober six weeks next Tuesday, otherwise I’d be buying you a beer”) turn into bowling, which turns into dinner, which turns into drinking by a fire and Riggins spending the night at his dad’s home. 

"How’s Older Brother doing? I know he hates me, and I don’t blame him. You were too young, but he saw some things that I’m not to proud of."

"Dad, I was ten… I wasn’t blind."

The conversation pauses, and then, as so many of us do when a talk with a family member teeters on the brink of something meaningful, the two Texans shift in their seats and begin to discuss sports.

***

The next morning Tim Riggins plays golf with his father, who (because are we not all creatures of habit blindly repeating the mistakes we never meant to make?) puts a wager on the game.

"Well, let’s up the ante then. I win, you come to Dillon on Friday to watch me play. Deal?"

And with those words Tim Riggins loses, not to his father, but to the competitive gambling golf hustler who lives within the man he loves.

***

Driving in silence on the highways of West Texas, Tim Riggins does what we all do best when behind the wheel: he tries to forget.

***

It is clear upon Riggins’ return that spending the night at their old man’s place has upset Older Brother, who, while not the best role model, has at least stuck around and tried to do his best for our abandoned hero.

***

Right before the start of a game Older Brother grabs TR by his shoulder pads.

"Tim, I need an extra ticket… dad’s here."

And there, on the other side of a chain link fence, stands Absentee Father. Tim Riggins looks over his shoulder at his brother, and it is clear that our man’s heart is torn as asunder as the banner his team runs through as they take the field.

As Tim Riggins embraces the man who has abandoned him we see, only for a moment, his hand squeeze into his Absentee Father’s back, like a child holding onto to the string of a balloon they never want to lose.

As Tim Riggins embraces the man who has abandoned him we see, only for a moment, his hand squeeze into his Absentee Father’s back, like a child holding onto to the string of a balloon they never want to lose.

Drinking With Tim Riggins: Season One, Episode Thirteen

Despite being rejected by his Blonde Ex-Girlfriend, Tim Riggins attempts to help her find a job for her mother. It’s a small town though, and jobs are scarce, so TR finds himself begging the favor of his Crippled Best Friend’s Girlfriend’s Father.

"Well, your timing is terrible, Tim."

"Yes, sir. I get that a lot."

But what is Tim Riggins, if not a devastatingly beautiful person who can look another person in the eye and speak his mind?

"Sir, I know you’re a big man in this town… and I know you don’t owe me, or anyone anything for that matter… but Blonde Ex-Girlfriend? All she’s trying to do is help her mom out, and all I’m asking from you is to consider giving them a break."

What can Crippled Best Friend’s Girlfriend’s Father say after swimming in those two emerald soul windows TR calls eyes, other than…

"I respect that. You’re a good man. You tell her to come by and see me tomorrow afternoon. […] You’re a good man, Tim. I appreciate your candor."

But Riggins’ peepers weren’t the only things working on Crippled Best Friend’s Girlfriend’s Father’s heart. Sometimes a person has to respect the act of another person asking them for kindness. When Blonde Ex-Girlfriend came to Tim she said,So, I need a favor. And just for the record it’s not going to involve any thank-you sex, or make-up sex. In fact, it’s going to involve absolutely no sex whatsoever. To which our hero replied, “Um, believe it or not it’s not all about sex for me.”

Because it’s not, dear reader. It’s not all about sex for Tim Riggins… or for any of us. It’s not always about what we can get. Sometimes we just want to help a person in need. Even if that person is an ex, or an old fling, or an enemy, or even the “good man” who up until recently was banging the shit out of our daughter. Sometimes, dear reader, we just want to show somebody we care.

***

(Sidenote: Tim Riggins didn’t actually drink in this episode of Drinking With Tim Riggins, nor did he get much screen time, but he made up for it by reminding us that we have no greater purpose than to help one another.)

“So, I need a favor. And just for the record it’s not going to involve any thank-you sex, or make-up sex. In fact, it’s going to involve absolutely no sex whatsoever.”

So, I need a favor. And just for the record it’s not going to involve any thank-you sex, or make-up sex. In fact, it’s going to involve absolutely no sex whatsoever.

Drinking With Tim Riggins: Season One, Episode Twelve

In a brief, vulnerable moment, Tim Riggins approaches his Blonde Ex-Girlfriend at The Annual Women’s Booster League Rodeo Fundraiser and Fair. “I am truly sorry for everything that has happened, for what I’ve put you through… I was a complete jerk and I am so sorry. If you would even consider giving me a second chance… believe me it’ll be so different.”

But Riggins isn’t the only person who comes from a broken home. With a smile on her face that could break the heart of a newborn fawn, and fresh memories of the abuse brought down on her by her mother’s low-life boyfriend, not to mention the knowledge that her mother, who is sad and alone and confused (as we all are, or at least have been, or most certainly will be), will welcome said low-life back into their home, TR’s Blonde Ex-Girlfriend makes a stand for her humanity against Riggins’ impossible beauty. “You know, so many times I’d have loved to hear those words come out of your mouth. God I’d love to say yes. But I’d hate myself for it.”

And with that she turns away, leaving our main man alone under the bright lights of a Ferris wheel and, beyond those, the dark night sky of Texas.

***

(Sidenote: Tim Riggins didn’t actually drink in this episode of Drinking With Tim Riggins, nor did he get much screen time, but he made up for it by reminding us that it is important to make desperate grasps at love.)

And with that she turns away, leaving Tim Riggins alone under the bright lights of a Ferris wheel and, beyond those, the dark night sky of Texas.

And with that she turns away, leaving Tim Riggins alone under the bright lights of a Ferris wheel and, beyond those, the dark night sky of Texas.

Drinking With Tim Riggins: Season One, Episode Eleven

"The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - that you’d thought special, particular to you. And here it is, set down by someone else, a person you’ve never met, maybe even someone long dead. And it’s as if a hand has come out, and taken yours." -Hector, The History Boys

***

That Tim Riggins is not a man of letters comes as no surprise. A broken home, a closed off yet desperate heart… Tim Riggins is a man who lives stories, with no time to read the tales of others.

Riggins has gotten by academically thus far thanks to a group of gals who do his schoolwork in exchange for the sweet, tender rush of his lips on theirs. A fair trade if ever there was one. Yet not everyone is keen on letting TR skate through his classes. Which is how our handsome protagonist finds himself confronted with the simplest of questions: 

"What’s The Scarlet Letter about, Tim?”

All he has to say is, “Me,” but our hero has been too busy living a Texas version of Hawthorne’s story to ever pick up the book.

***

Tim is assigned a Young Geek Tutor to help him prepare for an upcoming oral exam regarding John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men. Undeterred by Riggins’ seeming indifference, the Young Geek Tutor reads the entire book aloud to TR while our main man lifts weights and/or broods.

Yet, when YGT completes the novel, Tim Riggins feigns ignorance, bringing Young Geek Tutor to a boiling point:

"Okay, listen. Listen. This is a book about two best friends who have a dream that gets crushed. They have a dream that gets crushed! You can’t tell me that there’s not something in this head of yours that you can relate this to!"

You can almost hear the whisper of “Texas Forever” on the wind as Tim Riggins looks out towards the horizon and thinks of his Crippled Best Friend.

***

Do you remember your best friend, dear reader? Do you remember the dreams the two of you shared? Where is your best friend now? Did you move away? Did they? Another city? Another coast? Iraq? Afghanistan? Where is the person you once shared your dreams with? And what happened to those dreams? Are those dreams alive and breathing, dear reader? Or did they get shot in the back of the head while talking about rabbits on the banks of a California creek?

***

In an empty bar the Young Geek Tutor’s metal band releases their loud, nonsensical wailings against this loud, nonsensical world. Tim Riggins walks in and claps.

"That’s some intense stuff, man. Very intense."

"You showed up. I didn’t think you would."

"You wanna know why?"

"Why?"

"Cause you’re looking at a B minus."

"You got a B minus?"

"Not too shabby, huh?"

"Well look at you, turning into a scholar on me."

"I appreciate your help man. I really do."

And there, with a smile and a back slap, Tim Riggins’ Young Geek Tutor becomes his Young Geek Friend. Because what else do we have, dear reader? What more is there than friendship?

***

(Sidenote: Tim Riggins didn’t actually drink in this episode of Drinking With Tim Riggins, but he made up for it by reminding us of friendships long forgotten.)

In an empty bar the Young Geek Tutor’s metal band releases their loud, nonsensical wailings against this loud, nonsensical world.

(“The Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton” by The Mountain Goats.)