Behind the Friday Night Lights - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Behind the Friday Night Lights

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

It is kick off time and hundreds maybe even thousands will rush out to football fields in the area. Why? because it is what they were taught and bred to do; love the game, players, and the sport. 

"High school football has a long tradition in this area and I know for a lot of people its not just going to the game, it's a social experience," Rebecca Bush said. 

An experience that is captured in this painting by Columbus artist Bo Bartlett. It is called "Homecoming 1995" and shows a scene at a Columbus High school football game with a bonfire in the background. 

"In the center of the painting you have the queen and presumably perhaps her boyfriend or her escort who is of course also on the football team," Bush said. 

The painting, which Bartlett modeled after teenage angst, football rivalry and high school drama, captures high school football in the early 90's. Since that time the game hasn't changed much, still teaching lessons with each crop of players and fans that come along. 

Newly-elected Phenix City mayor elect Eddie Lowe knows the grid iron all too well. He was a high school football star in the 70s at Central High School and went on to play in the Canadian football league for the Saskatchewan Rough Riders. 

Lowe says the game taught him valuable life lessons. 

"Its about people. If we can get everybody to buy into pulling together for a football game certainly we can do that for something more meaningful what we called life," Lowe said. 

Lowe also played ball for the University of Alabama. It was there where he learned the true spirit and meaning of the game. 

"Most important thing I learned in playing football particularly from Coach Bryant was how not to be jealous.. it's the team concept which teaches you to give of your self for the sake of the team," Lowe said.  

A team that bands together in victory and defeat every Thursday or Friday night because they simply love it.

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