Texas Football and the Price of Paralysis

In Texas, catastrophic spinal injuries aren't enough to change high school football

Paul Moakley

Each year, about 1 in 100,000 high school football players suffers a serious spinal-cord injury.

In 2004, when Friday Night Lights was being made into a movie, director Pete Berg invited me to the Astrodome in Houston to watch the filming. It didn't take long to realize that the magic of moviemaking was no magic at all — repetitive and dull. I became bored, which is when I saw a small cluster of young men in wheelchairs on the sidelines.

I can still feel the stiffness of their fingers as I grasped their hands. I can still see the eyes of longing as they watched a movie being made about the...

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