By RUSSELL HUFFMAN
December 1, 2020
There is something uniquely intimate and different about the CBS football documentary Texas 6.
The August heat has yet to begin its burn in Strawn, Texas, as viewers are introduced to the team, much like a doe-eyed freshman would be on his first day. The sun isn’t up yet and provides the only light as an ultra-tight view shows nothing but the field and a few players’ running legs.
Just like six-man football, the series’ opening scene is in your face and yet wide open at the same time. The music plays slow-paced and soft as the players move in slow motion down the field. Any louder or faster, and the moment will slip into the burning rising sun leaving only a memory.
In the end, memories are what all the vast majority of Texas six-man football players will have at the end of their high school careers as few athletes make it to the next level.
Thank goodness for memory makers like Jared L. Christopher.
They have the vision to go out and use their storytelling ability in ways that can turn the average everyday American into a raving six-man super fanatic. The man also has a great deal of faith as he and his film crew was six weeks into filming before the project got its funding.
Those people holding the purse strings got to see the raw footage while the rest of us get to see the finished project, and it’s a work of art already drawing rave reviews from the Houston Chronicle to the New York Post.
So why are folks in New York suddenly clambering over small-town football?
Perhaps it is the series ground-level view where every opening scene is intimate and beautifully balanced shots that leave you feeling the morning sun’s warmth or smelling the popcorn? Maybe it is how Christopher smoothly introduces us to Coach Dewaine Lee and players like J.W. Montgomery and Blaze Duncan?
Then again, it might the stunning cinematography that draws you in over and over?
Simple scenes like a broken-down pickup truck, a basset hound in a field, the town’s water tower, and Mary’s Café downtown will have you adding Strawn, Texas, to your bucket travel list.
There’s always a bottom line, and for the Greyhounds of Strawn, it’s about living up to the expectations of Coach Lee and its football loving fans.
As the two-time defending state champions, there is major anticipation of a third championship by the town, but there are many obstacles along the way. When adversity strikes, it’s up to Lee and his supporters to set the right course.
I had the opportunity to cover Strawn in a couple of regular-season games and through the playoffs last year. I have found myself greatly surprised at how well this documentary is filmed and presented.
This isn’t Friday Night Lights or a documentary glorifying players and the game.
Instead, it’s a story about small-town Texas people and how they come together to support each other through the game of football.
Championships are won on a field, but getting to the turf takes a village, and this documentary will leave you wanting to be a part of that.
It’s an understatement to describe Texas 6 as a football documentary; instead, it’s a beautiful introduction to a simpler life where people still look out for each other, and everyone escapes their worries to support the boys of fall.
Texas 6 is available via several sources to include CBS All-Access, Prime, and YouTube.