With the CIF deciding to delay the start of the high school football season until Jan. 8 because of uncertainty and safety concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, teens and their families are going to need to find a substitute plan for what to do on Friday nights this fall.
Let’s call it “Friday Night Lights” revised.
Among the possible alternatives:
• A TV classic. Subscribe to Hulu and watch all five seasons of the TV series “Friday Night Lights.”
• A film classic. Make Friday night a family night to watch your favorite sports movie. Here are a few to get you started: “Blindside,” “Remember the Titans,” “Hoosiers,” “Mighty Ducks,” “Field of Dreams.”
• A little football. You may be able to stream seven-on-seven football games from your nearest park. By October and November, if county health departments grant approval, seven-on-seven passing competitions could be possible.
• Friday night barbecue. Yes, get some use out of the backyard with games, hot dogs and flag football. Invite your friends. Play your high school fight song or favorite college fight song. Maybe invite the Trojan horse to drop by.
• “Fortnite” challenge. Teenagers love video games, so Friday night could be the time for online gamer competitions.
• Zoom fun. Talks by coaches can be boring watching from your computer screen or cellphone, but it’s time for a little innovation. Put the coach on your 60-inch TV screen. Let Mom and Dad and your brother and sister join in. Start a trivia game. Come up with rewards, like a mask with a school logo or a pizza party for the winner.
• Periscope Live. There are some teenagers dreaming of becoming sports broadcasters, so go live on Twitter’s Periscope on Friday night with your own sports talk show, inviting your famous friends to join you for interviews.
• Friday night workout. Open the weight room for athletes to take out their frustration with every bench press to prepare for the season ahead. Mom and Dad can supply the cupcakes like the old days.
• Friday night learning. Coaches can invite an entrepreneur, pro or college football alumnus, guest teacher or inspirational speaker to offer words of wisdom via a video conference.
• Cheerleader/band night. Invite the cheerleaders, dance team and marching band to put on a virtual concert streamed live and unveil a hype video for the 2021 season.