On Friday Night Lights

Why We Love . . . Billy and Mindy Riggins

By Jen Chaney

Billy and Mindy Riggins were never supposed to inspire us.

Billy was the washed-up former high school football player who drank too much, the kind of guy who was always scraping for cash, would piss in a sink if a toilet wasn’t available, and would steal copper wire or illegally sell spare car parts if the opportunities presented themselves. Mindy Riggins, formerly Collette, was a stripper, a young woman with a sassy mouth, an affection for booze as strong as Billy’s, and no sense of regret about taking off her clothes in exchange for dollar bills in her waistband.

When Billy proposed to Mindy–humbling himself at the Seven Se±oritas Cantina by getting down on one knee in front of the entire margarita-swilling crowd–they seemed like two people who kind of deserved each other. And not necessarily in a good way.

But Billy and Mindy, two people with an undeniable white-trash streak in them, eventually impressed us. Despite their tendency to be screwups–actually, Billy overcompensated for both of them in that department–they proved they had loving hearts, a strong commitment to family, and the same relatable insecurities about their future as any young couple. Whether they were raising their baby Stevie, taking in a forlorn Becky, or preparing to welcome twin “Riglettes” into the world, they also demonstrated that they shared a surprising trait: a sense of responsibility, a word that had new meaning for Billy after brother Tim took the rap and went to prison for turning good ol’ Riggins’ Rigs into a  …

More from Jen Chaney

Stay Updated

on our daily essay, giveaways, and other special deals

Our Books

Subscribe via RSS