On Friday Night Lights

Why We Love . . . Luke Cafferty

By Jen Chaney

Luke Cafferty was a farm boy, the kind of guy who looked like he could appear in a Chevy truck commercial or perhaps inspire a patriotic adult-contemporary song by John Cougar Mellencamp.

His jawline was firm. His jeans were dusty. His belt buckles were large and oval-shaped. And as a kid who personified rock-solid American values, Luke could not have been more earnest and respectful, a habitual user of the words “sir” and “ma’am.” This boy always wanted to do the right thing, even though, admittedly, he didn’t always succeed. (Please refer to “pretending to live at a non-existent address” or “using under-the-table medication” for further information.)

Luke’s mistakes were honest mistakes, missteps that didn’t change the fact that, at his core, he was one of the good ones. He was forever loyal: to Becky Sproles, throughout her unplanned pregnancy and after the subsequent abortion; to Coach Taylor and the East Dillon Lions, despite that supposed offer to play for St. Pat’s; to his teammates, even when some of them got offers from colleges that Luke desperately wanted to attend himself; and, as we ultimately learned, to his country.

That’s why we love Luke Cafferty. We also love him because of the following:


  • When Principal Tami Taylor caught Luke in his lie about which school district he lived in, he begged her not to remove him from the Dillon Panthers. Then, instead of pleading further or screaming at her, he did something unexpected: he apologized sincerely for not telling the truth.
  • Most NFL players wouldn’t  …

More from Jen Chaney

Stay Updated

on our daily essay, giveaways, and other special deals

Our Books

Subscribe via RSS