On Friday Night Lights

Why We Love . . . Lyla Garrity

By Jen Chaney

Lyla Garrity is a girl we should have hated. She was a cheerleader. She got straight A’s at Dillon High. She’s the epitome of the cute-meets-sexy female fantasy, the one every guy hopes to see naked in his bedroom as well as fully clothed, across the dinner table, when it’s time to introduce the girlfriend to the parents.

Maybe that’s why everyone at Dillon High was so unceasingly mean to her when word got out that she slept with Tim Riggins behind her paralyzed boyfriend Jason’s back. They’d all been waiting for Little Miss Perfect to screw up, and when that day came, it was the equivalent of a very schadenfreude Christmas.

But here’s the thing about Lyla: Yes, she’s kind of a prissy pants. Yes, she grits her teeth too much when she’s yelling at Tim for whatever absurd, thoughtless thing he’s recently done. And yes, when she became a born-again Christian, she was so sweetly sanctimonious that you just wanted to push her pretty, ponytailed head in some holy water and hold it there for awhile.

But we still love her. Because underneath that seemingly flawless fa┬žade, she’s got fortitude. She’s got some fight in her. She’s a good girl (the kind who dates nice Christian boys with preppy haircuts) with some definite bad girl in her (hence, Tim Riggins).

She can stand on the sidelines and cheer, but she also knows how to fire a gun. She prays hard, but also knows her way around a Playstation.

She can be there for  …

More from Jen Chaney

Stay Updated

on our daily essay, giveaways, and other special deals

Our Books

Subscribe via RSS