The timing couldn’t be any better.

For a week now, the Texas coastline has been in a state of turmoil thanks to Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath.

The public watched in horror as the storm made landfall, and people have experienced an overwhelming sadness in the days since.

Entire towns were ravaged and major metropolitan cities were left flooded.

Thousands and thousands of lives have been affected — some in the most tragic ways possible.

Obviously, there is no quick fix to this situation. People are still suffering, and unfortunately, there is no end in sight.

Sadly, while Mother Nature has abruptly halted so many people’s everyday existence, life continues.

For many Texans, this weekend is one of the most anticipated of the year, because high school football teams from across the state begin their seasons.

Tonight will be filled with so much joy for so many coaches, players, parents, family members, students and fans, because football has always been more than a pastime in Texas — it is a passion.

Some will not experience the Friday Night Lights, though.

Numerous games have been postponed or canceled due to both the physical and mental devastation Hurricane Harvey left in its wake, and I applaud every school responsible for making such a decision.

Football is of absolutely no true consequence at the moment. Final scores and statistics are meaningless, but that does not mean the sport will not have an impact this weekend.

While countless people will be denied the luxury of attending a football game, those who can, should.

Virtually anybody who viewed the carnage on the coastline felt its enormity and grieved for those left to pick up the pieces. We have all witnessed the heart-wrenching stories of broken families and seen the heroic acts of courage by first responders and citizens alike.

Even from afar, it can be draining. Hopefully, however, football can aid the healing process.

Again, as petty as the sport is in comparison to the big picture, people need an emotional release at this time. They want to feel normal again, and in Texas, every Friday night offers a means of therapy for innumerable fans.

So, while I hope people are able to find happiness in this weekend’s games, I also hope every team in the state uses this opportunity to provide relief for others.

Displaced people in the affected areas are in desperate need of everything from nonperishable food, water, baby food and diapers to flashlights, batteries, hygiene supplies, cleaning products, clothes and blankets.

It might be difficult to enjoy high school football’s opening weekend as usual for many, but if it allows someone to be briefly distracted from sorrow or helps provide assistance to those in need, then the timing couldn’t be any better.

Contact Clay Whittington at

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