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Kyle Chandler turns 48 today! The film and television actor is most widely known for his role in the films Super 8 and Argo, and in television show Grey’s Anatomy. But Chandler’s most important role was that of Eric Taylor in Friday Night Lights. His performance on the show earned him the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series in 2011.
Chandler’s character in FNL is by far the most genuine. He is the one who instilled the “clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose” mantra in our hearts. The show is set in the fictional town of Dillon and centers around its high school football team.
Chandler is married to television writer Kathryn Chandler. The couple has two daughters and has been living happily in Texas for the last six years.
Here is a list of Coach Taylor’s top 10 moments. For his character, it is these little moments that really show his passion and dedication to everything he does.
10) Season 3, Episode 4: “Hello, Goodbye” Coach Taylor discusses with Tami who he should play in the next game - Saracen or McCoy. It shows that Eric is really doing the right job for him. He cares about his players with every fiber of his being and always has their best interests in mind. Coach Taylor isn’t just a football coach who makes brash decisions; he’s a coach with a conscience.
9) Season 5, Episode 13: “Always” Jess tells Coach Taylor that helping out with the East Dillon Lions was one of the best experiences of her life. Jess loves football and wanted to be a part of all of it - dreaming of someday being an assistant coach. Coach Taylor took her under his wing and let her help out with the team. And at this moment, he reveals to Jess that taking on this underdog team was the greatest experience of his life as well.
8) Season 2, Episode 14: “Leave No One Behind” Matt Sereson goes off with Tim Riggins and gets drunk. When Coach Taylor sees him like that, he throws him in the shower and turns on the cold water. Matt tells Coach that everyone leaves him, and he demands to know “what’s wrong with me.” Coach Taylor softens up and tells him there is nothing wrong with him. He has always had a soft spot for Matt, since his father has been overseas.
7) Season 2, Episode 1: “Last Days of Summer” Eric Taylor is a great coach, and a great husband, but one of the things that is sometimes forgotten is that he is an amazing father on top of that. When Eric is in Austin when Tami goes into labor, he rushes to the hospital as soon as he hears to make it before his second daughter is born. The big testament to Taylor is that instead of his wife being mad when he arrives, she is so elated, tears come to her eyes. When Eric holds Gracie Belle for the first time, they welcome her to the family with more happiness than any other birthing scene on television.
6) Season 3, Episode 13: “Tomorrow Blues” Billy Riggins and Mindy Collette’s wedding is a party, and it is highly entertaining to watch. The best part of the whole wedding, though, is Coach Taylor telling Tami that he will get through everything with the transfer to East Dillon, because he has her. The couple’s love for each other in this scene is really something.
5) Season 3, Episode 1: "I Knew You When" When the Dillon High boosters are rallying for a jumbotron, Tami fights back to try to put all that money towards teachers and school supplies. Eric knows that Tami is right, and tells her so, but he also knows that they need to keep the boosters happy. He praises his wife for standing up for what she believes in and tells her to make the boosters feel guilty. Eric Taylor shows off his supportive husband side during this episode.
4) Season 5, Episode 3: "The Right Hand of the Father” Vince Howard has a lot of hardships in his life, especially with his dad just being released from prison. He gives Coach Taylor a lot of attitude, but Coach gives it right back to him, saying, “Listen to me. I said you need to strive to be better than everyone else. I didn't say you needed to be better than everyone else. But you gotta try. That's what character is. It's in the trying.” Now that’s a life lesson.
3) Season 1, Episode 19: “Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes” Julie talks to her dad and tells him exactly how she feels about the news that they’re moving away from Dillon. She tells him, “I've been moving around my entire life, and for the first time...it just felt like I was at home. And...and...I know going to Austin and being some college football coach is your dream. But I have dreams too...and they're coming true right here.” You can see it in his eyes. He wants to live out his dreams so badly, but he wants his daughter to have everything. He simply replies, “I hear ya.”
2) Season 1, Episode 20: “Mud Bowl” When the Panthers lose their home field advantage, Coach Taylor leases an abandoned field and turns it into a football field. He sees the field with child-like eyes, telling his wife, “Close your eyes. Pretend you’re 10 years old again. Just playing. You’re just playing. I want to play football."
1) Season 1, Episode 8: “Crossing the Line” When Julie starts dating Matt, Coach Taylor takes on full-out dad mode. The scene where Eric and Julie play ping-pong while Eric gives his daughter some advice is so perfect at showing how much he loves his daughter. He says, “Alright, listen. I’m supposed to give you some fatherly and wise advice in this time in your life. Listen up. If you’re wondering if a boy’s thinking about you, he’s not. He’s hungry or he’s thinking about sex.” Although Julie thinks he’s just being funny, he continues and tells her boys are liars, they’re cruel and they’re misleading. He finishes his speech strong, saying, “You are beautiful, you are sensitive, and you are sweet and I just don’t want to see you get hurt.” Julie smiles back at her dad and simply replies, “I love you, too, Dad.”
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