Connie Britton to speak at Black Tie Dinner


Connie Britton

Actress Connie Britton will be a featured speaker at Black Tie Dinner.

Britton, who starred in the TV series Nashville, may be best known to Texans as Tami Taylor, wife of Coach Eric Taylor in the series Friday Night Lights.

Friday Night Lights took place in fictional Dillon, Texas and was filmed in and around Austin. The football field was the former Del Valle High School field directly across the highway from Austin Bergstrom Airport.

“I’m very excited to attend the 35th Black Tie Dinner on Oct. 1, and for an awesome celebration with Dallas and the LGBT community!” Britton told Black Tie representatives.

Look forward to meeting Britton at Black Tie, because she was as accessible and friendly on the set of Friday Night Lights as her on screen persona.

During the run of the show, I played a reporter, usually standing somewhere on the sidelines. I’m sort of easy to spot in any of the football scenes because I’m the only one on the field in a sports coat — because, you know, that’s how us reporters always dress, especially in the heat.

But we spent long nights out of the field filming each of those scenes that were cut down to less than five minutes.

Britton, who was usually in the stands during filming, was always accessible, chatting with the crowd. And while we usually filmed in summer, the season 3 championship game was done on a freezing November weekend in the UT stadium. I wasn’t on the field that game (because state championships were covered by the international press, not the local Dillon press corps). Britton sat for hours freezing in the stands along with the rest of us.

Also announced, comedian Dana Goldberg returns to Black Tie for a third year to host the luxury auction. Goldberg brilliantly increased bids and generated excitement during her previous turns as Black Tie auctioneer.

Previously announced were a performance by Deborah Cox and Kuchling Award winner Steven Pounders, who will not be portrayed on stage by Jennifer Garner.

—  David Taffet

Dillon, the best fake place in Texas, fades into TV history with final episode of ‘Friday Night Lights’

In a scene from the final episode of ‘Friday Night Lights,’ I am facing away from the field taking a picture of nothing while Josh, the ‘sound guy,’ listens to nothing. Not sure why a still photographer needed a sound guy.

NBC will air the final episode of Friday Night Lights (Channel 5 in Dallas) at 7 p.m. today. Look for me on the field — I play a reporter — big stretch, huh? And my big line — “Coach! Coach!” — will probably be cut as usual.

The East Dillon Lions have made it to the playoffs, which are held this year at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, where they face the Hudgens Hawks. The scene was filmed last summer. Saved me a trip to Austin.

East Dillon probably wins the state championship in this episode, although we filmed it both ways. But we filmed more takes of the Lions winning than losing. And it is the series finale, so no real spoiler alert there.

Tami Taylor’s been offered a job as head of admissions at a college in Pennsylvania. Last week, Coach didn’t want to talk about it. This week they will — while lying on the Cotton Bowl logo in the middle of the field. Me alert: Look for my feet walking by as they decide.

The idea of Tami and Coach moving to Pennsylvania was sort of a pilot for a spin-off that wasn’t picked up. Both Kyle Chandler (Coach) and Connie Britton (Tami) had agreed to continue their characters in the new setting if NBC bought the show.

Whether East Dillon wins or loses, I’m mostly in my familiar place on the sidelines, where I’ve been since Season 1. And I’m easy to spot because — as always — I’m the only person on the field in a blazer and tie. Whether on Hermann Field in “Dillon,” the Cotton Bowl, (old) Texas Stadium, Del Valle Stadium or Darrell K Royal Texas Memorial Stadium at UT, I’m always in a jacket and tie on the sidelines. Dillon and East Dillon High, by the way, were both across the street from the main entrance to Austin Bergstrom Airport, and the houses were in various spots around Austin.

—  David Taffet