The Grade: Tim ‘The Rig’ Riggins

Words by Maggie McDade

Published on August 11, 2014

Reviews of life and stuff.

I’m not sure if y’all are familiar, but there’s this show called Friday Night Lights. It is a truly, spanking, awesome show. Set in small-town Dillon, Texas, FNL centres on a high-school football team called the Panthers. It’s a magnificent look at small town politics, what dreams and aspirations look like for these teenagers, their relationships, gender roles, and disability. ALL KINDS OF STUFF.

Amongst all the drama and wonderful dialogue and everything else, there is a character called Tim Riggins and I’ve decided that I love him.

Tim is a complex boy/man. In the ocean that is thoughts and feelings, Tim dives very
Today, I am going to unpack Tim Riggins, in the attempt to understand my admiration for this character.

Tim lives with his older brother Billy in a house that has an unkempt lawn and a football placard with his name on it so all the locals know where he resides. Tim’s family life is confused and difficult: his dad has been in jail and lives somewhere near Dallas. We don’t know how Billy and Tim pay rent, or buy food, but there is always lots of beer and women around. This means that Tim gets in trouble a lot for being ‘drunk’ and ‘not taking life seriously’. Truth be told, Tim is the most grown up out of his whole family. He has solid moral foundations that often are not recognised by those close to him. Hence, Tim’s life is a conflict of how things appear, and how they really are.

Strangely, despite the residents of Dillon not expecting much from Tim other than for him to cruise around in his truck and play ace football, Tim has a lot of pressure placed on him to perform well both on and off the field. Maybe people like to get angry at Tim. Maybe it makes them feel good. Nearly every character in the show points out to Tim that he is in fact a huge disappointment and a bad friend. Also, as soon as something suspicious happens, like when Coach finds Tim helping his daughter Julie into bed while she’s drunk, everyone assumes the worst of Tim. My screams to the TV — ‘No, he didn’t do it! It’s not what it looks like!’ — showcase how dear he is to me.

The true depth and width of Tim’s character becomes obvious when he starts attending a Hillsong-esque church to be closer to God for his One True Love, Leila Garrity. Tim looks so out of place in his faded press-stud shirt, but he attends because he loves Leila and wants to impress her. It works. I am very impressed by his actions here, and I hope Leila understands what dedication this shows on Tim’s behalf.

I honestly think at least half of my love for Rigs comes from the clothes he wears: plaid shirts and shearling jackets, cowboy boots and Levis. If the weather is warm in Dillon, he wears a t-shirt with the sleeves cut off. Tim also always wears his hair ‘bedraggled yet sexy’. And I am yet to work out why, but Tim’s hair always appears semi-damp. A recent post-match shower, perhaps? Product? Sweat from working out? Whatever the reason, it remains tousled and I approve.

Pure objectification.

The Rig
Based on his deep and complex personality, his fantastic plaid shirts, and his athletic finesse, I give Tim Riggins five stars.