HI.com's Got MOJO!

HawgsIllustrated.com is going to host a private showing of the movie Friday Night Lights in Fayetteville, Ark. If you are a member of HI.com's premium service, you are invited!

Arkansas tailback De'Arrius Howard told us about regaining his mojo this week. So we decided to give our mojo a try.

Hawgs Illustrated will test its mojo by playing host to one of the first private showings for the movie Friday Night Lights at Fiesta Square16 Cinemas in Fayetteville. It's set for 7 p.m. Wednesday of next week. The movie debuts nationally two days later.

Most learned about mojo from that Austin Powers movie, but I first heard about mojo when I read Friday Night Lights, the book written by H. G. Bissinger about high school football in West Texas. "Mojo!" is the battle cry for Odessa Permian High School's Panthers. I was stunned just a few days ago when I got the call from a vice president at TheInsiders.com, the website network we partner with at HawgsIllustrated.com.

"You want to host one of the first private showings of Friday Night Lights," Joel Cox said. "Don't have much time to pull it off, but we've selected 10 of the top websites in our network and Hawgs Illustrated is one of them. Universal Studios just called us. Got to move fast, though. Want to do it? You in or out?"

Move fast is what we've done. Relying on our mojo, we had to lock up the theatre, with approval from Universal Studios. Got it done Thursday afternoon.

There is some anxiety involved when you attempt something this big. We wanted to have a tailgate, too, in the parking lot at the theatre, but that didn't work out. We decided instead to play host to a post-movie party at a local restaurant, one of our advertisers.

Movie tickets were reserved, at the request of TheInsiders.com, for premium subscribers to HawgsIllustrated.com, since the network set this up for us. Subscribers will receive an email Friday night and have a chance to reserve a spot in the theatre. With thousands of subscribers, the tickets to the premier will go quickly. There's still time to join as a premium subscriber before that email hits.

Will we have actors, stars? That's hard to say at this point. I know Dudley Dawson will be there. He's not an actor. But he's one of our stars at HawgsIllustrated.com, rating high school football players as our top recruiting expert. He knows about Odessa Permian. He's got mojo. He'll be there. I'm going to be there, too.

Whether or not Billy Bob Thornton, the star of the movie and an Arkansan, attends is up in the air. He's going to be at one of the 10 sites, just don't know if we get him or not. Universal Studios has promised to send "a representative." There are no other details yet.

The movie is supposed to be outstanding. I've been aching for a good sports movie of late, and haven't seen anything out there of interest. I'm pumped.

If you like high school football, the critics say you'll love Friday Night Lights. I fit in that category. I don't have to know someone on either sideline to enjoy a high school football game at any level.

Someone asked why the world premiere is not in Odessa, and it turns out the folks there didn't like the book and aren't a fan of the movie, either. Bissinger wrote in the latest Sports Illustrated that Odessa folks accused him of "deception and betrayal, of wooing and then verbally raping them, of blaspheming the god of high school football and desecrating Odessa itself by depicting incidents of racism and misplaced educational priorities."

So it should be good, if all of that is in the movie. Just kidding. However, a little controversy can go a long way. Hollywood loves it and so do movie goers.

Book signings in Odessa were rejected in 1990 when the book first was published. Threats were phoned in to local book stores when it was suggested Bissinger might appear.

So, Odessa's hate helped get us our showing in Fayetteville. We'll take it and steal their mojo at the same time. I'm always ready to steal the thunder from someone in Texas. MOJO!!!

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