An Ode To Connie Britton, On Her Special Night



1Photo: Courtesy of ABC
I'm not afraid to admit it: I want to be Connie Britton. Or, actually, I want to be Connie Britton as Tami Taylor. (But universe, if you're listening, I will also settle for just having her hair). I first fell in love with her watching Friday Night Lights (the TV show, not the movie — where the real fans were born). Mrs. T was a character like none other — strong, sassy, beautiful to a fault — but Connie breathed a life into her that no one else could. Oh, and then there's that hair again.

Over five gloriously heart-wrenching seasons (season two should consider itself lucky I'm even counting that monstrosity in my tally), my idolization grew. Tami is so perfect, that even her flaws are perfect. I loved the way she stood up to her husband, I loved the way she was so much more intelligent and inquisitive than any other "wife" archetype out there, and I loved that she was a feminist in the midst of a sexist, behind-the-times Texas town. A lot can be said for Coach Taylor and his tender looks that just won't quit (those eyes! They say everything!), but I always thought that Connie was truly the star of the show. My obsession even grew so deep that I started fantasizing about having a marriage just like Eric and Tami's (minus that brat Julie, of course), and I'll even cop to practicing my "Y'all" in front of the mirror.

For many Connie lovers, it's impossible to look at her and not see Tami T., but for me it's the other way around: Tami is Connie. Which is why it's so natural to watch her as Rayna James, the equally spitfire country star on Nashville. All the best C.B. qualities are there: An inner glow, never-ending sass, and of course that damn hair. Seriously — if Gretchen Weiners' hair was full of secrets, Connie's is full of magical pixie dust. This week marks the start of Nashville's second season, which promises way more drama, gossip, Southern drawl, and biting Connie Britton realism.

Off-screen, Connie may not be the Southern spitfire we're all used to, but she embodies everything I aspire to be. Her decision two years ago to adopt her son at age 44 flies in the face of tradition in the most beautiful way. If there's one thing I'm sick of in this day and age it's outdated and rigid definitions of love and family, and she seems to be right there with me. Sure, adopting a baby on her own well into her '40s wasn't the way she thought she would start her family (Britton was briefly married back in the '90s), but she wasn't about to let anything stand in the way of her happiness, so she re-imagined her plan. I know that I don't need Connie Britton to tell me I don't need a man to get the things I want out of life, but it sure is cool to see such great things happening for her.

I've had Nashville's momentous day checked off in my planner for months now (just like Tami Taylor would), but tonight marks another special occasion for my girl Connie. She's up for an Emmy in the Outstanding Lead Actress category — her fourth, if anyone's counting (I am). Her competition is tough, as she's up against Kerry Washington, Elisabeth Moss, and Claire Danes, to name a few. We know it's probably a long shot, but just seeing her there among heavy-hitter dramas like Mad Men and Homeland feels like a win for Team Tami Connie. Regardless of how the award show plays out, we know she'll be there looking radiant in her most sparkly dress, with her hair done up to high heaven and a huge smile on her face. Texas Forever, Connie.