Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream
In the state of Texas American football is a religion. And nowhere is more fanatical about its football than the small town of Odessa. There, every Friday night from September to November, a bunch of seventeen-year-old kids play their hearts out for the honour of their high school. In front of 20,000 people.
In 1988 H.G. Bissinger spent a season in Odessa discovering just
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I grew up in a very liberal part of the country. My family is comprised mostly of hard-working European immigrants who value education above all else. In many ways, I should be the last person able to appreciate or understand life in small-town Texas with its conservative values and its unhealthy obsession with high school sports. Yet, I actually did attend a private junior/senior high school with a hockey program that is probably the best in the country. We won the st ...more
I watched a lot of football growing up (Friday nights: high school football; Saturday: University of Colorado football; Sunday: NFL football - I was a huge 49ers fan). I probably could have done something great with all the hours I spent watching football. Ah well.
My high school football team won the state championship, and I remember it as a glory day - it was snowing, the team was playing in then-Folsom Field (the U ...more
I almost never like movies better than books, but in this case I thought the mo ...more
Wow, was I late to the party. The television show is excellent and I highly recommend it, even if you don't like football.
Being the bookworm that I am, I had to find the inspiration for the television show. I actually bought a copy of the book for my friend Matt for Christmas and the four of us eventually d ...more
I think watching the Intelligent Squared debate you were in is great. I loved the television series based on this book. I learned something about myself while reading this. Even good writing such as yours, does not make me care a whit about football.
H.G. Bissinger was born in New York City in November of 1954. He spent time writing for the Philadelphia inquirer. Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger is about a small town in Texas called Odessa. Permian High school football is a way of life and almost every kid dreams of wearing the black and white under Friday night lights some day. Permian’s goal in the 1988 season was to reach the state championship. The competition is high and the road is tough, but ...more
The season in question (1988) was supposed to be the year where the team were too good, they were meant to win the state champion ...more
Some of my favorite passages:
Coach Belew: "I want one hell of a wreck out there. I ...more
Bissinger does a great job of painting a picture while you’re reading and letting you get to know the characters. You can imagine yourself with the six senior starters and part of the coaching staff in the run-down town, at the games, and attending practice while dying of the Texas heat and drinking the unsanitary water. Making you want to re ...more
I chose to read this book because I love football. I am a 11th grader in high school and this next f ...more
I played football in high school in a place where there was much more than high school football for most people to do on a Friday night. I can relate to some aspects of the story: football games were the only sporting events in my school where admission was charged, they drew probably five times the attendees of any other sport, and we wore our jerseys proudly to school on pep rally days and were probably afforded more attention as a ...more
Next, In Odessa, Texas a H ...more
The writer finds negative stories about Texas history and ...more
This book is contrasted between the poverty of Odess ...more
Bissinger really had a way of making you feel like you were apart of the 1988 football season, even if you were just sitting at home reading this boo ...more
By H.G. Bissinger
Before I knew of the book, I knew of the TV show, which itself grew out of the film adaptation. And I knew it was about high school football in the heart of Texas where football and religion were one and the same. I don't count myself as a fan of sports movies but I do watch them from time to time, but you won't find me actively searching for one. So it went with "Friday Night Lights". The film adaption came and went in theaters ...more
High school football an institution without equal in West Texas communities--no sacrifice is too small, no perfection good enough to satisfy the town that rallies around the football team. Bissinger's point in first crafting this novel was to demonstrate how the sport could so unite and buoy a town, but he also came to realize that it could hurt and maim b ...more
Texas is one of the most populous states in the United States. There are hundreds of thousands of kids that play football in Texas but the small town of Odessa has some of the best players in the country on the Permian football squad. The Permian Panthers are just 52 men looking to be number one in the football world of Texas. H.G. Bissinger gives the reader a look into the life of a coach and his kids in a school rich with a winning history and the want to be great. Bissinger illustrates what i ...more
The first third of the novel is the background of the little town in Texas called Odessa. In this little town, it may not have big corporations or a booming economy, but I does have one thing, high school football. The local high school team, the Panthers, has a great tradition of succeeding in football. To the players on the team and even the locals of Odessa, their "American Dream" is to win state. As one of the largest states in the US, Texas is also one of the best at football. That tall ...more
What was most telling was that I found myself rooting for Permian by the end of the book. I can't even explain why. Here were a bunch of ...more