Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream

Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream

4.2 278
by H. G. Bissinger

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ISBN-10: 030681529X

ISBN-13: 2900306815293

Pub. Date: 08/21/2006

Publisher: Da Capo Press

H. G. Bissinger's exquisitely written account brings into sharp focus the bitter struggle between sports and education in Odessa, Texas, as well as in high schools and colleges nationwide.

"A biting indictment of the sports craziness that grips...most of American society, while at the same time providing a moving evocation of its powerful allure."(--New York


H. G. Bissinger's exquisitely written account brings into sharp focus the bitter struggle between sports and education in Odessa, Texas, as well as in high schools and colleges nationwide.

"A biting indictment of the sports craziness that grips...most of American society, while at the same time providing a moving evocation of its powerful allure."(--New York Times Book Review)

"A remarkable book, fascinating from start to finish, full of surprises."(--David HalberstamA)

"An engrossing story...Exciting, funny and, above all, horrifying."(--Tracy KidderA)

Product Details

Da Capo Press
Publication date:
Edition description:
New Edition

Table of Contents

2.The Watermelon Feed38
The Season
4.Dreaming of Heroes73
5.Black and White89
6.The Ambivalence of Ivory111
7.School Days128
8.East Versus West153
9.Friday Night Politics173
10.Boobie Who?194
Push for the Playoffs
12.Civil War233
13.Heads or Tails251
14.Friday Night Addiction267
15.The Algebraic Equation291
16.Field of Dreams313
List of Illustrations365

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Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 278 reviews.
jasonND More than 1 year ago
Friday Night Light Friday Night Lights is a great story that shows football isn’t the only thing in life and life isn’t fair. I liked that this story is a true story and each person in the book is represented very well with what really happened. This book is very well written, I give it a 5 out of 5, and I have no dislikes in the book. This book shows the life’s of different high school football players. Who are all seniors and want to win the championship game of the last year at high school. For many players this will be there last football game of their lives. It shows how each person handles the problems of a student athlete. Boobie Miles has bad grades but is a great running back. Boobie thinks he is the best out there and doesn’t think he has to go to school or do anything so he chooses not to. He just plays football. Until one day when he suffers a horrible accident to his leg during a game. Boobie had many colleges wanting to give him a full ride for football. Then after the accident he cant play football and no colleges want him since he can’t play ball. And now that he can’t play and he has bad grades he has nothing to support him later in life. So if you focus on just sports and don’t worry about school you won’t have a good future. Not everything in life is fair. For example when Boobie miles injures himself that isn’t fair! He had colleges looking at him and had full ride scholarships until after the accident. That isn’t fair to him. But everything happens for a reason. After his accident it changes his attitude about life. Instead of everything being about Boobie he sees that it takes 11 guys to make a team and that everyone should work together. Overall I loved the book and I give it a 5 out of 5. I did not have any dislikes. This book is good for any student athlete and is good for anybody who wants a good story of a high school football team. I would recommend this story to anybody who likes a good read.
bballB5 More than 1 year ago
Friday Night Lights is a fantastic nonfiction novel that anybody can relate to even if they are not football fans. Everybody has that one thing that they go crazy for and for the citizens of Odessa, that thing is high school football. Every Friday night, everyone, no matter their background, comes together to watch the Panthers. The town lives and breathes this team; they are obsessed with Permian High football. The novel discusses the sacrifices that the team makes to perform well and they must live up to the expectations of the fans or else face the consequences. I really enjoyed how the author got so close to the characters and he really got to know them well and he portrayed them in a relatable manner so that I could feel like I knew them. I also liked how during the games, I felt like I was standing on the sidelines and I was seeing Boobie sulk and coach yelling at Mike for that interception. I could experience it that way because of how H. G. Bissinger would describe the games and he would touch on all 5 senses to really make me feel like I was there. The only thing that I disliked about this book was the depth of the character descriptions, because with some characters the description was a little over-done and I did not feel the need to know what Mike Winchel does every Saturday. Other than that, this book is a must read for anybody who loves a story they can get into and really relate to the characters. And we all know that at some point in our lives, we get obsessed with something, but it isn't what you get obsessed with, it's how you treat the obsession, and you are not going to want to miss how the Odessians treat their obsession.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A town, a team, a dream, a bad book. Friday Night Lights was not the book I had expected. I was excited to read a book centered on the success and struggles of a famous high school football team, however I found myself reading more about the history of the town and characters/stories that seemed completely irrelevant to the current goals of the town and team. I simply did not like the lack of exciting, detailed football moments and the focus of the past more than the present. Even though I was not a fan of the book I did enjoy the way the author portrayed themes such as racism and dreams from multiple viewpoints. I also enjoyed the small parts focused on certain football players, however they were rare and weren’t as related to things on the field. I would not read this book if you are expecting something centralized on football, it is more of a long, boring story focusing on history. My rating for Friday Night Lights would be a 2 out of 5.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After seeing the movie, Friday Night Lights, I was so interested in the story of the Permian Panthers that I decided to read the book. Although I found the movie deviates from the book I actually preferred the book. H.G. Bissinger goes beyond the football and dives into the player's lives and histories to better understand their motives in life and the reasons they desire so much to play at Permian. The book begins by describing the formation of the town of Odessa, including its highs and lows as an oil town. The story continues through the season with pauses describing players and their lives'. Expect some things that didn't happen in the movie. I really enjoyed the honesty of the players and townsfolk that Bissinger portrays. The story takes place in 1988 where there were still lots of racism towards African Americans and Mexican Americans. It shows that Odessa is imperfect, yet residents of all races are united by football. If you are interested in football at all this is a must read. You find yourself jealous of the way that the town's people treat football in Odessa. It seems as though football is a religion that is preached to young men as they grow up until their desire to play football at Permian rivals one's desire to win the lotto. Another excellent football book is Roughnecks by Thomas Cochran. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.
hallie_grace27 More than 1 year ago
Football Fanatics Friday Night Lights is a great football novel that you can relate to if you have played or are a very strong football fan. The whole town of Odessa is obsessed with football, it’s not just a game, it’s a lifestyle. Literally, everyone in town drops everything that they are doing, grabs their stadium seats and blankets and heads off to see the Panthers in action. The major theme of this book is obviously football, but it’s also about school spirit. Everyone loves the school and the players of the teams. A second theme is surrounding how kids are brought up and their thoughts on racism. The novel talks about racism issues and how it affects some of the players. Some of the kids on the team grew up “across the tracks” and went to what many of the kids view as crappy segregated schools. These black players are only chosen to go to Permian so that they can make the football team even better. Lastly is the theme surrounding sacrifice. Obviously the black players have made sacrifices moving to a new school and dealing with racism. Unfortunately, they aren’t the only ones who must make sacrifices. All of the players are held to a ridiculous level of expectations from the fans. The fans expect that the team will win every game and when they don’t they are actually hated by the towns people. I really liked how each character was described in a very deep and personal way. It made them more relatable and real. I was able to feel their feeling when they played bad or saw the cool signs made by their pepettes. I also liked how the games were described in such great detail that it seemed like you were standing on the side lines right along with the players and the team. One thing that I disliked about this book was the writing style. The sentences were very choppy and it made it boring to read. I also didn’t like some of the unnecessary parts that made the book longer then it needed to be. For example, I didn’t need to know what a random person did every Saturday. I wouldn’t recommend this for anyone who has a hard time staying with a book, even if the story is worth it in the end. I would give this book a solid four stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Friday Night Lights-A true story of Football The novel Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger was brought to me and I was so excited to read it because I had always heard what great of a story it was. When I read this book I was very disappointed. I thought it was okay but nothing really popped out at me saying it was different from just any old book. The main themes in the book were supposed to be the struggles of the football team, and how inspiring they can be. Instead of reading about the motivating book it was claimed to be, I found myself reading multiple chapters about the town Odessa. Another dislike I had about this book was the description. I do like watching football a lot and I am a big fan, but if you don’t know what happens in football one hundred percent of the time you will get a little lost in this book just like I did. There was one thing I did like about this book. You can make connections very easily, being in high school and having a well-known football team it is easy to connect to this book. I would give this book a two out of five. Overall this book did not meet my expectations, and I would not recommend it to someone unless they wanted to learn about the town.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Friday Night Lights by H.G.Bissinger is a terrific novel that truly depicts how an obsession can control an entire town’s life. The story takes place in Odessa, which has nothing going for it except oil and high school football. H.G.Bissinger physically went and lives in Odessa for two years and really got all the hard to reach facts out of the town. The book centers on the lives of a few high school boys who are made out to be these invincible heroes by the town, when they are really just kids. The book follows the ups and downs of a high school football player, both emotionally, physically, and socially. The boys give their heart and soul to the town and it is a riveting book. The major theme in the novel is that you should follow your own path, not the one that is chosen for you by others. This is because the entire town wants these boys to literally give themselves up for the team, when none of them go one to really focus on football in their lives. The townspeople care so much about the high school team, that there are more fans than for a college team. I specifically liked the action scenes when H.G.Bissinger perfectly portrayed the football games from a third person point of view. He helps describe the brutal tolls that are taken by the players because of the professional level of pressure placed on their shoulders. He depicts the falls of characters that the reader will feel great pity for and the uprising of characters that will evoke anger and disgust. Best of all, he exposes, in gruesome detail, a football program that does just about the most unethical things possible. The only dislike I had was some of the nonfiction stats he put in, but it really helped put in perspective what a massive deal the football was in the town. In most towns, people show up to watch the games and cheer for friends. In Odessa, football is life, and Bissinger captures this beautifully. Someone should definitely read this because it is a fun time, and it’s entertaining for sports lovers and it is a real classic that most sports fanatics will crave. If you like this book, I would recommend basically anything else from Bissinger as well as any sports nonfiction. I give this book 9.5 out of 10 and a solid 5 stars with 2 thumbs up. H.G. Bissinger helps portray a great sports classic, riveting page turner, and shocking nonfiction all at the same time. What a winner!
chillbrobeatz More than 1 year ago
Outstanding Odessa The book Friday Night Lights is set in a town in the heart of the beaten down oil business in the center of Texas at the end of the oil boom in the United States. The book tells the story of a highschool football team in the town of Odessa. The highschool is in the center of one of the poorest towns politically, economically, and mentally. It explains how the whole life of the town of Odessa rely on the Permian Panther football team and the story of many of the members of this forgotten town. The main reason that I love this nonfiction book is that it tells the real stories of real people that made a name for themselves out of nothing and the story of real people that had so much to look forward to and it was all thrown away in one moment. I like how the author uses the stories of these people to fuel the book and a propel your engagement in the story of the team and the town as a whole even more. The part that I don't like about this book is the fact that it drags on a parts when it is talking about the history of the town. It's just repetitive and I think that those parts of the book would have been smoother if they had been shorter and gotten to the point quicker. The main themes of this story is the to not ever give up on anything that you believe in and that you think is possible but also to not take good things that are suppose to happen in the future for granted. I definitely think someone should read this book because it really leaves a mark on you to work hard through every part of your life, not just the tough parts.
tannerroth More than 1 year ago
I picked this book to read because I thought it would be a good football book. I was dissapointed at how little football it was. The majority of the book was leading up to the games and talking about the town and its problems. The author did do a great job with description and detail. If you are looking for a strictly football book I wouldn't recommend this book but it is a good book about a town that lives for the friday night lights.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Football in Odessa, Texas is like oxygen, they cannot survive without it. Friday Night Lights relates the struggles, triumphs and bonds of the 1988 Permian Panther season. A town so blinded by the stadium lights, situated a champion football team as their number one priority above academics, the economy and just about everything short of their own lives. The battles on the turf field unified a town separated by deeps lines of social and racial differences to a miraculous place where dreams come true. Friday Night Lights opened a window into a frenzied lifestyle as part of the Permian Panthers and the time I indulged in this other reality was trilling and alarming, but all together thoroughly pleasurable. Two of the greatest themes expertly displayed in Friday Night Lights are life isn't always fair, so sometimes you just have to deal with what's handed to you, and the idea of parents living out their ambitions through their kids. One thing I really liked about this book was how relatable all of the characters were; I really connected with quarterback Mike Winchell and his emotional struggles. By the end of the season, the reader experienced all sensations from heartbreak to glee. I disliked the chapter called Sisters because it went into a ton of detail about the economic history of the sister cities Midland and Odessa. Everyone should read Friday Night Lights because the word choice and description as well as the author's unique writing style make for a page-turning book presenting a side of America most people are unaware of. The most important message to extract from the book is that living in the moment is simple to become caught up in and can be carefree, but it is more vital to stare ahead to the future and plan your actions accordingly so that each moment of your existence is filled with hope, success, and delight. Friday Night Lights is a must read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is all about what high school football in Texas. This sperates the rest of the world. I never seen a town support any team more than this one
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Chickenleg10 More than 1 year ago
Book Project: Friday Night Lights The book for this six weeks is Friday Night Lights. Author of this book is Harry Gerard Bissinger also known as Buzz Bissinger he won the Pulitzer Prize, the Livingston award, the National Headliner award, and the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel for his reporting. He also lived in Philadelphia and was born November 1, 1954. The month of two a days was here as downtown Odessa was getting ready to support their Permian Panthers hoping to make it all the way to state this year. As practice came everyday there has been injuries left and right, but the players did not want to get x-rayed or go see the doctor that would mean  they would not be able to suite up for next game or be out for couple weeks. During the games if there was someone to get a sprained ankle, hip pointers trainers would give them a shot of novocaine . the coaches and town have been talking about Boobie Miles if he was going to take Permian to state. Boobie has had dozen of colleges ask and beg for him to play college ball. Then the sad day had to come that “the star” player had a knee injury during a scrimmage having the fans an coaches worried thinking the season was over what were they going to do without Boobie. Games are going by fast; coaches are noticing that Boobie wasn’t the team after all. The Permian Panthers are dominating teams. Finally it was the week of the big rivalry game of the Permian Panthers vs. Midland high crazy Permian fans would camp out Sunday night till Tuesday afternoon waiting for tickets to go on sale for this game with the parking lot filled with 366 fans and sheriffs to make sure fights didn’t break out. Boobie came back with his knee injury only getting 6 yards with 2 carries; on the other hand his backup fullback Comer had 128 yards with 9 carries leading Permian to defeat midland high 29-0. With all that being said Permian Panthers are in the playoffs headed towards the state championship When your team set goals, do whatever it takes to reach them motivate or improve them. For example in the book Boobie made a goal for him and his team to go to state and when he got hurt he was still motivating his team to push to the best of their abilities. The authors’ purpose was to show that you should never give up no matter what hard obstacle comes, by push yourself past your limit you can do a lot of things in life.  The author made it an inspiring for kids who love sports. I absolutely liked this book because it’s a football book and I like football. It also talks about that football is a team sport not an individual sport you have to work together to be successful. The last reason why I like this book it talks about the challenges and sacrifices you have to take to make it to state. Student that set long goals should read this book. For anyone to read this book make sure you have patience its better boring through the first few chapters. Be ready for those exciting moments of the book that just want to make you jump up and scream of joy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is truly great because H.G. Bissinger is able to capture every aspect of life that is effected by an extremely successful high school football team. The author is able to go deep into the lives of the successful seniors on the team and the players who are shattered by the tough nature of football difficult situations in their lives. For some, football makes all of those problems disappear. For others, football brings on more struggles like pressure and expectations from coaches, family, and the town of Odessa. The book applies to so many towns and communities throughout the country and shows that football is game that can make or break the people in these communities. This book, I feel, will be able to be read and applied to so many more situations just like the one in Odessa for years and years to come.  
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It is the best book
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Hey you poppel ont there thefriday nights a town, a team and a dream is a band and a good book some of the parens of the book are band and some ofthe parens of the book are good bunet most of it is good a litte of it is made i will when they panthers in action the mgior then that is min franfrin parnt of the book it minet not be your bunte it is mine fafrent parnt bunt you shond buy the book my broths best friend that is the name of the book you shoud rand it is 1.99 that is howe munch the book cost fore you cane bine it hope you will love the boo my brothers best friend becues it is the best book have hver rade and i was not a rader bunt i came to be one becuse i rand the book my brother best friend that is how i love to rade now is becuse that book chand me mind of rading i love to rade bookes ..................................................... :) :) :)
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