The book Friday Night Lights, by H.G. Bissinger, is a great book about high school football in Texas in the 1980’s. The book is based on a true story and it is amazing to see how different life was for many teenagers in Texas. In the town of Odessa, Texas, is Permian High School, one of the best high school football teams in the country. The Permian Panthers are a team that is expected to win just about every time they step on the field. They have great tradition and great fans that support them every Friday night. Sometimes as many as 15,000 fans will come to watch a Permian football game. They will sit outside for days before the game to get tickets. The Permian Panthers make it to the playoffs almost every year and they have won the state championship four times. The team and the town’s goal every year is to win a state championship and if they fall short of that goal, most people feel as if the whole year was wasted. The coach of Permian, Coach Gaines, is put under tremendous pressure to win a championship. He lost a few games during the season and Permian was in danger of not making the playoffs. He came home after one of the losses to find seven “for sale” signs up in his front yard.
The town didn’t care about what this did to Coach Gaines or how bad it made his wife feel, all the town of Odessa cared about was winning. When the kids were really young, they were usually taught by their parents how important playing football for Permian is. Many of the parents were players for Permian years before and understood the importance of it. Football games on Friday nights brought the whole town together to root for their team. They all cheered for the boys and they knew most of them personally. Almost every Permian fan had a program book of all the players on the team that was 224 pages long. It was great to see so many people come together to support the kids of their town and to cheer them on, but the fans of Permian football were obsessed with winning. Nothing else really mattered to any of them. Most of the football players on the Permian squad only went to school to be able to play football. They took easy classes so they would not have a lot of homework and not have to work hard in class so they could keep their minds on what was important to them. Football was what was important to them. That is what they had been taught since a young age. Most of the players had no chance of going to college for different reasons. Some were not smart enough and didn’t try hard enough to get into college and others just didn’t have the money. There were some kids on the football team that did well in school and had hopes of going to college. These kids often took their more difficult classes in summer school so during the school year/football season they would not have as much homework. Almost everybody on the team had football as a higher priority than school.
What Parental feelings does McCarthy explore in the poem and how does she use language to present them to you? Football after school is a poem about a mothers, or the poets’, struggles in the harsh realisation of her son maturing, and having to experience school. Patricia is feeling powerless and worried about her sons inevitable future of him going to school which he has to endure. We observe the ...
There is nothing wrong with a town supporting their players and cheering them on to victory on Friday nights, but the point that H.G. Bissinger was trying to make is that Odessa just went too far. “At Garfield High the priority was calculus, where a student’s mastery could potentially lead to an academic scholarship and a career in computer science or engineering. At Permian the priority was football, which beyond the powerful memories and the wonderful joy it created year after year for the town of Odessa, rarely led to scholarships or careers. In the history of the program, only two players had gone on to extended careers in the pros. “If we prepared our kids academically as we prepared them for winning the state championship, there is no telling where we would be now,” said former school board member Vickie Gomez with typical bluntness. “If we prepared them half as hard academically, there is no telling where we would be.” But Gomez didn’t foresee any great changes. “Football reigns, football is king,” she said. “In Odessa, it’s God, country and Mojo football.” ” (pages 149-150).
Boobie Miles was good football, but haunted by injuries. He was not a very good student. All he wanted to do was go to major university for football and then go into the pro's. He received a scholarship to Ranger Junior College for football, and flunked out after a year. Brian Chavez was stereotyped as a dumb jock, but was the number one student in his class. He was a good football player.He went ...
H.G. Bissinger also wrote about how the football team spent $20,000 on a jet for one of the games. He wrote about how the scores of Permian High students on the SAT tests were much below the national average. He wrote about how football players would sleep through class and be let go early from class so they wouldn’t be late to practice. He wrote about how the school spent more money for boys’ medical supplies than for English department materials. He wrote about how Mrs. Moore, an English teacher for twenty years, made $32,000 a year compared to coach Gaines’ $48,000 a year.
The biggest theme in the book was how important football was to Odessa, Texas. Football did many great things for the town, but the town was obsessed with winning. The people of Odessa dreamed about their kids growing up and being football players for Permian High instead of doctors or teachers or any other real profession. There was so much pressure put on everybody at Permian High School to win a state championship. After so many years of having a successful football team, Permian fans didn’t want their team to win, they expected them to win.