Friday Night Lights, by H.G. Bissinger (1990)

I have zero interest in football, but I enjoyed Bissinger’s book because it’s mostly about the all-encompassing influence that football holds over midwestern culture.  Bissinger spent a year in the west Texas town of Odessa following its high school football team to the state championship, and shows how completely football trumps academics and leads the town to build a $5.6 million stadium for its high school.  He also discusses how racial tensions and Reagan-era politics affected the region—history seen from ground level.

There’s a lot of football play-by-plays too, but I kind of skimmed over those.

Rating:

4-kafkas

Where I Got It

Bought online a few weeks ago, part of the research process for my new novel.

More

Bissinger reflects on Friday Night Lights 25 years later (Sports Illustrated)

Interview with Bissinger on the book’s 25th anniversary (NPR)

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