Friday Night Lights Alyssa Buren
H.G. Bissinger Comp. II
HarperCollins Publishers 1990
“In the sixties and seventies and eighties, when the legacy of high school football in Odessa transferred from Odessa High to Permian High, instead of just waiting all night for tickets, people sometimes waited two days. Gaines and the other Perian coaches were all too aware of the role high school football occupied in Odessa. . .”
The town of Odessa was a bomb and bust oil town when it was founded. The lad in Odessa is not good for anything. The only good thing going for the people in Odessa was high school football. The people of the town always expected the people to make the state championship. The people of Odessa show a lot of support for the team and give them special privileges. The beginning of the year, the team always has a big pep rally they call the Watermelon Field to show off this years team. The Pipettes are the football cheerleaders. They give special treatment to the boys like giving them a special treat every week.
Boobie Miles was to be the best player on the team. He was the running back and a senior. He had college recruits looking to get him for next year. They said he would make the NFL. Boobie never had to do anything in school and would pass his classes. L.V. is Boobie’s uncle and saved him from foster care. Boobie was the best person Boobie looked up too. In a preseason scrimmage, Boobie tore up his knee.
The book also goes into detail about how racism is in their community. The “N” word is heavily used in their town and no one thinks anything of it. The town thinks there are two types of black people: hard workers and lazy welfare people. The town is still pretty segregated even though civil rights happened twenty-four years before hand.
One of Permian’s biggest games of the season was against the crosstown rivals Odessa High. Odessa wanted the win against Permian worst than any. They thought their mixed raced team with a few white boys could beat Permian. Permian pretty much kicked butt and won 35-7.
Texas football is something that seems crazy to me. The high school football games are just as big as any college game we think of. They have the big stadiums, practice fields, and field houses. Towns like Odessa in Texas live for the high school football teams. For these towns, football is all they really have to look forward too. Around here, we have basketball, volleyball, baseball, softball, etc. to look forward to. Football is pretty important to some schools around here but no school goes to the extent that these Texas schools like Permian do by making football life.
Another part of the situation at Permian I do not understand is how the teachers are okay with letting the football players slack off and not do anything in class. The football players can slack off and never do an assignment and still pass the class with an A. The teachers are okay with letting the students pass without an effort. The students do not even have to show up to class and the teachers don’t care. Around here, regardless of whether or not you are an athlete, you have to go to class. We even have rules against how much school you can miss before you have to retake classes. The teachers we have also aren’t just going to pass the athlete just so they stay eligible for sports. If the teachers assign as homework, we have to do the assignment.
I am looking forward to the second part of this book. I like to see what ends up happening to Boobie Miles and if he comes back at all during the season. I also am looking forward to see how the Permian Panthers end their season and if they win the state championship.