Friday Night Lights Alyssa Buren
H.G. Bissinger Comp. II
HarperCollins Publishers 1990
“Playing to him is not what it’s all about,” said Trapper. “He just doesn’t want to play. F******** can just play. He wants to be number one. He wants to be the one with his name in paper. He wants to be the leading rusher in District Four Five-A. He wants to be the one you’re talking about.”
Boobie Miles was the talk of the season his junior year. He lead the team in rushing and was one of the best running backs in the state of Texas. Boobie would have done the exact same his Senior year had it not been for his drastic knee injury he never could return from.
Permian’s next big game was against the Midland High Bulldogs. The rivalry is based on Midland being the good kids and Odessa being the bad kids. Brian Chavez is the son of a hispanic man that worked his way out of poverty. His father Tony worked hard to become a police officer then eventually a lawyer. Brian was punishing defensive players in the game. Permian won the game easy 42-0. The real sight was after the game when all he spectators were tailgating and the bands were playing tunes. Both teams stood on both sides of the field and the people looked at them in awe. This is another aspect of Texas football.
Boobie still was not healed and still needed surgery, but felt he had to try to be the old Boobie to get into college ball. Chris Comer, the old back up and taken Boobie’s spot. Boobie was given the green light to play in the next game against Abilene High Eagles. Boobie just isn’t the same and plays okay the next couple of games which isn’t good enough for Boobie. Mike Winchell, the quarterback, continues to have a stellar Senior season playing well.
The book then takes a turn back to the begin of the book and into the future after the lost to Midland Lee. The boys still go out and party and drink after the game while Coach Gaines has to hear the bad mouthing of him after the game. Permian put themselves in a three-way tie for first place in the district. Permian, Midland Lee, and Cooper High end up in the three-way tie and their fate comes down to a coin toss. Only two teams can go on. The coaches had to flip twice to get the winners; Midland Lee and Permian would advance to the playoffs. Boobie had quit football and had his knee surgery. His uncle and him end up no longer getting along and Boobie moves out of L.V.’s.
The team won their next four games. The only team that stands in their way to the state championship is Carter High who they have to play in the semi-final. Carter’s players are twice the size of all of Permian’s players. Carter players had no rules at school and did whatever they wanted. The game took place at the Texas A&M college football stadium. Permian lost the game to Carter 14-9. Carter went on to win the state championship that year.
The impact that football had on these players life impacted them still today. Some of these players did nothing in school and the teachers passed them. Because of this, some of the players never got any sort of education. This resulted in some of them not going to college and some of them dropping out of college. Some ended up like Boobie Miles, who ended up raising a set of twins on his own and jumping job to job trying to make ends meet. Playing football caused him to have a tough life after high school because he did not care about his education in high school. Football being the center of everything at Permian had a worse impact than good for many of the players. Though some of the players did go and finish college and become successful afterwards. Brian Chavez went on to Harvard after high school and became a successful lawyer in Odessa.
The book really goes into detail on Boobie’s injury and the impact the injury had on Boobie’s life. Boobie would have made it in college ball if he was never injured. After college, Boobie could have been good enough to make an NFL team. Instead he blew up his knee and his future changed in a second. Football was really all the looked promising in Boobie’s future. He did not study, pay attention in classes, or ever do homework so academics were not Boobie’s strong point. Boobie planned on playing football for his career. With the injury, he never played the same again and was not able to make the big spotlight with football. His life instead was full of struggles to try to find ways to make money and support his two children.
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes football and sports. The book really shows how for some people sports is all they have and how that’s that only promising aspect of the community. I enjoyed reading this book and it was very interesting for a non-fiction sports book.