Fat Books & Thin Women


#Longreads : Buzz Bissinger’s “Friday Night Lights”
November 30, 2011, 1:06 pm
Filed under: Favorite Longreads | Tags: , , , ,

Check back every Wednesday for a link to a new longread. Your thoughts on this week’s read, and suggestions for future articles and essays, are always welcome!

Friday Night Lights, the tv show, is so fully developed and carefully (if often bleakly) drawn that I didn’t feel ready to let go of it after finishing the fifth season. Thank heavens Sports Illustrated still has H.G. Bissinger’s 1990 article, “Friday Night Lights,” available online. The story that spawned Bissinger’s book of the same name, which birthed the movie of the same name, then the tv series of the same name…you know that this is a good piece. Bissinger’s story, of high school football in Odessa, Texas, focuses on a star player, Boobie, who injures his knee in a scrimmage preceding his senior year and watches his team progress without him and his college plans fall apart around him. The world Bissinger documents is unforgiving and unsentimental, as Odessa writes off their star without a thought when they find a skilled jv player who can take his place. The undisguised racism, the lack of economic opportunities, the social structure that makes celebrities of high school players until they’re injured, lose a game, or graduate – these all feature in the tv show, but in Bissinger’s story the future for his high school players looks far bleaker.

Anyone who’s spoken to me in the past six months knows that I’m nuts for the Friday Night Lights tv show. Reading Bissinger’s article (as well as his book, though the article maintains a tighter focus on the football team itself) gives a fascinating look at the stories that spawned that lovable drunk, Tim Riggins.

Read Buzz Bissinger’s “Friday Night Lights”

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2 Comments

We are also such huge fans of the TV show, and have always wanted to read the book…. didn’t know it started as a story, so glad you shared it! Looking forward to reading it ASAP!

(Agree that it is hard to let go of… finished the final season last spring on DVD and are still sad about it ending.)

Comment by Jennifer, bookspersonally

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