Friday Night Lights

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Football is life in the south, whether they are the players or just fans, many people put their whole physical and mental being into the game. Friday Night Lights tells the realistic story of the Odessa Permian High School Panthers football team through the 1988 football season. The book Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger exposes the truth about life in a town that is not just home to football fanatics but also home to racist and economically challenged people. In the movie Friday Night Lights, Peter Burg (the director), tells us a story of a team and a town that is hungry for the state title and does not touch on the problems of race, gender, education, and other important themes that Bissenger writes about. “Those lights become an addiction if you live in a place like Odessa, the Friday Night fix.” (Bissinger XVI).

Football first, then education comes second. The Permian Panthers was no ordinary high school football team. Its win-loss record was unrivalled in the state, and the team had won five state championships. The highest honor for every boy in town was to play football for the team. In Odessa, everybody defined themselves by the school football team and many lived vicariously through the players. Their obsession of a winning season affected class time, homework, and test taking. The townspeople were so infatuated that they hardly raised any questions when the football team chartered planes for away games at $20,000 a ride while the teachers scrounged around for money to buy textbooks and basic teaching materials. Students who were not on the football team were impacted by denying them opportunities in other areas because so much money went to support the football team. LaRue Moore, a teacher at Permian high, makes $32,000 for 20 years experience and a master’s degree, while Gary Gaines, who is both head coach and athletic director and teaches no classes, makes $48,000 and is given the use of a new Taurus sedan each year. “If we prepared our kids...
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