Brian Chavez was a uniquely strong and defensive player in the Permian Football Team. He was the only Hispanic player in the team. Despite his unique football skills in the field he also had academic discipline. He was performing well in his tests, giving him an extra advantage for him to get a scholarship. He made it to Harvard and graduated with a law degree.
Gary Edwards was a crucial player in the Carter Cowboys Football Team. His showcased outstanding skills in both are defending and attacking. He did not have to attend class, but his field skills will automatically give him lucrative over good grades. He became widely famous after a court ruling raises his Algebra 2 grade just to let his name appear on the line up of the next game. He and his teammates played so well to defeat the known football legends Permian.
Mike Winchell played football with passion as a quarterback of the Permian's team. Afte the death of his father while he was young Winchell has been continuously living in fear and anxiety which occasionally destructs his performance at the field. His body size and slow speed outdo him to play for college football.
Ivory Christian played as a middle linebacker for the Panthers football team. He had developed a habit of vomiting before the start of any game of which it later other players found it motivating. He had a passion for religious issues and wanted to become a preacher after high school. He later joined Texas Christian University via a scholarship where he continued to play football.
Boobie Miles is a player whose life has been focused all throughout the book. He was adopted by his uncle L.V. Miles. Boobie was a pure talent in the field, and no one could argue; many colleges had shown interest in him when he was still in his junior year. His coaches considered him of being too self-centered. He gets a Knee Injury during his final season. He will eventually get benched in favor of a new player named Chris Comer.
Gary Gaines was the head coach of the Panthers Football Team. Despite him receiving a higher salary then many teachers he is the most pressured character in the book. The school and the whole society demands continuous success of the team. Therefore this makes him work more hours to make sure he delivers as per their demands. His team loses in the semis 1988but a year later they won the state title making him keep his job for a little longer.
Why were so many fans emotionally dependent on the success of a boy's high school football team?
Football was the most popular sport in the town of Odesa, West Texas. High school football games have been a part of the culture in this society; in some games, more than 19,000 fans could attend to see the boys play. Luckily ever since the 1960's, their home high school team, the Panthers have been dominating the league. Therefore expectations were always high that the team should make it to the state finals. Football did not just mean a game but a symbolism to show one's ability to persevere through pain, overcome fear and the winning spirit of a community. Odesa community especially the Africans Americans kids were stars in football hence it was their pride celebrating where they excel at despite the oppression around them.
Race and gender stereotypes perpetuated through the football program.
Bissinger quotes some Whites in his book arguing that Africans only have athletic superiority but lack intellectual skills. Most positions played by African American football players are not as highly appreciated as their fellow white players when talking about the Team's success. The players relate well despite the stereotypical narratives around them. Girls used as cheerleaders for the football team and each player was assigned one lady to take care as his petette. In Bissinger's book boys especially football players portray how the Odesa society views men more on their masculinity.
The dynamics of the relationships between football, political ideology, and culture.
Friday Night Lights is a book that links high school players' dreams that ties them up with a town's cultural history. The Permian Panthers football team has been the source of happiness and glory in the history of Texas. The Odesa society puts all their stresses of their town's bad economy on the success of their home team. In any Friday the team plays, so many people are attending to watch lively expecting wins in every game. The society allusion is focused more on football with other assumed misplaced priorities will later spoil the productivity of many players after high school they end up in the same rotten economy as their families.
The plight of the team through the course of the season.
The school aimed at turning those academically challenged students to some other important roles in the society. Both the school and the community attended these games like it was a calling. In exchange for the injury risks they expose themselves to in the field, they are treated like royalties in their school having the privileges of having a cheerleader squad, and petette girls who would offer carry you books all around the school or even pay the players for sexual favors.
School politics and educational expectations across race, class, and gender.
Education is a misplaced priority in this community. LaRue Moor a teacher working at Permian also regrets how much the community glorifies football games than their kid's academic grades. Teachers are underpaid while coaches received lump sums amounts. The book reflects more on Boobies life in school, who makes no effort at class and still proceeds to the next class. The overall community perspective towards education from parent to the school stuff acted oblivious to the future growth of the players outside the field. Black players got the chance to play in white teams after the desegregation of schools where school teams with no Black talent will not be allowed to compete.
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