Why did I love this book?
If you’re in the know, you understand the tagline used in my book list. It comes from the TV show inspired by this amazing work of journalism. I first read Friday Night Lights in college 25 years ago as a sociology/history assignment. A major sports fan, I was excited to see a book about high school football on my required list. This book, though...it’s about so much more. This inside look at a year spent with one of the most dominant Texas high school football programs delves into the politics of small towns, the pressure put on young athletes, personal identity, and what happens when the one thing that seems to matter more than oil in Texas is stripped away—playing days.
While I do love the movie and show this book inspired, it’s Bissinger’s book that deserves to be made mandatory reading for the blunt, heartbreaking, and semi-hopeful portrait it paints of race, football culture, and the status we give people with one singular talent—football.