,,,”Friday Night Lights” (25th Anniversary Edition), by H.G. Bissinger. I had not cared to read it before, or watch the movie or TV series, but it was in the health club “Free Box,” so… As you probably know, it’s an account of a single season of a high school football team in Odessa, Texas. It was pretty good, if you overlook its failure to truly grapple with the insanity of the situation. Bissinger took swipes at the racism, the cost to education, the obsession of the citizenry, but he never grabbed hold, like a Kafka or Mailer or Hunter Thompson would have. Kid gloves, I thought.
I was interested in whether the team would win the championship, but I wanted to know more how the kids turned out. Bissinger gave the facts, but not in a way that I felt any fates resonate. Maybe he failed to portray the young men in a compelling manner; maybe they just weren’t compelling people. And the larger, unexplored mystery to my thinking was what accounted for the deep emotional attachment Bissinger professed to have with these fellows. Time-spent-in-proximity doesn’t seem enough to account for it. Bissinger didn’t examine the “Why” of this in any depth. Maybe that wasn’t this book, but that would have set things on a higher level for me.