Title: Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream
Directions: You have 6 questions to answer. Answer all these questions in full sentences, using quotes from the book.
You MUST use information from the book and include citations for each question.
8. References to “values” appear throughout Friday Night Lights, and Bissinger repeatedly quotes statements of Odessans and others, including George Bush (Sr.), in support of “values”-“the most important buzzword,” writes Bissinger, “to be added to the lexicon of American politics in the 1988 election.” (p 187) What does the word values mean to each of those who use it, and how might those meanings have changed since the book was published?
9. What differences exist between the two communities of Odessa and Midland, and how do those differences affect each community’s view of itself and the other? How does social class inform those views?
10. What incidences of “delusional visions of grandeur [and] the mercenary mercilessness that made every relationship expendable” (p 216) appear in the book? Although Bissinger writes that Midland perfected these traits, what role do they play in Odessa, particularly in relationship to the Permian Panthers? What are some of the consequences for the players, coaches, and families of making every relationship expendable?
11. Bissinger writes of team trainer Trapper O’Connell’s end-of-season perspective: “A new set of kids, a new set of faces, a new set of hopes, a new set of heroes would be paraded atop the shoulders of the town as gloriously as the Greeks honored their gods.” (p 285) “That’s my
salvation,” says Trapper. “What’s their salvation?” (p 285) What do you think the kids’ salvation might be?
12. What specific examples does Bissinger cite of the roles of fans, coaches, teachers, parents, and school administrators in the treatment of high school football players? How accountable should school officials and parents be for the behavior of players?
14. How are the issues examined by Bissinger-for example, community, race, politics, economics, and class-relevant to you, your family, and your neighbors? Which issues play the greatest role in your community, and why?