Analysis Of Friday Night Lights By H. G. Bissinger

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Football is obviously an integral part of our nation’s identity. It’s the one sport that absolutely dominates the weekend, whether it be college football on Saturday, or professional on Sunday. However in some places in this country, the game of football is all that a community has. Award winning journalist and author H.G. Bissinger described in great detail such a community in his 1990 non-fiction book “Friday Night Lights.” Throughout the entirety of the book, we learned about what life was life in Odessa, Texas during the 1980’s. Bissinger 's main focus in the book is on Permian High School, a school that was known for its monumental success in football in the state of Texas. Pride for the Permian Panthers reverberated throughout the community …show more content…

During 1980’s, the time in which the book “Friday Night Lights” takes place, education reform was a hot topic in the state of Texas. The push for education reform was sparked by former Governor Mark White promising to give teacher’s a raise while trying to garner votes to be elected. (Hobby) The main battle for reform began in late 1983 (Posner). Ross Perot, a successful business man and republican, was selected to lead the campaign. He along with others were fighting for improvement of Texas schools in a myriad of ways. The primary focuses were compensation of teachers, apt technology within schools, and the quality of the curriculum. Perot also attacked the very heart and soul of high schools in the state, their football programs, with no remorse. He once said “[Legislature] is scratching to put the funds together to keep our school system from being declared unconstitutional, and you’re out there saying, ‘Keep sending that state money because we need to spend our local money on sixteen football coaches and matching shirts for them so we can be the big boy in the district.’” to a principal. (Hobby) This is precisely what the problem was at Permian and other schools in Texas. They were ineffectively allocating the funds they received from the government, and directing entirely too much money to the football programs, rather than to improving what truly matters, …show more content…

Bissinger’s “Friday Night Lights” paints a perfect picture of the culture of Texas in the 1980’s. It illustrates just how much football played in a role in the lives of everyone in the community, as well as the ideals these people had. Football was all that they cared about, and the people sacrificed other aspects of their life for it. With all of the money going towards football, education in the state suffered. The classrooms in high schools were outdated, and teachers were underpaid, ultimately compromising the quality of the student’s education. Texas was fortunate enough to have a few people step up and provoke change the status quo. Ross Perot fought hard with no remorse, and eventually led to the successful reformation of the Texas education system. While football may be what America is known for, quality education should be something it strives

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