Unplugged & Totally Uncut

Buzz Bissinger 25th Year Friday Night Lights

September 9, 201518 min
In 1988, in the dusty heat of Odessa, Texas, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist H. G. “Buzz” Bissinger set out to chronicle the Permian Panthers’ season. The students, parents, and townspeople gathered under the lights each Friday night from September to December to watch their team on the gridiron. The socially and racially divided town placed unimaginable pressure on the shoulders of its high school football players as fans tried to forget about the instability of the oil business, high unemployment, and racial tensions. Upon its first publication in 1990, Bissinger endured anonymous threats of violence and was forced to cancel local appearances as controversy brewed around his tale of the fate of education in a town defined by football, and what happens when teenagers put all of their eggs in one very tenuous basket. Despite the backlash in west Texas, Friday Night Lights hit the New York Times bestseller list that year and again 14 years later at the #1 spot when it became a major

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