Odessa Pride in Friday Night Lights

A novel by H.G. Bissinger

About the Novel

Friday Night Lights follows the 1988 Permian Panthers of Odessa, Texas. H.G. Bissinger records the true story that was a roller-coaster ride for the citizens of Odessa.

Reflection Question Answers

1) In the beginning of Friday Night Lights, the whole town of Odessa was filled with pride. All of the citizens were proud of the past football seasons and were eager for a new year to begin. During the season, the Permian Panthers experienced difficulty without James "Boobie" Miles, but pride was restored with the entry into the playoffs by way of coin flip. Unfortunately, at the end of the season, the Panthers experienced a difficult loss in the state championship game. This caused the players and the town to swallow their pride. The town needed to regain some pride before the next season could begin.
2) Odessa has previously had outstanding football seasons that have lead to state championship victories. Because of this, Odessa always has and always will have pride in their Permian Panthers.
3) Pride in Friday Night Lights is similar to the idea of pride in the poem A Nation's Strength by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Pride pushes the players of Permian to perform at standards set for the professional football players in America. In the poem, pride pushes the men of "the nation" to work hard and build their nation strong. In both instances, pride pushes people to perform at great lengths.
4) Friday Night Lights was set in Odessa, Texas in 1988. At this time in Odessa, not much was happening. The oil business was steady, so nothing was out of the ordinary. The only thing going on was the beginning of the Permian Panther's football season. Everyone was excited to to see Boobie Miles take his team to the state championship game. Nothing special was happening in Odessa in 1988, and that is why H. G. Bissinger chose to visit the town.
remember the name clean with lyrics

Remember the Name (audio lyric video)

Remember the Name by Fort Minor reflects the theme of pride present in Friday Night Lights. The band describes the percentages involved with greatness, or the reasons to "remember the name". In the novel, pride makes up 100% of the reason why the Permian Panthers are great.

Important Quotes Explained

  • Brad Allen, president for the Permian Panther booster club, describes football in Odessa perfectly when he says, "There are so few other thing we can look at with pride" (43). Drinking and football were the two main activities for high school boys in Odessa. The town needed to look at something to feel united, something in which to feel prideful. Football was the only thing in Odessa that people looked at felt a sense of accomplishment. Football was all the little town had.
  • In Odessa, accomplishment was more-or-less measured in the amount of skill in the game of football that one possessed. Family members looked down on their offspring or relatives to produce on the football field to carry on the great tradition of Panther Football. James Miles Sr., of his James "Boobie" Miles Jr., says, "Do you know how you feel when you see your son doin' good, doin' somethin' special?" (54). James Sr. is a great example of how the past generations in Odessa still live and breathe football.
  • The 1988 state championship football game was played between Permian and Dallas Carter. It was an intense game from start to finish. Reporting on the pivotal final play, Bissinger writes, " The sound of the crowd did tell [Mike Winchell] who had won and who had lost, a sudden, joyful eruption that came from one of the sides like a blast of bullets to hail a surrender" (334). Just like that, the Panthers lost the state championship game after a stressful season filled with injury and odd-defying triumph. The pride of the whole town rested on the final play of the game and the citizens were let down.