Contents

 




Introduction

The current analysis is a comparison of a sports related novel to the television series that is a completely adapted version of the novel. The chosen film is Friday Night Lights, directed by Peter Berg in 2004 and the novel is Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team and a Dreamwritten by H. Bissinger in 1980.

Summary of the contents of the book

Image result for friday night lights a town a team and a dream book summary“Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team and a Dreamis a non-fiction book, published in 1990, written by H.G. Bissinger. The book is oriented with the storyline of Permian High School’s football team of 1988 batch, located in Odessa, Texas. The content of this book is actually oriented with the journey of the team in winning the state championship held in Texas. The story commences with the description of the period, just prior to the football championship. Interior scenario of the story shows a portrayal of the each and every player of the team who have won the state championships earlier since last 29 years. They dangle in a celebrating mood in a picture frame which again resembles the picture of what glory signifies.
The field house as stated in the book is actually denoted as a cultural landmark. The township of Odessa, Texas was developed in 1880s with few individuals belonging to Zanesville, Ohio. These individuals had the aspiration of transforming Odessa into a destination that is attributable to electric trolley cars. On this note, Odessa began to become an oil town that was subjected to growth as well as exploitations. Moreover, football was considered as one of the wealth amenities for Odessa and this led the team to aspire for victory in the state championships.
During the 5A playoff semi-finals, Permian confronts with Dallas Carter, one of the most the then predominant black teams in football. Panthers were defeated at 14-9. Carter however led by Miami Hurricances and New York Giants Jessie Armstead had then taken the decision of taking participation in the state championship. But fortune took the team to such an end where they encountered severe penalties for their grades tampering, offering the state championship to Judson High School since last 3 years.  This book particularly describes how the coach of the aforesaid team replaces old players with new junior bloods for the coming sessions. Permian however went and remained unbeatable in the consecutive years, and this was only because of future NFL players Stoney Case as quarterback and this made the team win the 1989 Texas state football championship. This particular segment deals with the clear elaboration of the following chapters of the book as follows – The Watermelon Feed, Boobie, Dreaming of Heroes, Black and Whites, Ambivalence of Ivory, School days, East versus West, Friday Night Politics, Boobie Who, Sisters, Civil War, Heads or Tails , Friday Night Addiction, the Algebraic equation and Field of dreams
Some of the most important themes of the book depicts about racism, misplaced educational precedence in the school, the then contemporary economy and the football, delusion of grandeur, defeat of girls, discussion about the political situation and the socio-cultural aspects and a clear identification of the male stereotype in Odessa, Texas. All these themes together have put forward how dedicated the team was towards the sports – football. The author has begun to write this book with the attempt of describing how high school football teams play football within the American society, especially in the rural areas or outskirts of the townships.
The whole story was based upon how Permian Panthers made the usage of their winning records in Texas’s 4As and 5As in the past. Permian Panthers had been winning the state championships consecutively in 1965, 1972, 1980 and 1984. However the state championship of 1989 was also won by Permian Panthers. This story is a real life story that was based on the plot how the author tried to relocate himself and understand the attempts made by Permian Panthers, their families, their coaches and the efforts made by the population of Odessa to drive the football-mad culture in the outskirts of Texas.
Some of the plot characters in the story were – James “Boobie” Miles, Mike Winchell, Brian Chavez, Ivory Christian, Don Billingsley, Jerrod McDougal and Gary Gaines. This particular story deals with a description about how school sports are held in rural areas of the developed countries –America. The epilogue of this book ended up with the description of how the lives of the football players adapted the cultures existing in the base of Odessa. However, later this book was tailored and adapted for a television series or a film. The author has portrayed the predominance of black Carter fans and the players as explicitly annoyed and racially prejudiced.
The author in order to publish this book had undergone a thematic analysis whereby he chose to gather real life data. Since this book is a non-fictional book, Bissinger relocated with his Odessa and had spent the entire football session in 1988 with the Permian Panther players for understanding the families, their coaches and explaining the football mad culture of people residing in the outskirts of Texas, America. However, the book was absolutely based on his own realizations perceived from the real life scenario at the time when he got relocated to Odessa. Bissinger has also referred to the fact that racism cuts both ways.  He has spoken about the economic and the cultural diversities found among the people residing in outskirts like as Odessa.
Information about the education system existing in Odessa that hit the oil based economy was also gathered by collecting raw data about the family structure of people, educational priorities and communal stability. How football has became the day-night partner of Odessa in lifting the overall economy of Odessa was explained and addressed through adequate knowledge and real life data gathered from the depressed economy of Odessa. It is not that the author has relied upon any secondary data. But he completely based his findings upon the facets of American cultural, educational and political referendum. Bissinger has also represented a world where boys in a particular team are treated as men out of hegemonic masculinity (Bissinger, 2015).  The book also portrays an inflexible delusion of male invulnerability whereby they are able to develop a sense of empathy and self awareness. The storyline of the book is thus completely based on pragmatic and practical instances that economy, culture and political bias have contributed in the lives of the people residing in Odessa, Texas.

Analysis and evaluation of the book and film

Strengths

The book “Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team and a Dreamis so far acknowledged as one of the bestsellers. This book is excellent since the book represents an elaboration of a wide range of matured themes from which readers can get an idea about the issues and challenges faced by the American people. The book shows how racism disappeared through football. This bestseller book is actually the portrayal of sports which brings an end to the racism. This particular segment embraces upon a clear evaluation of key strengths like – what message the author has actually tried to pass on to the mass and weaknesses – what messages and information, he could not depict to the mass from the storyline of the book, i.e. the worst part of the book that could not satisfy wants and needs of the readers. This particular segment of depicts the strengths and weaknesses in an evaluated manner.
Strengths
·         The storyline catches the interests of the readers
·         The writing is one of the strength
·         Plotted characters
·         Bissinger has depicted the sociological, economic , political and cultural aspects
·         He has tried to put forward the mislaid instructive priorities
·         The author has tried to identify the realm of athletes and sports personalities as persons and value their dreams and hard-earned struggles
·         The book is all about a thorough analysis of the subculture of athletes
·         Some facts that attracted the mass were – undermined educational priorities, violation of rules for the footballers, coaching tactics and discipline at the ground
·         The book was developed with a social commentary
Weaknesses
·         Failure to win the state championship would have uncovered inadequately high levels of criticisms from the readers
·         The book somehow violated the amateur rules
·         The book also tells about minimal concern being shown by the high school football coach towards the students. Often this instance has been criticized by the readers as the coach was addressed to be bad
·         The concepts of racism and masculinity have weakened the preferences of the readers to have an overview about the book
·         There was direct influence of Latino community on the realizations made by the author
·         The book actually was graded as boring by some readers
·         Due to the negative responses, one of the book stores in Odessa cancelled the signature made by the author

Evaluation of the arguments and interpretations in the book

The concept of this book actually opines how and what actually makes the high school football team players to lit up their hopes and dreams to prefer the football game even when Odessa is attributed with the cultural flaws and social hardships. The book is more of a realistic and journalistic report that is based upon the lifestyles and the socio-cultural backgrounds of people residing in Odessa and the author has spent a year in Permian Panthers who qualified for the football sessions of 1988. Bissinger has also tried to focus on 6 players along with their sentiments and emotions (agonies and victory) that they continuously experience while their stay in the town, that was actually not a football-mad town. The town actually is attributable to racism and witnesses economic challenges since the effects of oil businesses on the lifestyles of the people residing in the outskirts of rural areas. These people are having both best and worst opinions and experiences since the psychology has worked that the place was not just Odessa, Texas but it was America, one of the developed countries of the world. The book finally reaches the climax where Carter High School Cowboys are defeated by the Permian Panthers in the semi-finals at the state championships. The game however ends up with the dream and crafts in each boy who has witnessed if the sentiments of “what if?” that consumes them even ten years later.
Arguments have also put forward the fact there are several implications allude to critical remarks of race integration at Permian which has pointed out a question – are the high school football games only codes and indications of long-simmering racial violence and hostility? The negative and adverse reactions made to the final tournament situations were aggravated by the book and according to the reviews it is prominent that many people belonging to Odessa bought this book, based on the reactions varying between the mild resentments and annoyance to the intimidations of physical violence aimed at H. Bissinger. The book also comprises of football as well as conservative politics especially witnessed and experienced among the existing high schools located in Odessa. Therefore the book is a blend of sports, cultural & political bias, and likelihood of the high school players to go and connect with the town schools to apprehend their dreams.

Quality of the book

Quality of the book is excellent and breathtaking. Boobie is the leading character of the book since his life is passing through constant struggle and difficulties and Bissinger has tried to put up and enumerate the struggles and his sufferings. Friday Night Lights is plotted in Odessa during 80s which instead has become of the characters of the book. The book explains about a high school team and the coaches of Permian Panthers along with failures and success. The book provides the readers and the critiques with an implausible view of the roles and responsibilities that athletic sports or especially football play in the society, specifically in backward societies along with the best and worst parts of athletic sports in developing the culture and economy of any rural area, Odessa during the 1980s.
Furthermore the book also expressed the outlook of the educational systems existing in high schools and how football can improve and retrench the willingness of the players towards the game. Literally, the book is not just only about football but is all about the essence of football in the community, especially backward society. The script is just heaving with energy with life. H. Bissinger expresses his appreciation towards the society and gets overwhelmed when he writes about the students who take part in the state championships in Odessa. He has also described their way of talking, their standard of living, their eating styles, their behaviour to the society and preferences towards the game.
The book has expressed how exactly Odessa dealt with inert brand of race relations during the ‘80s. This was the onset when the people started believing that black people are actually good in playing football, the town indeed were actually were far more compliant and accordingly illustrated and had drawn town lines based on what demography of people lived where the Permian Panthers could reach more black people (Bissinger, 2015). People liked and preferred this book so much that some reviews showed that people residing in every corner Texas have started watching the television series of Friday Night Lights. Preferences hit the critiques that people started believing that despite of not being a sports lover, people might get engrossed. All men, women and kids belonging to any class, religion and race can watch the television shows since the book exposes cultural and social contexts in which high school football were revered over the others.
Odessa was not racially integrated since late 1980s and the inception of the football-motivated gerrymandering backs of Permian high school team had ignited hopes in the minds of the people residing in Odessa. The book is highly pleasant and also comprises several practical and relevant facts about the Texas community. How people are mostly attracted towards football after buying and reading the book has been explained. The writing of the book is excellent. The author has used exaggerations, overstatements and metaphors and however has crafted a concrete image about the school, student’s lives, the town, the team “Permian Panthers” etc. Transforming high school players as passionate football players is something what the author has suggested to all the kids. Football today has become the pride for Odessa and this book has therefore represented views and perspectives or questions about how one shall motivate himself/herself, how shall she/he relate to others, how to value personal beliefs and others’ beliefs, the essence of rationalizing the public policies and how shall a society be free of racism.

Comparative analysis of film version of Friday Night Lights with the book

“Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team and a Dream” is the chosen book for the study where a detailed explanation and comparison of the novel with the movie is represented. The book is all about a small town in Texas, named as Odessa which however only cared about football championships. The book is written by H. Bissinger and is one of the bestsellers in Texas. Based on the story, the film named as Friday Night Lights is a spots fiction film directed by Peter Berg in 2004. This segment of the analysis depicts a clear comparison of the film and the novel. Some comparisons are depicted below.
·         In the film, Boobie Miles was represented as one of the three captains of Permian Panthers. But in the book, the three captains were Ivory Christian, Mike Winchell and Brian Chavez.
·         Again, in the adapted television series/movie, the numbers and the positions of some football players were altered like as Boobie Miles in the movie was #45 and he is playing tailback which according to the book is slightly different. As per the book, Boobie Miles is playing fullback etc. (Bissinger, 2015)
·         Charlie, father of Don Billingsley is depicted to have won the state championship but in the book the storyline was different like being a junior players of 1968, Permian Panthers lost the finals which shows that Charlie’s team had lost the state championship
·         As per the novel, the third-ranked Marshall Mavericks defeated Permian Panthers for 13 -12. But, in the movie, Permian Panthers has beaten Marshall Bulldogs in the non-district sessions.
·         Lastly, as per the movie the district championship began during week 2. But in the novel, the district championship started off from the fourth week.

Evaluation of the movie Friday Night Lights

Friday Night Lights is a film based on the storyline of the bestseller novel in Texas “Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team and a Dream”. The film released in 2004 and is directed by Peter Beg that features the coach and football players in a high school football team located in Odessa, Texas. The television series has depicted the roles and responsibilities of a team in protecting the name of the town and the city against the idea that the township is inconsequential and the residing population is simply not worth mentioning. The film plots how the coach Gaines led Permian Panthers in winning the state championship, thus proving Odessa as the place of glory, power and significance (Bissinger, 2015). The role of Gaines was played by Billy Bob Thornton and the movie represents Odessa as a town and the film caught the key characters only from the novel are identified. One of the themes of the film is based on depicting Gains as a fatherly figure for the players. The soundtrack of the film is attributable for post rock band and explosions in sky.  Music is given by Daniel Lanois and the film has had high positive reviews. The film also scored 70 out of 100 on Metacritic, depending on 35 reviews and is was box-office hit of 2004. The strengths and weaknesses of the movie can be evaluated below:
Strengths
·         Excellent acting
·         Absence of any gratuitous unnecessary scenes
·         Excellent casting
·         Remained true to the novel
Weaknesses
·         Absence of social commentary of the novel
·         Lack of adequate history about Odessa
·         Changes of themes and plots
·         Lack of adequate information from the novel

Conclusion                         

From the above description and evaluation, it is co-incidental that the movie differs from the real storyline of the novel to some extent and for which the movie has been criticized by Metacritic. The novel is better since the entire story is written with social commentary.  



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