Friday Night Lights, 25th Anniversary Edition: A Town, a Team, and a Dream

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Return once again to the timeless account of the Permian Panthers of Odessa--the winningest high-school football team in Texas history. Odessa is not known to be a town big on dreams, but the Panthers help keep the hopes and dreams of this small, dusty town going. Socially and racially divided, its fragile economy follows the treacherous boom-bust path of the oil business. In bad times, the unemployment rate barrels out of control; in good times, its murder rate skyrockets. But every Friday night from September to December, when the Permian High School Panthers play football, this West Texas town becomes a place where dreams can come true. With frankness and compassion, H. G. Bissinger chronicles a season in the life of Odessa and shows how single-minded devotion to the team shapes the community and inspires--and sometimes shatters--the teenagers who wear the Panthers' uniforms.
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The DREAM TEAM was a bunch of kids from Akron, Ohio-LeBron James and his best friends-who first met on a youth basketball team of the same name when they were ten and eleven years old. United by their love of the game and their yearning for companionship, they quickly forged a bond which would carry them through thick and thin (a lot of thin) and, at last, to the brink of a national championship.

They were a motley group who faced challenges all too typical of inner-city America. LeBron grew up without a father and had moved with his mother more than a dozen times by the age of 10. Willie McGee, the quiet one, had left both his parents behind in Chicago to be raised by his older brother in Akron. Dru Joyce was outspoken, and his dad, who was ever-present, would end up coaching all five of the boys in high school. Sian Cotton, who also played football, was the happy-go-lucky enforcer, while Romeo Travis was unhappy, bitter, even surly, until he finally opened himself up to the bond his team mates offered.

In the summer after seventh grade, the DREAM TEAM tasted glory when they qualified for a national championship tournament in Memphis. But they lost their focus, and had to go home early. They promised each other they would stay together and do whatever it took to win a national title.

They had no idea how hard it would be to pursue that promise. In the years that followed, they would endure jealousy, hostility, exploitation, resentment from the black community (because they went to a "white" high school), and the consequence of their own over-confidence. Not least, they would all have to wrestle with LeBron's outsize success, which brought too much attention and even a whiff of scandal their way. But together these five boys became men as they sought a national championship.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Da Capo Press
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Published on
Aug 11, 2015
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Pages
432
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ISBN
9780306824227
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
History / United States / State & Local / Southwest (AZ, NM, OK, TX)
Social Science / Sociology / Rural
Sports & Recreation / Football
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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“Every father of a special needs child should read” this memoir by the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of Friday Night Lights (Temple Grandin).
 
Buzz Bissinger’s twins were born just three minutes apart, yet life couldn’t have dealt them more different hands. Now grown, Gerry is a graduate student at Penn, preparing to become a teacher. His twin brother, Zach, has spent his life attending special schools. He’ll never drive a car, or kiss a girl, or live by himself. He is a savant, challenged by serious intellectual deficits but also blessed with rare talents: an astonishing memory, a dazzling knack for navigation, and a reflexive honesty that can make him both socially awkward and surprisingly wise.
 
Buzz realized that while he’d been an attentive father, he didn’t fully understand what it was like to be Zach. So one summer night, the two hit the road to revisit all the places they had lived together in Zach’s twenty-four years. Zach revels in his memories, and Buzz hopes the experience will bring them closer and reveal to him the mysterious workings of his son’s mind and heart. The trip becomes a personal journey for Buzz, yielding revelations about his own parents, the price of ambition, and its effect on his twins.
 
As father and son journey from Philadelphia to Los Angeles, they see the best and worst of America—and each other. Ultimately, Buzz gains a new and uplifting wisdom, and with the help of both of his twins, learns a vital lesson: Character transcends intellect.
 
 
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