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Texas High School Football Is An Obsession

847 words - 4 pages

Obsession is something that gets thrown around a lot, to describe the way someone may feel about something. Obsession can be described by the fans of Odessa as it relates to its high school football team, so much so it is unhealthy. Sustaining the ambitions of not only themselves but the alumni and town of Odessa, Texas is a lot to ask from a young adult. There is a continuous pattern in Friday Night Lights that passion is not always a good thing. The town’s expectations of the team cause the school personnel and coaches to sacrifice the players’ overall wellbeing in return for a successful football team. Although the town of Odessa is unified and sustained by its love of Texas High School Football, Friday Night Lights provides insight into how damaging a fans obsession can be.
Bissinger does a great job of revealing Permian High School’s insignificant focus on its educational priorities. Putting football first over educational priorities can lead a kid to a very dark future with minimal opportunities except for that in the football world. An English teacher Larue Moore had been at Permian high for twenty years and she was paid $32,000 a year by comparison “she noted the salary of Gary Gaines, who served as both football coach and athletic director for Permian but did not teach any classes, was $48,000.”(Bissinger 131). This quote revealing that the town’s obsession with football is not only invested spiritually and intellectually but also financially with the way they distribute their money. The money invested in the football team should be less than the money invested into the school systems but it’s not and that is damaging to the town because their education suffers as a result of lack of funding by the town. As Moore says “This community doesn’t want academic excellence. It wants a gladiatorial spectacle on a Friday Night.” (132). School was just not high on the list for anyone in Permian. These young men have no real reading or writing skills when they graduate from Permian high school causing them to likely not go to college or get a highly financially stable job. Forcing these men to end up right back where they started, deep in the heart of Texas for little or no money.

The damaging effects of a fans obsession can come from arguably the child’s biggest fan, their parents. Families tied to Permians rich football history only try and repossess their...

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