Buzz Bissinger Talks The 25th Anniversary Of ‘Friday Night Lights’

Author Buzz Bissinger stopped by to talk about the 25th anniversary edition of Friday Night Lights.

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.

The book inspired a critically acclaimed film and television series.

Bonus track: Don’t poke the #Olicity fan base!

New to the 25th anniversary edition of Friday Night Lights is an afterword in which Bissinger returns to Texas. He meets with six of the players (Mike Winchell, Boobie Miles, Brian Chavez, Jerrod McDougal, Ivory Christian, and Don Billingsley) and the updates are stirring. Boobie, for example, is in prison for violating the terms of his aggravated assault probation. The town of Odessa and the culture of Friday night football is much changed as well.

Matthew Sardo
Matthew Sardo
As the founder of Monkeys Fighting Robots, I'm currently training for my next job as an astronaut cowboy. Reformed hockey goon, comic book store owner, video store clerk, an extra in 'Transformers: Dark of the Moon,' 'Welcome Back Freshman,' and for one special day, I was a Ghostbuster.