By H. G. Bissinger
With a brand new afterword by way of the author
Return once more to the undying account of the Permian Panthers of Odessa—the winningest high-school soccer crew in Texas background. Odessa isn't really recognized to be a city immense on desires, however the Panthers aid retain the hopes and desires of this small, dusty city going. Socially and racially divided, its fragile economic climate follows the treacherous boom-bust direction of the oil company. In undesirable occasions, the unemployment cost barrels uncontrolled; in stable occasions, its homicide cost skyrockets. yet each Friday evening from September to December, while the Permian highschool Panthers play soccer, this West Texas city turns into a spot the place desires can come real. With frankness and compassion, H. G. Bissinger chronicles a season within the lifetime of Odessa and exhibits how single-minded devotion to the group shapes the group and inspires—and occasionally shatters—the little ones who put on the Panthers' uniforms. The author's new afterword not just updates the tale but in addition bargains a sure-to-be debatable overview of the country of soccer this present day.
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Additional info for Friday Night Lights, 25th Anniversary Edition: A Town, a Team, and a Dream
On a Platonic and Aristotelian basis, the key question seems to be how exactly to calibrate the proper balance between physical and intellectual training. The personnel involved at a gymnasion included the gymnasiarchos (the leader of the gymnasion), the paidonomos (the leader’s assistant), and paidotribai (physical trainers). These last were considered inferior to those who taught reading and writing, but superior to those who taught military skills, which were not seen as identical to athletic skills.
Very few athletes retire at the top of their game like the football player Jim Brown. More typical is the athlete who “is preparing himself for defeat, and perhaps humiliation. weiss and the pursuit of bodily excellence · 47 His days are numbered, his successes rarely momentous, and his glories short-lived; he works hard and long to prepare himself for what may end in dismal failure. ” (Weiss 1969, 18). This is an interesting question, and Weiss’s outsider response to it is nuanced. Granted, he thinks that athletes endure all of these things in order to be excellent.
The Greeks had no admiration for athletes who failed in other aspects of life or in later life. Miller quotes Pausanias as claiming that those who gloried in their strength alone were doomed to perish (Miller 2004a, chap. 9; Harris 1964, chap. 5; Finley and Pleket 1976, chap. 6). Once again, the goal was kalokagathia: bodily and moral or intellectual excellence. No doubt many ancient Greek athletes fell short of this ideal. It is by no means clear, however, that it is a good thing to abandon the goal altogether, as we will see.