Friday, March 01, 2013

"After Friday Night Lights" by Buzz Bissinger

After Friday Night Lights was a compelling eBook from Buzz Bissinger that followed up on his bestselling Friday Night Lights book written 22 years, one feature film and one television series ago.

The original book was an excellent read and a past sports book from Bissinger that I also enjoyed was Three Nights in August: Strategy, Heartbreak, and Joy Inside the Mind of a Manager about Tony LaRussa and the 2003 St. Louis Cardinals. Additionally of interest to me was his publication last year of Father's Day: A Journey into the Mind and Heart of My Extraordinary Son, from which there was a really captivating excerpt that I wrote about and linked to in a post on great writing on raising kids.

This most recent After Friday Night Lights was a short book published through Byliner and about Boobie Miles, the main character featured in Bissinger's original book. After reading of what Miles went through as a high school football player, it was then fascinating seeing the path his life has taken in the two decades since.

Miles certainly hasn't been without his faults and self-inflicted difficulties, but reading of him one gets the sense of the long odds he's faced towards having something resembling a normal, productive-member-of-society type life. Told well by Bissinger was how Miles treated by many others, ranging from his high school coach to those at Universal Studios who paid him $1,000 to use his character in the movie. Really what seems to be inherent in his story is the reconciliation between wishing for something and making the best out of what is.

Also terribly interesting from the eBook was Bissinger's writing on himself, both as a writer whose best-known work was done at the age of 35 and as someone who formed a connection with Miles that's carried forward to today.

I enjoyed After Friday Night Lights quite a bit and it's short enough to be read in one sitting, basically like a long and very well done magazine feature.