"Friday Night Lights" by H.G. Bissinger
The team, along with the players and towns, go through struggles and tribulations that encapsulate what the human spirit is all about. This book was also a slap in the face for me because of how drastically different life is/was over there. When I initially began reading the book, I thought Odessa was my soul town, with football being the heartbeat of the town; but the farther I got into the book, and the more the author revealed about the town, the more I realized that the perfect town I originally envisioned was far from reality. The town seemed to have a very racist, homophobic, and isolated foundation, yet every Friday under the Lights, the town united in support of the Permian Panthers.
I loved this book, and I would recommend it to everyone. Even if you're not a football fan, or a sports fan, it is a book that will capture you and keep you emotionally connected from cover to cover. I think all of us can learn something from the lessons the Permian Panthers and Odessa, Texas, have to offer.
On a side note, I would like to take this moment to point out just how united Odessa felt on Friday nights when they came together to support the Panthers. That is the power football, the power of sports; they unite unlike anything else. That is the power the NFL Chargers have, and THAT IS WHY, among many other reasons, THEY NEED TO STAY IN SAN DIEGO.