Friday Night Lights

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Longform has been killin' it these days. Yesterday, they reprinted this classic from Buzz Bissinger:

The faithful sat on little stools of orange and blue under the merciless lights of the high school cafeteria, but the spartan setting didn't bother them a bit. Had the booster club's Watermelon Feed been held inside the county jail, or on a sinking ship, or on the side of a craggy mountain, these fans still would have flocked there.

Outside, the August night was cool and serene, with just a wisp of West Texas wind. Inside, there was a sense of excitement and also relief, for the waiting was basically over—no more sighs of longing, no more awkward groping to fill up the empty spaces of time with golf games and thoroughly unsatisfying talk about baseball. Tonight the boys of Permian High School in Odessa would come before the crowd, one by one, to be introduced. And in less than two weeks, on the first Friday night in September, the march to state—to the Texas high school championship finals—would begin with the first game of the season.

By the time the Watermelon Feed began, there were about 800 people crammed into the cafeteria. They had come dressed up for the event, not in black tie or anything outlandish like that, but in Permian Panther black—black caps, black shirts, black pants, black jackets. They cheered for Ivory Christian, the hulking middle linebacker who preached on Sundays. They cheered for Brian Chavez, the tight end who was as good in the classroom as he was on the field. They cheered for Mike Winchell, the painfully shy quarterback who hated crowds.

And they cheered for Boobie.

They also launched their Longform App. It's dope. A must-have.

[Image Via: Buzz Bissinger]