Odessa, Texas, is a small, town in Texas. Racially divided and economically dying, there is one night that gives the town something to live for: Friday Night. The Permian Panthers have a big winning tradition in Texas high school football, led by QB Mike Winchell and superstar tailback Boobie Miles, but all is not well, as Boobie suffers a career-ending injury in the first game of the season. Hope is lost among citizens in Odessa, and for the team, but Coach Gary Gaines, who believes that "Perfection is being able to look your friends in the eye and know you did everything you could not to let them down", is somehow able to help the team rise up from the ashes and make a huge season comeback. Now on their way to state, the Panthers must go out and be perfect, because they may never matter this much for the rest of their lives.Written by
After the successful 1989 Permian Football season, head coach Gary Gaines left Permian for an assistant coaching job at Texas Tech University, just two hours away from Odessa. Gaines would go to recruit and coach future NFL players such as Zach Thomas. But 20 years later, Gaines would return to Permian high school as the head coach once again, and also serve as Athletic Director and the team went 8-4 in his first season back. He officially announced his retirement from coaching following the 2012 season. See more »
Mike WInchell receives a recruiting visit from Kansas Wesleyan University. One of the coaches says there are a Division 2 program. In actuality, Kansas Wesleyan is a non-scholarship NAIA program. See more »
Captures the West Texas Environment Remarkably Well
This film centers around a high school football team in West Texas known as the Odessa-Permian Panthers who have set a standard of excellence that remains difficult for anybody else to surpass on the football field. However, with this success has come such a rabid devotion to this team by the local residents that an enormous amount of pressure is put upon everyone associated with the team in the process. So much so that the local residents and alumni not only expect a victory each and every time the team takes the field but they also demand it--or else! And this puts the new coach "Gary Gaines" (Billy Bob Thornton) in an especially difficult postion which only gets worse after he loses his star running back "Boobie Miles" (Derek Luke) to a season ending knee injury in the very first game. And things really get bad when he not only loses this game but another one not too long afterward. Now rather than reveal any more I will just say that, although there was some artistic license taken with the historical accuracy here and there, the film follows the basic plot of the book and makes for an enjoyable movie experience overall. I especially liked the manner in which the director (Peter Berg) managed to capture the West Texas environment as vividly as he did. Be that as it may, I enjoyed this movie and recommend it to all those who might be looking for a film of this type.
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