When the lights come on at the 20,000-seat Ratliff Stadium, the city of Odessa, Texas shuts down. Streets are deserted and stores close early so that everyone can crowd onto the sparse campus of Permian High School to cheer on their Panthers. In this small, barren town, Friday night football is bigger than life.

Based on journalist H.G. Bissinger's best selling book, Friday Night Lights examines the craze surrounding the team's bumpy road to the 1988 state championship. For these players, excelling at football is the only ticket out of their dilapidated desert town. All of Odessa's residents are motivated to do their part to help get them out. Players are pushed to the breaking point on the field by driven coaches, and equally pressed off the field by their win-obsessed parents. At the local burger joint, players eat for free, heed words of advice, and pose for pictures with fans.

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