I gotta admit it’s cool to see my book on Amazon and it just got better now that it’s actually been reviewed. Only two so far, but they were both very positive. I don’t know the first reviewer, but I love what he wrote. Very nice detail about the book.
The second reviewer is Texas Bob. As some of you know, Texas Bob wrote THE book documenting details about every HS football stadium in Texas. When I first announced my tour in 2012, he sent me a copy of his book and it sat on my passenger seat for those five months. You can link to his Texas Stadium data base on my Texas football links page or see his website here.
Thanks to both LSmith and Texas Bob for the fine reviews. It means a lot whenever a Texas HS football fan thinks I “get” what the culture of the sport is all about.
By LSmith on September 16, 2015
More than 25 years ago, America was introduced to the culture of high school football in Texas in Friday Night Lights. While that book was very popular in the description of one football program, Big and Bright takes that concept and expands it even further. In this comprehensive book by Gray Levy, football programs from all over the state of Texas are described in great detail.
Levy uses his experience as an educator and a football coach to write about various programs in the state, both in geographic locations and in size. No matter which program he writes about, from Port Lavaca on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico to Albiline in the central portion of the state, Levy writes about the players, the coaches, the games and the community support for each of these football teams.
Through Levy’s writing, the reader will be caught up in the spirit of the town and understand why the communities will support these young men fervently. Also, the experiences of the coaches and the players are captured in each town. This was one of the better aspects of the book, especially when Levy writes about what the coaches would be doing not only on game night, but during the week and during school time as well.
Levy’s experience as a coach and educator make his writing very informative for the reader as well. He also shares his opinion on both the education system and coaching frequently in the book. He does explain why he has these opinions and backs them up with experience or facts as appropriate. One example of this that I enjoyed is when Levy states that he believes that “in general, Texas coaches are less authoritarian than coaches elsewhere.” He then goes on to write about examples illustrating why he believes this. Passages like this make the book very enjoyable to read.
The football passages are detailed, deep and very descriptive. Whether it is a description of the offensive formations, the game action for the week Levy visited the school, or the recap of the season for that program, these sections are rich in description. Football fans that love the game beyond the action on the field and want to know more about the strategy and the “X’s and O’s” will especially enjoy these parts.
This book should be added to the library of football fans of all levels, even if they don’t normally watch high school football. Readers who like books on social interaction and the human aspect of sports or gatherings will also want to read this as well. It was a book that I enjoyed very much and was a very good read.
I wish to thank Taylor Trade Publishing for providing a copy of the book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Pace of the book:
This was not a quick or easy read as the story for each school’s football program that Levy wrote about was described in great detail so it required careful reading.
Do I recommend?
Fans of high school football will enjoy this book as all aspects of high school football programs are covered in each chapter. Readers who have an interest in the sociology of high school football in Texas and how it bonds entire communities will also enjoy this book.
By Texas Bob on September 20, 2015
Coach Gray Levy came to Texas with an open mind. He didn’t come to see football in Texas, he came to live it. It did that by doing several things right. First he spent time in rural Texas and urban Texas. Second, he stayed close to each of the eleven teams for at least a week. Third, he became part of the team’s community. And lastly he included teams from six man football to the largest classifications.
Big and Bright by Gray Levy is a good read for football fans. It takes you in the locker rooms of Texas high school football all across Texas. If you don’t understand Texas High School football this book will help you get it.
The first time Coach Spike Dykes’ Texas Tech Red Raiders beat Texas, a reporter ask him,
“Coach, would you say this is one of the biggest wins in your coaching career?” Spike replied, “Oh, I don’t know. When I was at Coahoma, I thought it was a pretty big win when we beat Aspermont for the district title.”
Spike Dyke gets It.
After reading “Big and Bright” I believe Coach Gray Levy gets it.