Twenty-five years later Bissinger returns to Odessa, Texas to follow-up on some of the players he wrote about in his book. He did so with some hesitation as the book did not meet with everyone’s approval in that area of the world. High school football is more of a religion in Texas and Bissinger did not always speak well of the “Pope.” Webster’s definition of religion: “A body that has a system of beliefs, organized by a body of followers, held to be supremely important and marked by zealous devotion and conscientious maintenance.” That fits Texas football on about any level.
Winchell is now in his mid-forties, no longer that eighteen year old high school football hero living in his Friday night community. Winchell makes an interesting comment when sitting down with Bissinger these many years later, “If you invented a time machine, you’d be the richest man on the planet.” Sadly many of the young men talked about in Bissinger’s book would become consumed by celebrity in their teen years that they would never attain in their adult years.
Bissinger says of Winchell,
Two short sentences, sixteen words total, yet those two sentences can say volumes about another. They can also bring a lot of questions to one’s mind.
“He has regrets like the rest of us and there was a significant other in his past”… hum.
Wonder how many other people there are in which that might also be said? Also, often one can be much more a celebrity in their youth than they ever become as an adult.
April 14, 2011