In Odessa Texas football is number one similar to other small towns, football not only served as a means for community entertainment but also a venue in which to highlight the athletic talent of the town. Following their failing oil business, the small town of Odessa needed something of value to bring esteem to the town as well as the community at large. Football was their ticket. Not only did football serve as the redeeming entity to resolve the town if its once early failures, for Odessa, football brought the town and its people together.
Driving into the town for the first time you will see a flat, dusty, dry town “You become immersed in a land so vast, so relentless, that something swells up inside, something that makes you feel powerless and insignificant” (Bissinger xi). Formerly a booming oil town, it now had roads were lined with ghosts that no longer brought forth the liquid gold known as oil, empty Motels, and closed down movie theaters. The social and racial divisions saturated the town; minorities lived across the tracks where the poor area called Southside was located. How did this place get so dead? Why would someone like to make Odessa their home?
It all started in 1880 by a group of men from Zanesville Ohio, who saw an opportunity to make money; their challenges were to get people to move to Texas. They advertised through brochures and pamphlets. Odessa was described as “a place with weather as wonderful as Southern California’s and soil as fertile as that of the finest acre of farmland in Kansas or Iowa” (Bissinger 25). The land auction took placed in May 19, 1886; the Zanesville boys convinced about 10 German Methodists families to move to Odessa. Unfortunately the Methodists did not get along with the cowboys and ranchers who were already living there. Both groups had different beliefs. The cowboys were tired of the Methodists yelling at them and telling them what to do.
The syndicate built a college in 1889; three years later it...