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H.G. “Buzz” Bissinger

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H.G. “Buzz” Bissinger

People say, “Why’d you begin to write books?” The reason I really began to write books is that, after my Nieman year, I felt I owed it to myself to go and do something out of the box. So that’s what I did. The last day of the Nieman program I got into a car with a fellow Nieman who lived in Seattle and drove across country with her…We went through Alabama and Mississippi and Louisiana and then Texas. You would come upon high school football stadiums, and they were gorgeous…They were shrines in these small towns, these isolated places, and I just had the sense that this was where people came. I had read about high school football in Texas, and it just stayed with me. I like sports, but I really thought of this in much more sociological terms: Why do [sports] have the impact that they have and what would it be like, then, to live in that town for a year and simply use the team and the season as the glue to write about all sorts of different things?”