In the book, Friday Night Lights, H.G. Bissinger depicts the culture of a small town called Odessa where economic instability, racial prejudice, sexism, and poverty are common. The one thing this town can truly hang onto is the local high school football team. In Miracle on Ice, directed by Steven Hilliard Stern, the head coach of the American Olympic Hockey Team Herb Brooks is determined to gather up an American team to beat the Russians in their own game, ice hockey. In both works, unity is an important theme that is reached through different means. In Miracle the elements of socioeconomic class and race were not a factor in unifying the team. While in Friday Night Lights those factors were extremely important throughout the context of what unity means in the story. The unity in Miracle is more constructive because it was more easily achieved because it was more well defined, it was simply to defeat the Russians and bring glory and pride to the nation. Whereas in Odessa the mission was more unclear. In a time where America was facing a “Crisis in Confidence” the U.S. Olympic Hockey brought the nation together. Although Permian football was effective in unifying and giving hope to many of its citizens, the football culture was also used to create division among different races and social classes ,and therefore was destructive.
Representative sports is a common theme in both works which contributes to the unity within both communities. In Sports Unites and Sports Divides,