Describe the process of the Watermelon Feed
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For this event, the boys run into the high school cafeteria with all their glory on display. It is difficult to pack the bulk of white Odessa into a school cafeteria, so the school positions screens outside for latecomers. People arrive with their children, as though the event is an important civic duty, all clutching Permian yearbooks and autographs from players now graduated.
The town makes no apologies for its behavior, even though grown men act like crazed fans at a rock concert. When Ross Perot, while running for office, once called these men ‘football crazy’, the men reacted by sending letters insulting the politician.
Bissinger details the sacrifices that both players and fans make for Permian. While fans are willing to subsume their lives for these high school students, the players often struggle through broken or sprained limbs to compete. The pain is worth the glory they experience from such devoted townspeople.
At the Watermelon Feed, films are shown of former heroes, with special focus on Shawn Crow, who once led the team to a State victory. Crow sits in the crowd during the video, looking embarrassed. While he originally planned to play for Texas Christian University, he suffered a herniated disc in the final game of his high school career. The university delayed his acceptance until his back healed, so he now settles for the glory of remembered victories.
While every player is highlighted at this year's Watermelon Feed, Boobie Miles receives particular attention; the town views him as a savior who will lead the team to the state finals. Despite its innate racism, the town does not care that Boobie is black, as they cheer along with the Pepettes, the booster girls who double as cheerleaders.