NEW YORK -- Yes, Buzz Bissinger is most famous for his best-selling book, Friday Night Lights. He won a Pulitzer Prize for crime reporting, but acknowledges that the book will likely be the first thing that follows his name when he dies.
"Not a day goes by when someone doesn't ask me about it," he says. "I don't think it will be written on my tombstone, though."
While the book -- written 25 years ago and later made into a movie and a critically acclaimed television show ("Full Nelson" is a huge fan) -- is his most famous work, Bissinger, 57, also wrote books about LeBron James and Tony La Russa. He is a current contributor to The Daily Beast and Vanity Fair but many may now know him for his caustic rants on Twitter, and his once-blind dislike of bloggers, when he famously confronted Deadspin founder Will Leitch on Bob Costas' show. But Bissinger has softened (somewhat) over the years -- the four daily medications he takes helps -- and while his Twitter timeline can read like a snapshot into the profane and rambling mind of a madman, in person Bissinger is quite pleasant.
Yes, he has a postscript to his FNL book to sell so it's in his best interests to be somewhat genial, but we sat for over an hour in a New York City diner and had an interesting and entertaining talk about writing; about Boobie Miles and Bissinger's close relationship to his former subject; about his fractured relationship with La Russa; and how he likes to tell people to "f*** off" on Twitter.
I read the postscript and not surprisingly, it is well written and captivating. It gives the reader an update on Miles' life since the book, and how both men have conflicted emotions about forever being tied together, and to Odessa, Texas, because of it. It's worth your time. Oh, and so are his thoughts on rapper Big K.R.I.T. trying to capitalize off Boobie Miles' name. Bissinger told me the rapper's people have reached out (since Bissinger went on full attack mode on Twitter) and they may work something out. Here's this week's "Full Nelson", my f***** conversation with Buzz Bissinger.
If you want to read the postscript (which is only available digitally) I'm told that it was chosen for the iBookstore for Starbucks' Pick of the Week program. Pick of the Week cards are available in all U.S. Starbucks locations and feature a unique redemption code that readers can use to download a free copy of After Friday Night Lights on the iBookstore (iTunes.com/iBookstore).