Saturday, August 9, 2008
The Secret of Mojo by Regina Walker McCally
I grew up with four brothers who enjoyed watching football and wishing they could play. So, I became accustomed to football game noise in the background. In an effort to get to know my brothers, have something in common to talk about with them and understand the game, I found out that I had a fun obsession – I liked learning about the history of football. So, here’s my review of a book that was published in 1986 that follows the success of the Permian High School Panthers in Odessa, TX.
The Secret of Mojo
By Regina Walker McCally
This book is jam-packed with stories of coaches, football players, and games that were interesting to me and seemed surreal, like once in a lifetime experiences for those involved. The black and white photos, although few, enhance the appeal. It covers the span of time from 1951-1985 of high-school football in Odesssa. I also liked that the author dedicated a chapter to the band, pep squad and cheerleaders and how they contribute to the “Spirit of Mojo.”
I really enjoyed the fresh and honest eyes of the author, Regina Walker McCally, who claims in the introduction that when she moved to Odesssa she was not a football fan. For two years, she didn’t make any effort to join in the jubilation that the town seemed to possess for high school football. By chance, she reluctantly attends a football game because she couldn’t find a decent movie instead. The “Mojo” bug hit her and she became an avid fan following every move of the Permian Panthers for the next 15 years or so. It’s fun to read how much knowledge she has about this team and its history. I mean, she really got into it. I like her writing style. I’ve heard the saying “the truth is stranger than fiction” and she does a great job in making this book ring true with its rich football history.
I would have to agree with Coach Grant Teaff, a former head football coach at Baylor University, when he states “This book is recommended reading for anyone who has ever played the game, wants to play the game, watched the game, coached the game, or simply loves the game.”
“MoJo, MoJo, Go Panthers!”