For some reason, people love to perpetuate the myth of the idyllic small town. Usually, such myths are used as a comparison to the evil, hedonistic, crime-ridden big cities. In small towns, so the myths go, neighbors cheerfully help one another, work hard, do their shopping on Main Street, and everyone lives a simpler, happier, more moral existence than, say, effete East Coast intellectuals.
(These shenanigans are cheeky and fun. Beloit’s shenanigans are cruel and tragic.)
The truth is that the myth of the idyllic American small town is by and large dead. Wal-Marts have rendered Main Street storefronts all but abandoned, family farms have long gone bankrupt or been rendered useless by multinational corporations, drugs and crime are sky-high, and people are hostile, distrustful, and bitter. But one thing still stands to tie towns like Beloit, Kansas, together - high school football.