Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

by

Ben Fountain

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Norm Oglesby Character Analysis

Norm Oglesby is the owner of the Dallas Cowboys. An older man with a trapezoidal head and a great deal of obvious plastic surgery, Norm looks very different in the flesh than he does on television. Billy notices that all the plastic surgery doesn't look good or bad, just expensive. Watching Norm work crowds, Billy observes that Norm looks like he's working very hard, and that it doesn't look natural. Norm's steely blue eyes are cutting, and he's particularly interested in Billy due to Billy's Texas roots. It eventually comes to light that Norm would like to start a film studio and wants to purchase the rights to the potential Bravo film, but his offer of $5,500 per Bravo falls dramatically short of what Albert promised the men they could sell their story for. It's apparent to Billy that Norm isn't used to not getting his way, an observation that Mr. Jones backs up when he tells Billy that Norm is capable of cutting exceptional deals and getting what he wants, no matter what. Though Norm is technically the person hosting Bravo Squad at the Texas Stadium, he clearly feels that Bravo isn't as important as various other guests, seen by the way he kicks Bravo out of his private box and doesn't arrange for them to be picked up after the halftime show.

Norm Oglesby Quotes in Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

The Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk quotes below are all either spoken by Norm Oglesby or refer to Norm Oglesby. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Fantasy vs. Reality in the Media Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Ecco edition of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk published in 2012.
Chapter 1 Quotes

Years and years of carefully posed TV shots have imbued the place with intimations of mystery and romance, dollops of state and national pride, hints of pharaonic afterlife such as always inhere in large-scale public architecture, all of which render the stadium of Billy's mind as the conduit or portal, a direct tap-in, to a ready made species of mass transcendence, and so the real-life shabbiness is a nasty comedown.

Related Characters: Billy Lynn, Norm Oglesby
Related Symbols: The Texas Stadium
Page Number: 10
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation long mobile
Chapter 3 Quotes

It dawns on him that the Texas Stadium is basically a shithole. It's cold, gritty, drafty, dirty, in general possessed of all the charm of an industrial warehouse where people pee in the corners.

Related Characters: Billy Lynn, Norm Oglesby, Mango
Related Symbols: The Texas Stadium
Page Number: 28
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 6 Quotes

The Mr. Whaleys of the world are peons to them, just as Billy is a peon in the world of Mr. Whaley, which in the grand scheme of things means that he, Billy, is somewhere on the level of a one-celled protozoan in a vast river flowing into the untold depths of the sea.

Related Characters: Billy Lynn, Norm Oglesby, Mr. Whaley
Page Number: 91
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 7 Quotes

He glows, which isn't to say he's a handsome man but rather shimmers with high-wattage celebrity, and therein lies the problem, the brain struggles to match the media version to the actual man who looks taller than the preformed mental image, or maybe broader, older, pinker, younger, the two versions miscongrue in some crucial sense which makes it all a little unreal [...]

Related Characters: Billy Lynn, Sergeant Dime, Norm Oglesby, Mango
Related Symbols: The Texas Stadium
Page Number: 110
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

Mortal fear is the ghetto of the human soul, to be free of it something like the psychic equivalent of inheriting a hundred million dollars. This is what he truly envies of these people, the luxury of terror as a talking point [...]

Related Characters: Billy Lynn, Norm Oglesby
Page Number: 114
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

All the fakeness just rolls right off them, maybe because the nonstop sales job of American life has instilled in them exceptionally high thresholds for sham, puff, spin, bullshit, and outright lies, in other words for advertising in all its forms. Billy himself never noticed how fake it all is until he'd done time in a combat zone.

Related Characters: Billy Lynn, Norm Oglesby
Page Number: 131
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 9 Quotes

So fuck that, he was done with football after his sophomore year, except the Army is pretty much the same thing, though the violence is, well, what it is, obviously. By factors of thousands.

Page Number: 164
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 11 Quotes

Yes ma'am, proud, Bravo has achieved levels of proud that can move mountains and knock the moon out of phase, but why, please, do they play the national anthem before games anyway? The Dallas Cowboys and the Chicago Bears, these are two privately owned, for-profit corporations [...]

Related Characters: Billy Lynn, Norm Oglesby, March Hawey
Page Number: 207
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 17 Quotes

Plus the fact that the war's put up some spotty box-office numbers, didn't I say that might be a problem? So we're bucking that too. I know fifty-five hundred sounds pretty lame after the numbers we've been talking about, but for young men like yourselves, young soldiers on Army pay, it's not nothing, right?

Related Characters: Albert Ratner (speaker), Billy Lynn, Sergeant Dime, Norm Oglesby
Page Number: 270
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Get the entire Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk LitChart as a printable PDF.
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Norm Oglesby Character Timeline in Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

The timeline below shows where the character Norm Oglesby appears in Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
7. We Are All Americans Here
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...the wealth of every person he's ever known, that number would still be less than Norman Oglesby's net worth. Norm owns the Cowboys, and even Sykes, who spent much of the... (full context)
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Norm goes down the line of Bravos, shaking hands, and when he finally gets to Billy,... (full context)
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Norm introduces the Bravos to his wife and the rest of his family. After, the rest... (full context)
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...Billy gets his drink, he scans the crowd. Noticing how thick the crowd is around Norm, Billy decides to watch and see what he can learn. Billy observes that Norm is... (full context)
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...essentially using other people's money and accruing debt. Dime changes the subject and says that Norm is very interested in Albert and the movie business. Dime and Billy watch Mr. Jones... (full context)
Fantasy vs. Reality in the Media Theme Icon
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...approach Billy minutes later with crazed looks, insisting that they want to have sex with Norm's wife. Mango shows up as Billy primly calls the others rude and gross, and the... (full context)
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...that Trisha has a role for them at halftime, but also explains that Trisha is Norm's daughter. Finally, Norm arrives to lead the Bravos to the press conference. Billy's headache persists,... (full context)
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When Norm opens the door into the press conference room, the cheerleaders start up a chant praising... (full context)
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Norm offers a quick rundown of the Bravos' heroic exploits in Iraq while Billy studies the... (full context)
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...a short strawberry blonde, returns his gaze and smiles at him. Billy turns back to Norm for a minute before looking back at the cheerleader. She winks at him, and Billy... (full context)
8. Dry-Humping for the Lord
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...no, but before Billy can ask about his cheerleader, the reporters gather Bravo Squad and Norm together for a photo. As the cameras flash, Norm evades questions about possibly building a... (full context)
9. Jamie Lee Curtis Made a Shitty Movie
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...Mango declares that it's going to snow, and everyone else chatters about the movie. Apparently, Norm himself is interested in funding the film. Billy realizes that films get made when someone... (full context)
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Lodis complains about the cold wind, and Day bullies Josh into walking past Norm and listening in on Norm's conversation. When Josh returns, he has disappointing news: Norm is... (full context)
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...fans boo in the end zone. As two women with pinched faces arrange the Bravos, Norm tells Dime that he questions where Hollywood's loyalties lie, given that they won't make films... (full context)
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...a fifth take, but the cameras glitch. While they wait, Billy listens to Dime and Norm discuss Albert and the film. Norm mentions that he thinks Hilary Swank's involvement is "nutty,"... (full context)
10. XXL
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...an entire box of cereal and a gallon of milk into a mixing bowl. When Norm introduces Bravo, the team applauds, but they seem barely interested in the soldiers. Norm asks... (full context)
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...team, he finally gives in. This is Dime's only autograph. Back in the locker room, Norm stands on a chair and addresses the team. Billy notices that the players are some... (full context)
11. This Is Everything There Is
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Billy decides to give his ball away as he follows Norm and the other Bravos through the crowds. He scans the masses for a "little redneck... (full context)
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...decide to get drunk, but Billy thinks of Faison and decides to only get buzzed. Norm invites Bravo Squad to watch the kickoff from his private box, and the guests already... (full context)
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Back in Norm's private box, Billy listens to Hawey say that he thinks it's bad to keep talking... (full context)
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Billy listens to the conversations around him until Norm comes up and puts his massive arm around Billy's shoulder. Norm talks about the honor... (full context)
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...notices Faison on the Jumbotron and groans, and Hawey makes approving noises and comments on Norm's "show dogs." (full context)
12. Billy and Mango Are Out For a Walk
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After the first quarter, Norm asks Bravo to leave the box to make room for the Mexican ambassador. Josh leads... (full context)
16. Will Slay Vampires For Food
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...apparently about the movie. Dime asks Billy if he'd be available for a meeting with Norm. Confused, Billy agrees. After he hangs up, Dime says that rich people are crazy, and... (full context)
17. Money Makes Us Real
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Josh delivers Dime and Billy to Albert in a hallway outside of Norm's suite. Albert pointedly encourages Josh to leave and then tells Dime and Billy what's going... (full context)
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...screwed, and Albert insists that he's not going to abandon them now. He says that Norm suggested they just pay Dime and Billy, but when Dime says that's not happening, Albert... (full context)
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...is still good for men on Army pay. Dime is incensed when he learns that Norm has already named his production company, but Albert insists that this is a good thing.... (full context)
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The suite is dim and smells of burnt coffee and cigarettes. Norm and his sons greet Billy, Dime, and Albert, as Mr. Jones perches on a stool... (full context)
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Norm says grandly that he wants to make a great film, and Dime asks Norm why... (full context)
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Norm patiently explains again that the Bravos will share in the profits after the film is... (full context)
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Albert chastises Dime and insists he can't talk to Norm like that, but Dime remains petulant. Finally, Dime asks Albert if Norm needs this deal,... (full context)
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...Billy's thoughts asking for his opinion. Billy reasons that he'd rather have nothing than let Norm use him, and says he also hates Norm. He and Dime start laughing, and when... (full context)
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Back in the suite, the TVs show the Cowboys losing. Norm tells Dime and Billy how much he loves winning. When a phone rings, Mr. Jones... (full context)
18. The Proud Good-Bye
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When Billy takes his seat again, he, Mango, A-bort, and Lodis discuss how rude Norm's attempted deal was. Josh passes out packets to each Bravo filled with Cowboys merchandise and... (full context)
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...asks about Albert. Billy says that Albert is cool, and Dime insists that even if Norm does make a better offer they won't take it. He says that if they make... (full context)