Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.
On “Friday Night Lights,” that wasn’t just the Dillon High School Panthers motto, it was the rallying cry that marked some of the show’s most moving moments, an affirmation and call to arms before going out onto the field. And series creator Peter Berg, who also directed the 2004 film based on the same source book, would prefer that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney stop using it on the campaign trail.
The slogan doesn’t just adorn Romney’s Facebook page, it’s been dropped by the governor several times in speeches. The Hollywood Reporter notes that he and his wife Ann have said that they’re fans of the NBC/DirecTV series, which came to an end last year. Romney told an Iowa audience that “That’s Americans. We have clear eyes — we know what we believe. Full hearts — we love this country and we can’t lose. This is a time for Americans to make a choice. We’re going to take back this country.”
Berg, who came up with the phrase, has fired back a letter at Romney accusing him of borrowing a phrase from a work that doesn’t match up with the political stances he’s espousing. The Hollywood Reporter has the full letter here (PDF) — an excerpt follows.
Your politics and campaign are clearly not aligned with the themes we portrayed in our series. The only relevant comparison that I see between your campaign and “Friday Night Lights” is in the character of Buddy Garrity — who turned his back on American car manufacturers selling imported cars from Japan. Your use of the expression falsely and inappropriately associates “Friday Night Lights” with the Romney/Ryan campaign.
That Buddy Garrity comparison is quite a burn — and the fact is that while the show was set in red state territory, its subject matter wasn’t exactly conservative.
Here’s Smash Williams (Gaius Charles) rallying the team in a chant of the phrase in question from season one of the show.