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Posted at 10:22 AM ET, 10/11/2012

A few thoughts on this whole Mitt Romney and ‘Friday Night Lights’ thing


Wait ... so these guys are voting for Mitt Romney? (Bill Records - BILL RECORDS/NBC)

As political observers and/or Dillon Panther loyalists already know, Mitt Romney has become very taken with the “Friday Night Lights” catch phrase “Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose.”

He’s been saying it — or some version of it — on the campaign trail for several days. He even reportedly touched a banner bearing those words when he headed onto the stage to debate President Obama last week, almost as if he were Tim Riggins preparing for a tough battle against Arnett Mead.

By adopting Coach Taylor’s mantra, it’s clear that Romney is going after the extremely important “y’all” vote.

But some “Friday Night Lights” fans are not happy about it. I have a few thoughts on the situation myself.

This is a really smart move by Romney.

Sure, Romney may be attempting to use the words of our beloved, tiny-ranch-house-dwelling Coach Eric Taylor while actually sitting in the cushy mega-mansion of Joe McCoy. Seriously, there is a strong resemblance between Joe McCoy and Romney. I mean, look.


(Via FNLPodcast)


(TIM SLOAN - AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

Even Jess Merriweather, a.k.a Jurnee Smollett, can see it.

But I digress. You have to give it up to the Republican candidate for making a savvy move here. By using that revered motivational mini-speech, he immediately wins the full hearts of the “Friday Night Lights” crowd. And those who don’t watch the show still might be moved by the phrase because it’s just fantastically pithy. Frankly, I’m not sure why it hasn’t replaced the Pledge of Allegiance since it makes most of us feel just as proud to be Americans and also: huuuge time-saver.

But “Friday Night Lights” is not affiliated with any political party!

As Willa Paskin rightly pointed out in a Salon piece, “Friday Night Lights” is “the most genuinely bipartisan piece of art American mass culture has produced in the last decade.” She argued that the show should not be politicized, which I agree with in principle, while also noting that...

Obama already politicized it five months ago.

Back in May, the Obama campaign tweeted and Tumbled a photo of the President throwing a football, accompanied by the caption, “Clear eyes, full hearts.” It got passed around and forwarded quite a bit by those who found it adorably Saracen-esque. So one can’t entirely criticize Romney for playing with that phrase when Obama already did it, albeit more subtly. The bottom line is: Red and blue both love “Friday Night Lights.”

That being said, I refuse to believe Tim Riggins is voting for Romney.

Vulture responded to the Romney/“Clear eyes” move by attempting to determine who each “FNL” character would vote for in the presidential election if they were, you know, not fictional and stuff. The writer’s thoughts on Eric and Tami Taylor were spot-on, but the part about Tim Riggins voting for Mitt Romney? No. Just no. It’s my contention that both Riggins boys would remain undecided voters until the very last minute, then get so drunk on Election Day that they’d completely forget to vote, prompting Mindy and Tyra — both Obama supporters — to shake their heads at them in disgust.

So, in summary, the important thing is that this whole episode has made everyone talk about “Friday Night Lights” again.

If this entire election season does nothing but compel more people to revisit Dillon, Tex., then a tremendous good will have been done for this country. Now, in closing, here are a few more words that would probably sound good in a campaign speech or a debate, just in case Biden and Ryan need a little help. Y’all.

By  |  10:22 AM ET, 10/11/2012

Categories:  Political Statement | Tags:  Friday Night Lights

 
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