During the 2012 U.S. Presidential Campaign, Republican nominee Mitt Romney used the phrase "Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose" in one of his stump speeches. Peter Berg, one of the show's writers, directors, and executive producers, responded in an open letter that Romney had "plagiarized" the phrase and that his "politics and campaign are clearly not aligned with the themes we portrayed in our series. The only relevant comparison that I see between [the Romney] 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." Berg finished his open letter to Romney by saying "please come up with your own campaign slogan."
Donald Glover drew inspiration from Smash Williams for his character on Community (2009). "When you think of the former high school football star, you think 6-foot-2, white, meathead as the model for that kind of character. Since I'm not 6-foot-2 or white, I just thought about what I could bring to it. I thought about Smash Williams from 'Friday Night Lights', like the cocky quarterback, and played around with that".
Male lead, Kyle Chandler, formerly played an aspiring Country singer/songwriter named Buddy (1992 - Pure Country), while the female lead, Connie Britton, went on to play a Country Superstar in the TV show Nashville.
The trivia item below may give away important plot points.
In 2003, while "Friday Night Lights creator and executive producer Peter Berg was still doing research for the previous movie version of Buzz Bissinger's book, he attended a high school football game between San Antonio Madison High School and Westlake High School in which David Edwards, a 15-year-old defensive back for Madison, was paralyzed after a collision with a Westlake receiver. Berg took that incident as the inspiration for Jason Street's storyline in the TV series. David Edwards, who after his injury became a motivational speaker, died in 2008 of pneumonia, three days shy of his 21st birthday.