‘Friday Night Lights’ Author Backs Romney

Romney borrows "Clear eyes, full hearts can't lose"

Buzz Bissinger, whose 1990 book "Friday Night Lights" inspired the movie and TV show of the same name, says he's voting for Mitt Romney despite being a lifelong Democrat.

Romney is repaying the favor, in a way: The Republican candidate has adopted "Clear eyes, full hearts can't lose" as a rallying cry, according to The Associated Press. The slogan was the one used by the Dylan Panthers in NBC's fictionalized adaptation of the non-fiction book. The show is decidely apolitical.

Like actress Stacey Dash, who has also come out for Romney, Bissinger was slammed on Twitter for his decision.

Also read: Mitt Romney: 'Big Bird Is Going to Be Just Fine' (Video)

Few who have read "Friday Night Lights" would doubt Bissinger's generally liberal outlook, at least at the time he wrote it. The book laments spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on athletics while academic programs suffer, and roots out and denounces the casual racism of Odessa, Texas, the town it examines.

But Bissinger said in a Daily Beast post that he decided to support Romney after last week's presidential debate, when Romney "acted as the moderate he is, for the first time running as himself, not against himself, embracing his record as governor of Massachusetts."

Obama, Bissinger said, gave the worst debate performance he has ever seen.

"He struck me as burnt out, tired of selling his message although he has always been terrible at selling his message when it veers from idealism into the practical," Bissinger said.

Bissinger hasn't been as eloquent as he defends his Romney decision on Twitter.

"Reading @buzzbissinger's feed is like gazing into the mind of a low-information voter," wrote Jamelle Bouie, a writer at The American Prospect.

"Except I know ten times more than you fuckhead," Bissinger replied.

Despite the animosity, a thoughtful exchange of ideas may result: Both men challenged each other to debate policy issues, and Bouie has extended his email address to Bissinger.

Maybe they'll face off some Friday night soon. Clear eyes, full hearts can't lose.