Right.The first thing to do would be to develop temporary amnesia concerning all images of a lecherous Billy Bob Thornthon licking his then-wife Angelina Jolie’s face and pawing her leathered ass. Because it just wouldn’t do - listening to an understated, gut-stirring, motivational speech being delivered by an old horndog. Instead, see Billy Bob as the earnest coach Gary Gaines and nothing else. Put on your headphones and let his words, his voice - calm and filled with every bit of hope - trickle into your ear and into your heart.
It’s the classic half-time speech, a football movie staple, about perfection. A different kind of perfection. And what a a speech to quell the self-doubting monster in me and in the group of footballers in Friday Night Lights, one of the few sports-themed movies I love all due to its gritty take on a town’s obsession with pigskin and its almost cliche-free ending. (For once, the underdog team did not triumph in the end.) No spitballs flew from the coach’s mouth. No over-passionate rhetorics to spur any chest-bumps or backslaps. Just a simple lesson on perfection. Perfection isn’t about winning. Perfection is living by this phrase “Clear eyes. Full heart. Can’t lose.” A motto from the series version of Friday Night Lights, a summary of Coach Gaines’ speech. I don’t know if I can commit to the ‘can’t lose’ part.
But my eyes and my heart are ready.