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Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose

I love American football movies and TV shows. The upbeat HOORAH nature is truly the antithesis of my being, but I can't resist them; I get sucked in every time. If you see me at any sporting event I'll be yelling a hearty and generic "GO SPORTS", or falling asleep if it's baseball, but actors pretending to be athletes? That hits different.

The arc and inherent redemption narrative housed within both the episode and the game is what I find most enticing. Win or lose, you're invested. In real life it's the palpable energy of strangers. Connected. Focused. Rooting toward a common goal (without having to do any real work). USC Football taught me well, trained me to spend Saturdays in the Coliseum jumping and chanting on demand till the atmosphere swelled to surround-sound levels. On the silver-screen, Friday Night Lights is the crowning jewel of all things football #imo. The Dillon Panthers had me hooked and trying to nonchalantly weave y'all into everyday conversation. It's not pretty, better that I stick to the Queen's English.

I won't bore you or go on a long soliloquy about the ingenuity of Friday Night Lights, but know I'm typically sobbing by the end of an episode, and binge-watched all 5 seasons at a record pace. There's a depth and authenticity in the portrayal of relationships captured throughout the series. You feel their pain, victories, hardships, difficulties, triumphs, and joys; the full spectrum of vulnerability and fragility of the human experience, captured on screen. By this point (if you're still with us) you're probably wondering why I'm banging on about American Football; specifically how does Friday Night Lights tie into this. I'm glad you asked. Coach Taylor has a mantra, nay, rallying cry that's synonymous with the series: "Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose". It serves as a message of camaraderie and reminder of what brought you to this point and what will motivate you to keep going. Like most, the panoramic changed me, coaxing me to dream a little and venture to ask -- how does one bring to life the spectrum of human emotion that we're so adept at portraying on a screen?

It seems fitting that this weekend is USC Homecoming, Trojan blood runs deep. With my love of American football in one hand and the renewed sense of curiosity in the other; let the victorious return to tea drinking commence. What can you expect from my redemption arc? The same level of dramatics and sass, that's just me at this point; but some things may look different. The style of writing, the topics of focus or simply what I choose to share that week. They'll be a mix of tea drinking escapades, some ramblings on whatever's top of mind that week, and the occasional #ootd. I am tall, it is a struggle to get dressed, I need external validation of this accomplishment.

If you're still confused, I wrote this entirely to say, "hello! I have returned, you're most welcome". As we dive back into this creative outlet known as sharing my unsolicited thoughts on the internet, say it with me: "Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose". 🤠

Till our thoughts inevitably meet again,

(most likely on Wednesdays) ___________________ BG


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