Donald Glover drew inspiration from Smash Williams for his character on Community. "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".
SPOILER: 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.
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."
The team played in the pilot, the Westerby Chaps, is based on the Austin, Texas area high school Westlake. The colors, logos and team nickname are all similar. The Westlake football team goes by the nickname Chaparrals. Westlake has been considered a high school football powerhouse in Texas in recent years. The incident in which one of the Panthers' players is paralyzed is based in fact on an incident in which David Edwards, a player for San Antonio Madison, collided with Coy Aune, a Westlake receiver, in a playoff game with Peter Berg in attendance.
When Landry and Jean leave the movie theater the marque says that The Kingdom is playing there. "The Kingdom" was directed by series creator Peter Berg.
The actor who plays Morris 'Mo' McArnold in this episode, Peter Berg, is also a creator and executive producer and sometime writer and director of "Friday Night Lights."
In their SCRABBLE game Matt tries to play ZA as a word and when Julie challenges it he claims that it's slang for pizza. ZA is not in the official SCRABBLE players dictionary but it IS accepted by the official SCRABBLE PC game.
When Coach Taylor gets his cap from Gracie Belle you can clearly see 'KMC' written in marker on the inside. These are Kyle Chandler's initials.