May the force be with the Allen Americans!
I still remember it like it was yesterday. I was 15 years old and in 1977 we awaited the new space movie, as we called it. The last one we could remember was 2001 A Space Odyssey. I was living in Merritt Island, Florida getting ready to move to Los Angeles. After our family moved to California, I left childhood friends that I would never see again. It was not until nearly 40 years later that I reconnected with my best childhood friend from Florida. I won’t mention any names because it just so happens that he has become a prominent producer in Hollywood and has been involved in many sitcoms and motion pictures that everyone knows.
We had not spoken for over 40 years, but when we started speaking the emotions and memories flooded the conversation. We were as close as childhood friends could be. We had matching go carts, played on the same little league and school baseball teams and had one other interest, movies. We would go to the local theater in town called the Barn Theater to see movies. Our conversation immediately led to “remember when we went to see Star Wars 25 times? Remember when we went to see American Graffiti 25 times?” and over and over. Every movie we went to together would give us days of imaginative time to reminisce about the characters. My friend would imitate every line to perfection. I should have known he would become a famous producer. I can’t tell you how many times he said “Rick, I am your father.”
On Saturday night in Allen, Texas at Allen Event Center, the Allen Americans will be taking on the Wichita Thunder, but underlying this game there will be a unity of fans that goes beyond sports. It touches on the very fiber of fantasy that creates fictitious characters that become timeless. Very few movies can touch generation after generation. In mystery and crime we have James Bond, who has reached many different generations. We had the series “Dallas” that reached generations worldwide and we have had many sci fi features that have come and gone, but when you mention the word “Star Wars” to a 20-year-old or a 60-year-old, more than likely you’re going to get a response.
I must admit that the only characters I remember are from the first movie, R2D2, the Princess and Darth Vader, but after speaking with our executive assistant in my office, who is 22 years old, I learned that there are ageless characters from the decades that Star Wars has produced. She said she was dressing as Ewok for the game and I responded “who”? After we spoke for a while, it was amazing how she was fascinated listening to my old original stories of the first Star Wars and how I was amazed by her updates on new characters and old ones.
It is a very rare moment when music or theater can bring generations together. I actually saw it in England at a concert where the The Who and Pink Floyd performed. I talked to a father, his son and the grandson who were all fans of the timeless musicians. The oldest, at 70, said “I would not have missed this for anything. It is a memory with my son and grandson that I will never forget.” His son was 45 and the grandson was 23. It was a touching moment watching three generations enjoy the same performance. This Saturday night is set up to be the same. The generational gap will be narrowed and kids from young ages will be in awe by the same theatrical creation as their parents and grandparents. This is what we at northDsports call “The Essence of Sports.” What else but sports could pool this type of generational gap.
In an ironic twist, I still have the original Star Wars album soundtrack that I purchased after watching the original movie over 20 times at the theater in 1977. And in a strange kind of way, it created more conversation with my long lost best childhood friend from Florida. Amazing how the commonality based within a movie created interest to us in 1977 and just as much interest in 2015.
This is definitely the first sports story I have ever written that didn’t have much at all to do with the game, but isn’t it the essence of the game that brings people together, just as the essence of Star Wars that does the same?
Whether you are a sports fan, a Star Wars fan or both, Saturday night January 27, 2018 is sure to be an exciting and historic night in Allen, Texas. Tickets are still available. The Ice Angels will also be performing in their favorite Star Wars shirts. CLICK HERE for tickets
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