Sidelines: Star Wars and football … why not?

Sidelines: Star Wars and football … why not?

I was talking to a fellow sports writer buddy early last month over a few root beers about how cool it’s been in recent years to have at least one football team in our area make it to the state championships every year. I gloated – it really is a small feat – that this was my fifth trip as a reporter to a state final in six years.

Previous to this stretch, the last time I covered a football title game was way back in 1997.

This year was different, though.
I was emotionally torn.
Torn between football and … the Force.

You see, December 18 was the day the Argyle Eagles faced Waco La Vega in the Class 4A Division I state title game at NRG Stadium in Houston. But it was also opening day for the long awaited movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Yes, I am a complete nerd … but for those of you who are nerds right alongside me, you can see where I’m going with this. I had to avoid all potential spoilers and see this movie ASAP.

But how? I knew I was going to be busy that entire day with game coverage. My job was of upmost importance, and by the time we got done we’d need to hit the road for the long drive back to Dallas. There was zero time to spend sitting in a theater getting my nerd on, so to speak.

So I did the only thing a true Star Wars fan would do – I searched for a late-night Thursday show. By the time I started seriously looking, most of the showtimes were nearly sold out. The only one I could find that was wide open was at 2:40 a.m. late Thursday night/Friday morning.

Sign me up!

Again, some of you might think I’m crazy to have gone to a movie that late. And you’re not alone. My coworker swears up and down he’s a diehard Star Wars fan, too, but he told me I was nuts because it would make it that much harder to drive back to Dallas that night – especially after covering football all day.

But how many opportunities like this do we have as adults to be kids again? It’s not like I was going to be playing in the football game later that day. Furthermore, it wasn’t like I was going out drinking with buddies or dancing all night at a club. I’m too old for that.

I was merely sitting in a dark theater. And it was totally worth it.

Trust me when I say the Force was strong with me. Not only did I see the movie, but I was able to get a few hours of sleep in before covering the game and writing one of the better game stories of my career. As for the drive home, it was a
piece of cake.

I’m a true professional when it comes to my craft. It just so happens that I’m also a professional nerd.

May the Force be with you!

Until next time, I’ll see you on the sidelines.

~by Steve Gamel


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