Archive for Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Chinstraps and Mouthpieces: Beware of the dark side as summer approaches

May 25, 2005

With much anticipation, I attended one of the first showings of the final Star Wars movie early, very early, Thursday morning in Overland Park.

As I sat in the theater for nearly three hours waiting for the movie to star around midnight, I wondered how I could somehow tie the sports world to a period long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away.

Difficult this task was.

Trouble writing I had.

While watching youngsters compete in several light-saber exhibitions in front of the movie screen before the film started, I had two thoughts.

First, even though I'm in my late 20s, I really wanted a light-saber.

Second, I wondered whether light-saber dueling could become a high school sanctioned sport. It could be a new form of fencing. And judging by the moves of some of the youngsters participating, they could have a bright future.

But the likelihood of the Kansas State High School Activities Association endorsing this new sport would be bleak. Purchasing Jedi robes and light-sabers probably would cut heavily into athletics budgets as well.

With that in mind, once the Star Wars kick wears off, the kids should put down the light-sabers and pursue baseball.

Grasping for ideas that weren't as far-fetched as new high school sports, I thought about ESPN's take on the movie and light-hearted examples of the New York Yankees being the evil empire.

That seemed reasonable. After all, how many of the game's top players have left their teams to join George Steinbrenner's empire?

Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens and Alex Rodriguez are a few that come to mind. Clemens, of course, broke free and joined the Astros, but he did leave Boston initially for the rival Yankees.

As powerful and ruthless as the Yankees might be at times, they still were a great dynasty that had a slew of likable players back in the day -- before Lord Steinbrenner came into power.

Besides, the Yankees had Yogi Berra. Yogi, by the way, isn't far from Yoda. Both have a knack for interesting word choices. Associating Yogi with the dark side just doesn't fly.

There you have it. Star Wars and sports don't have all that much in common. I just needed an excuse to write about Jedis and light-sabers in the sports section.

If you haven't already seen the movie and you're roughly 13 or older, check out the flick.

And when you've finished with that, catch some baseball. The local American Legion team will be starting soon, while the T-Bones just opened their season and the Royals still are fielding a team.

And if you must, check out the Yankees.

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