The ESPY’s aired July 14th, and I’ve been raving about them ever since. The editing on the “Image” montage was spectacular, and Seth Meyers did a superb job as host. Let his hilarious monologue, and appearances by Andy Samberg, Jason Sudekis, and Will Forte prove to you that SNL is NOT suffering a down period. (By the way, I’m buying MacGruber when it comes out Sept. 7. It’s in my Top 5 of the year, easily.) The ESPYs, as Meyers said, are a union of sports and entertainment, and while those two subjects dominate the majority of my daily attention span, there are some stark differences, especially when it comes to star power. One of the year’s largest entertainment stories, Comic-Con, came only weeks after one of the year’s largest sports stories, “The Decision,” but the resulting hoopla illustrates how these two mediums occupy contrasting portions of American ethos. I wrote a Comic-Con preview last week, but as is always the case with the San Diego convention, everyone is walking away with one story in their minds: The Avengers. For those unfamiliar with the title, The Avengers are a super group of superheroes; Iron Man, The Hulk, and others, all teaming up. In a cinematic context, this means that all of us who love Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark and are looking forward to the Captain America and Thor movies will be able to enjoy our super heroes separately, and then, all together. In other words, The Avengers is the Miami Heat of the silver screen. Except, that it’s not. EW goes through each Avenger casting and decides whether or not they’re good fits. (I’ll spoil it for you right now, they are all good.) Needless to say, the prospect of a conglomerate superhero movie as fanboys and movie nerds alike spazzing out. Instead of being told by our mothers that all we can have is a one scoop cone, we can now feast upon a 10 scoop kitchen sink of ice cream with all the toppings (read: explosions) we can handle. The collective Internets is jumping for joy. The fallout of “The Decision” however, had everybody up in arms, not celebrating, but rather, scathing. The reason we react so differently to essentially the same story, just in different lanes, is because, as fans, movies and sports do very different things for us. In sports, we throw our support behind one team, one player, one outcome, and if things don’t go our way, we are defeated, and for some, depressed. You could say there is more invested stake in sports, and therefore a greater potential for disappointment, but the real disparity between sports and movies is that, in sports, the most important thing is competition, and in movies, the most important thing is satisfaction. Lebron deciding to align with Wade and Bosh takes the competition right out of the East, the wind right out of our sails. Rather than dispersing the NBA powers to the four corners of the globe and watching a royal rumble, we are left with two titans (L.A. – Miami) most likely fighting amongst themselves. It’s been said that the power in the NBA has shifted from the owners to the star players, and as a result, we the fans, lose out. But with “The Avengers,” we don’t. We win. Directors concern themselves with pleasing the fan bases, making things as authentic as possible, albeit only to get our money, but still. Lebron’s decision was made to please himself. So that’s how sports and entertainment differ. Sports has a larger element of selfishness, sports is not written with happy endings, and depending on your viewpoint, not scripted in the slightest. In sports, star power can mount against the fans favor, where in movies, it can only mount in our favor. That is, unless we’re talking about “Valentines Day,” in which, we’re all losers.
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