Athlete as Geek is meant to highlight the passions that athletes have away from their sports, so this edition of Athlete as Geek may come as a surprise to some. This week, to celebrate the start of the NFL preseason, Athlete as Geek is highlighting Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew, who shares a sport-related passion with millions of people throughout the world. Jones-Drew, professional football player, is a proud fantasy football fanatic. Jones-Drew co-hosts Runnin’ With MJD a two-hour show on Saturday evenings on Sirius XM that focuses on fantasy football strategy. Jones-Drew has also appeared on the fantasy-football themed sitcom, The League, thus further ingraining him in the fantasy football culture.
Jones-Drew annually manages multiple fantasy football teams and is known to occasionally draft himself. MJD’s triple life as a professional athlete, fantasy athlete and fantasy team owner could be seen to cause conflict or could be seen as an extra motivator, depending upon the perspective of the observer. How many fantasy owners would love to directly influence the outcome of their matchup? Answer, all. Jones-Drew is living the life that every fantasy owner dreams of and that every geek can appreciate. As a professional athlete and fantasy-football fanatic, Jones-Drew gets to live fully in his passions every day. Who wouldn’t want that?
I am about to talk about who is the next person to play Who. So do not be offended (for stating who it is) when I state his name and give my two cents.
Actor Peter Capaldi has been announced as the new star of BBC sci-fi series Doctor Who. The 55-year-old Glasgow-born star will be the 12th actor to play the Doctor, replacing out-going lead Matt Smith. Capaldi is best known for his role as foul-mouthed spin-doctor Malcolm Tucker in the BBC series The Thick of It.
Peter Capaldi is the oldest actor to fly the TARDIS since the first Doctor, William Hartnell, in 1963. He will replace Matt Smith, the youngest ever Doctor at 26 when he was introduced in 2009. You might think that age is where my main concern is coming from, but you would be mistaken. I only have issue with the age of Capaldi because of how the modern Doctor has been painted with his companions. Almost everyone has had either an all-out love feeling for the Doctor, thank you Ms. Rose Tyler, or at least a flirty relationship with his companions. This might strike some as odd but when a near 60 year old guy hits on a 20 something most of the world doesn’t exactly find that cute. But to be honest it’s not that big of a deal for me something else is.
The main issues I have with the decision of to place Peter Capaldi is about what he is not and that is either a woman or a person of a different race. I feel like the creators of the show had an opportunity to make a statement, a bold statement at that, that a person with amazing powers doesn’t need to be a white dude. There are so many amazing actors in England that could have had their names be called for the show that would do a stellar job. One such name is Idris Elba, best known for his role on Luther. I believe he would have made an amazing Doctor. He is a super polished actor and already a well-known actor. The show’s producers could have “shocked” the world when the Doctor regenerated and there sat a black man at the helm of the TARDIS. An even bigger statement would have been stated if the doctor was played by a woman. Two great choices that even fit into the same age bracket as Mr. Capalidi are Helen Mirren and Tilda Swinton, again two great actors that could have added a different dimension to the story of the Doctor. Sadly though with Steven Moffat as one of the head writers of the show I don’t think we will ever have a truly strong consistent female character on the show regardless of if she is the Doctor or not. River Song is the only strong female character that he has wrote and she ducks in and out of the show more than a prairie dog on a hot day.
Do not mistake my ramblings as any ill feelings for the show or Mr. Peter Capaldi, I actually think that he is going to be a great Doctor. He brings a certain element of danger to the show that we didn’t get with Matt Smith. I just feel that the creators of the show had an opportunity to make a statement about race or gender and didn’t capitalize on it to their full capability. So with all that said who can’t wait for the Christmas Episode and a kick off of another season of Dr. Who?
Day 1 – Wednesday July 17th (The Flight)
After waiting at my gate for a few minutes, I could tell something was going to be different about this flight. I was surrounded by a lot of different people that were freely allowing their geek flag to fly. I saw a variety of hats, shirts, bags, and shoes that were plastered with movie, comic, or video game properties. My flight was going to get me to San Diego a few hours before preview night started. Preview night is (explain preview night). Our flight was overbooked, as is often the case, and when the airport staff made an announcement saying this, it was no surprise that the masses of SDCC fans who were hoping to attend preview night did not budge.
This feeling continued when we boarded the plan. I heard one conversation in first class about Walt Simonson and another about GLaDOS and when I got to the regular seating, I hear even more conversation about Marvel movies in general, what autographs were most sought after and which “off-site” SDCC events people were looking forward to attending. I was finally amongst my people. Normally, I am not much of a “talker” on plane rides, but the woman I was sitting next to changed that on this flight.
Her name was Janna and she is a massage therapist from Dallas. After I sat down, she asked if I was going to “the con.” When I told her I was and that it was my first time, we talked for about an hour about SDCC and geekdom in general. She told me she has been attending cons for the past ten years and this is going to be her 5th time attending SDCC.
It was a really cool conversation and laid out the first seeds of just how huge this was actually going to be. I think she told me a few times, “it is alright to be overwhelmed.” Although I believed her and everything, I did not know quite how true those words were going to right true before the day ended.
Day 1 – Wednesday July 17th (The hotel and Preview night)
Upon landing, I got my bags and headed to the hotel to meet up my friend Brian MacDonald who works up at Rutgers University in New Jersey. He spearheads their amazing Geek Week (https://geekweek.rutgers.edu/) and does some really awesome stuff up there for their students. This past year, they even had the Nerdist himself, Chris Hardwick as their keynote speaker. Check out their site to get a sense of the amazing things happening up in New Jersey. Once I got settled in our room and met his brother and soon to be sister in law, Brian took me to the convention center for registration and preview night.
One of the coolest moments of my entire life was seeing my nametag with one amazing word written below it. PROFESSIONAL. Well mom, I finally made it…I am a professional geek and I have the nametag to prove it.
After that, we headed to the exhibit hall. With it being preview night, I walked in knowing that there were not going to be too many people with passes that could get them into the exhibit hall that night.
So, I was wrong. The first thing that struck me was the size of the exhibit hall. There were rows marked off by the hundred (100, 200, 300, etc.) going all the way to five thousand. 5-0-0-0. Sheesh there was a ton of stuff there. I was legitimately overwhelmed (and I mean that in the best possible way). I wanted to split myself into a thousand different people so I could go try everything. I also wished each of those versions of me were rich so I could go buy everything. Seeing booths of products/companies I had only ever seen online was amazing. Seeing the intricate cosplay on display was breathtaking. It was just…amazing. I spent about 3 hours walking around looking at stuff. I was experiencing such sensory overload that I do not think I took a single picture for the first hour or two. The exhibit hall was pretty spectacular.
From there, I headed up to the preview screenings (in Ballroom 20, the second largest room after the legendary Hall H) and caught the last half of Almost Human and the first ¾ of The 100. Almost Human was pretty awesome. A good mix of action and humor while still be extremely intriguing regarding where the story will go. It is not too much of an original story (honest cop in the future who doesn’t trust machines), but it is a very interesting take on this story. I will definitely be watching this in the fall. Check out IGN for a full review of the premiere (http://www.ign.com/videos/2013/07/18/almost-human-premiere-review-comic-con-2013).
That was followed up by a few short trailers for new shows and then the premiere of The 100. This was a show that is very much a CW show. If I end up watching this, it will be one of those “guilty pleasure” shows. It wasn’t good. There were a few parts that you could tell were not meant to be funny, but the whole Ballroom was laughing at together. It was still fun and a little interesting. We will see on this one I guess. Check out IGN for a full review of the premiere (http://www.ign.com/videos/2013/07/18/the-100-premiere-review-comic-con-2013).
After that, I was pretty much exhausted, so I headed back to the hotel and met up with my roommates. Who knew that spending five hours being a professional geek would be so exhausting?