It’s Tuesday, December 18th in Oakland, CA. Fifteen minutes before the Warriors and Hornets tip-off. 18,000 of us remove our hats, bow our heads and share a moment of silence for the 20 children, 6 staff members and mother who lost their lives four days earlier in Newtown, CT.
After tragedy strikes, we often find comfort in the relief that live sports provide. Playing and watching sports create a sense of community. Through sports we find common ground to build friendships upon, whether that’s on the fields and courts or next to the water cooler. The camaraderie that comes from sports is universal—able to break all social and generational barriers.
But no one can shake the painful fact that we’ve had too many moments of silence like this one this year. In a four month period beginning in April, three NFL players committed suicide: former Atlanta Falcon Ray Easterling, former San Diego Charger Junior Seau and Tennessee Titan OJ Murdock. Then, just 17 days ago, Kansas City Chief Jovan Belcher took the life of his girlfriend before taking his own.
After tragedies, we also look for quick fixes to make sure it never strikes again. We passed through metal detectors at the Oracle Arena gates, which aren’t at every home game. The news can’t stop talking about gun control and the exact opposite, arming teachers and other school staff.
The sad truth here is that there is no answer. No matter how much we want to run away from reality by watching sports and enjoying other escapes while our politicians argue about which extreme reaction is correct, no one can prevent bad things from happening.
We can minimize the damage if we can come together around politics the same way we do with sports. As a nation, we have the right to own guns. But we shouldn’t be able to own semi-automatic assault rifles or high-capacity magazines. What self-respecting hunter could possibly need that much firepower? Our teachers and movie theater ushers don’t need to carry guns. That just creates crossfire and more casualties.
There have been, and always will be bad people who will do bad things. There will also be good people who do bad things. We can never have a perfect world. Life doesn’t work like that. But we can prevent the bad things that will occur from being as catastrophic as what happened at Sandy Hook.
While we continue to mourn the mother, children and educators who lost their lives, let’s not continue to fight over whose political stance is right or wrong. Let’s meet at the water cooler and realize that in end, we’re all playing for the same team.
Let’s pretend for a moment that Manny Pacquiao doesn’t get sloppy at the end of the 6th round with his right hand. The bell rings and he maintains momentum through the remaining rounds to grind out another win against Manuel Marquez. Then what? We go back to praying for Pacquiao/Mayweather, wondering why Timothy Bradley’s even remotely relevant and waiting for the next great fighter to battle for the attention of the country.
Lucky for boxing fans, that didn’t happen. Pacquiao leaned into a perfect counterpunch from Marquez and got knocked out for nearly two minutes. And now that the status quo has been shaken up, boxing can begin to fix itself.
Boxing used to be the only game in town. If you wanted to see two people fight, it was either the scripted drama of the WWF, Bum Fights on YouTube or boxing. When someone asked you, “Did you see the fight last night?” you knew exactly which one they were talking about. Boxing enjoyed a monopoly and took advantage of it with Pay-Per-View prices and corruption. Those days are over.
The emergence of UFC and mixed martial arts has changed a lot. I can’t remember the last time there was a major boxing event that didn’t have a UFC event scheduled the same day. To help casual fans gain interest in the sport, there’s a clear distinction as to who the champion is in each weight class. UFC is even showing championship fights on network television. Who cares if they can’t show fighter’s flipping the bird? That’s not why we tune in. The fight? Which one?
Almost every mainstream sport has made changes to improve. Major League Baseball has interleague play and expanded playoffs. The National Football League has improved instant replay and plays games three days a week. The National Basketball League has started to punish flopping. It’s also becoming more and more difficult for athletes at any level to get away with using performance enhancing drugs.
Although I was thoroughly entertained by UFC on FOX, boxing stole the headlines. But on December 9th, I didn’t see Manny Pacquiao’s face planted in the canvas. I saw the sport of boxing getting knocked out. Let’s all hope that both the boxer, and the sport can wake up and improve so neither has a sloppy moment again.
Old comedians in family dramas, scary movie parodies and dance flicks may gross millions, but silent movies from Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Mary Pickford and other amazing actors made Hollywood famous. As the last remaining theatre in the world to show nothing but silent films, the Silent Movie Theatre in LA was a place where they could live on. Unfortunately, without the benefit of movie trailers, posters, billboards and other modern promotions, it was hard to draw an audience. The idea was to build a campaign that made people realize how amazing the actors and movies of this generation were and inspire them to create new silent films.
The Silent Movie Theatre app would feature showtimes, the theatre’s history and the ability to create new silent films using the phone’s camera. These new films would be screened before classic feature films and during a special film festival.
A street team would appear at large theaters in Los Angeles playing bad movies and had out Silent Movie Theatre bags to movie goers.
The bag would include:
– Earplugs for the bad movie they’re about to see
– A Silent Movie Theatre t-shirt
– Microwave popcorn with special black & white packaging
– Coupons for the Silent Movie Theatre