Happy Monday!

When will virtual reality make its defining pivot into the mainstream of modern society as an everyday technological necessity? How will we as a species change as a result? Will this transformation be good, bad or found somewhere in between?

For now, the first full trailer for Steven Spielberg’s forthcoming pop culture-infused virtual reality cinematic bonanza, inspired by the pop culture literary giant Ready Player One imaginatively penned by Ohio’s own Ernest Cline, has arrived.

No virtual reality headsets required.

Suggestion: Host Ready Player One’s movie premiere this March in Columbus, Ohio.

Author Ernest Cline is from Ashland, director Steven Spielberg was born in Cincinnati and the story takes place in central Ohio. The legendary filmmaker and Warner Bros. could officially make Columbus the pop culture capital of the world for a night, which would be unforgettable and crazy awesome.

However, would that mean that a major business would purposefully invest in the city and people of Columbus with the intention of having fun and making us look good? It’s been a while but we’re actively on the hunt for people with good intentions who are ready to inspire and celebrate this city (#SaveTheCrew). And favorite sons Steven Spielberg and Ernest Cline would be welcomed back to Hollywood blockbuster-level acclaim and fanfare.

That’s the reality.

Have a Better Week Than Last Week. 

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These ARE the Voices You’re Looking For

We all hear voices from time to time (so I’m told…). However, there’s a real talent for impersonating voices. Enter Last Jedi actor and Star Wars legend Mark Hamill in a recent sit-down interview with famed movie critic Peter Travers.

For the record, the merchandise from Star WarsJurassic Park and countless movies and television shows are what enabled escapism normally confined to a movie theater and family TV rooms (pre-YouTube and Internet) to reach new levels of imaginative curiosity. It’s an impactful part of being a kid, going to the movies and dreaming big. So, Sir Alec Guinness, wise Obi-Wan Kenobi, you were gravely mistaken.

If only Mr. Guinness (bet that got him a few free beers over the years) could have heard the voices of millions of kids seeing his films and playing with a myriad of merchandise, all while beginning a lifetime passion for some of the most treasured films in cinematic history.

Obi-Lost that Debate Kenobi more like it, hmmm (just one of those voices…).

Will Chaos Theory’s Kingdom Find a Way to Survive?

Ladies and gentlemen, the first full trailer for the highly-anticipated Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is here.

In a word: Chaos. In more words, which Jurassic Park character famously specialized in chaos theory? The writers built a subtle, yet clever narrative bridge that necessarily welcomes Dr. Ian Malcolm back after 20 years. Well, he actually made a couple “appearances” in 2015’s Jurassic World

Looks like visceral director J.A. Bayona (The Impossible) has attempted to add a big, suspenseful chapter to the Jurassic Park cinematic series with Fallen Kingdom, the second film in the Jurassic World trilogy. June 22, 2018, cannot come soon enough, just as long as there are engaging Michael Crichton-esque dialogue and next-level, imaginative plot twists in equal measure. Plus, there must be several genuine edge-of-your-seat animatronic thrills in gritty, acutely enclosing situations like in the 1993 masterpiece.

Time will tell concerning director J.A. Bayona’s signature filmmaking style amidst prehistoric chaos.

Cleveland’s Infamous Art Could Reframe #SaveTheCrew’s Abstract Landscape

Once again, we’re not done yet.

Cleveland Browns fans recall (with a few four-letter words) their teams’ infamous owner Art Modell who moved the Browns to Baltimore in 1995, then becoming the Baltimore Ravens. Like Crew SC owner Anthony Precourt (DNA test between Modell, Precourt and a snake is still pending), a flashy new stadium was demanded by Mr. Modell in northern Ohio. Without diving deep into “The Move,” the city of Cleveland was devastated and rightly pissed-off at its sleazy owner. So, how do Art Modell and the Cleveland Browns from the mid-’90s connect to Anthony Precourt and Columbus Crew SC in 2017?

Earlier today, State Rep. Mike Duffey (R-Worthington) became the latest central Ohio political figure to throw his support behind the first club of MLS. Rep. Duffey requested that Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine exercise his legal authority and expertise in the latest public attempt to #SaveTheCrew.

Here we go.

“The basis for the action, he said, is a 1996 law that says no owner of a professional sports team in Ohio that uses tax-supported facilities or gets public financial assistance can move out of town unless the owner gives six months advance notice and gives the city or local individuals who reside in the area the opportunity to purchase the team.”
–Jim Siegel, “Lawmaker wants to use law passed after Browns move to block Crew from leaving,” December 6, 2017, The Columbus Dispatch

The article continued.

“Duffey says Crew SC qualifies as receiving taxpayer-supported facilities because it is paying a below-market rate to lease state land for parking, the stadium sits on land that is tax exempt, and the state in 2009 provided $5 million for parking upgrades at the Ohio Expo Center, where lots just south of the stadium and are used by Crew SC fans.”
–Jim Siegel, “Lawmaker wants to use law passed after Browns move to block Crew from leaving,” December 6, 2017, The Columbus Dispatch 

Will this work? Maybe. There is a degree or two of uncertainty as to whether this kind of injunction would keep the Crew in Columbus but the silver lining may be with the famous misery of Cleveland Browns fans.

Bet you didn’t expect to ever read that sentence, did you?

“The Move” is not local history but famous NFL and sports history. The city’s then successful professional football team, coached at the time by this guy named Bill Belichick, was taken away by its owner more than 20 years ago. That tragic memory lives on and defines that city, the current Browns team and this state’s professional sports identity all while residing alongside St. Louis and other cities that have had their beloved teams ripped away from them by immoral owners. Relocation is worse than any loss on the field. It’s a wound that never heals. And I also can’t name anyone who has said that Art Modell made a sound, morally right decision.

The Cleveland-to-Baltimore move remains an ugly black eye for professional sports.

Ohio has been given a second chance to make things right for one of its iconic professional sports teams but will they take it? Will Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine understand what’s really at stake in this battle to #SaveTheCrew and that this issue extends far beyond Columbus, the beating heart and earned soccer capital of American soccer, to small market clubs everywhere?

Given all the lies, deception, sabotage and manipulation (ie – Crew SC’s “business metrics”) by Crew SC owner Anthony Precourt and his firm Precourt Sports Ventures, Crew SC President of Business Operations Andy Loughnane, and MLS Commissioner Don Garber, there is no gray zone in the situation regarding the Columbus Crew SC and its threatened move to Austin, TX. Zero. There is a good side and a bad side. Plain and simple.

This clear-cut distinction between #SaveTheCrew and Precourt and Co. completely strips away any benefit of the doubt for the latter. Scrutiny and possible punishment for Precourt and Co.’s deceitful and manipulative actions and motives could get its day in court. Still, another proud local community willing to do whatever it takes to keep its sports team through inspiring support and several legitimate offers to buy the team and/or build a new downtown stadium with land and funding options could be left out in the cold again.

Or, would the soccer gods (and a few legal mortals) combine to score a last-second victory to change the sports relocation debate forever?

If so, talk about a stern turn for the ages.

#SaveTheCrew