“You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy” – Obi Wan Kenobi

So this Kenobi fellow must have some familiarity with the Bengals defense, right? Because there might be some loathsome, cowardly and disreputable characters around the league and/or the galaxy, but nobody’s Burfict. Except the Bengals’ linebacker, may he become ever more familiar with the NFL concussion protocol. With any luck at all we’ll run into this lowlife’s team again in the playoffs, and Messrs DeCastro & Co. can once again invite him to take a seat.

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Meanwhile, the big day is practically here, the one you’ve been waiting and preparing for, the day you’ve been planning meticulously for, the day when families will gather and tidings of comfort and joy will be flying around all over the place. We’re not talking about any old run-of-the-mill day here. We’re talking about the release of  what is known variously as “Star Wars Episode VII,” and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”  

You might be surprised to learn that the Idler is getting pretty juiced about it. The first one, the one they just called “Star Wars” was pretty cool as we recall. At the time it debuted (which we’re pretty sure was 1977, so we were practically children) it was a brand new space opera, by which we mean, it had no connection to the Star Trek television franchise or any of the old Flash Gordon / Buck Rogers type stuff that had gone before. The actors were fresh faces and the script was comfortably Good vs. Evil with Good triumphing, always the best policy. In case we forgot how evil he really was, the villain, Darth Vader, wore a Nazi-inspired stormtrooper helmet, prompting Mel Brooks to name the corresponding Rick Moranis character “Dark Helmet” in “Spaceballs.”  If the plot was cliche, it was the intangibles that made it a classic. John Williams’s score was epic. The special effects were state of the art (making them sort of pedestrian now). And Alec Guinness is going to give instant class to any film.

The first two sequels were good movies too, “The Empire Strikes back”, and “Return of the Jedi” had the familiar characters, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo, not to mention Chewbacca and the droids. But then twenty some years later they decided that the first Star Wars wasn’t really the first chronologically, or in the series. It was episode IV. Now if they had told us back in ‘77 when we were knee-high to an ewok that we were watching the fourth installment in a series, it might have given us a different feeling about the whole thing. It’s like finding out on your 20th anniversary that you’ve married a divorcee and, out of the blue, she starts introducing you as her fourth husband.  

But the worst part is finding out that the first three guys were Moe, Larry and Curly. How bad were episodes I, II, and III? Three words, one of which is repeated and the other rhymes with “stinks”: Jar Jar Binks. You might also remember Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor mucking about with a bumblebee-looking critter. And how about the chemistry between Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman? It wasn’t exactly Bogie and Bacall. It wasn’t even Desi & Lucy. More like Fred & Ethel.

We shouldn’t overlook the important historical corollaries though. The first three films, episodes IV, V and VI correspond roughly with the Steelers’ glory years of Super Bowls IX. X. XIII and XIV. While it is true that “Star Wars episode III, Revenge of the Sith” corresponded with Super Bowl XL (2005), this should be considered an anomaly.

Anyway, you read it here first. The Steelers are about to kick off another glorious era like the one achieved by their mythical 1970’s teams and it too will be ushered in by the original Star Wars cast. Episode VII, meet Super Bowl #7. Wouldn’t that be the end of a Burfict season?

Comments – DickVerbo@hotmail.com  Also, Like “The Idler” on Facebook

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