Notes from Wonderland: Hip to be square?

Find your pocket protector. Tape up those glasses. Memorize those Star Trek episodes, you see if movies are any indications, the geeks are taking over. The two biggest blockbusters so far this year have been about a comic book super hero and starred a professional wrestler, while Lord of the Rings" won numerous Oscars.

I guess I was born too late. Back in the late 80's I wore baggy jeans and football jerseys to hide my weight problem, now it's considered Hip-Hop fashion. Things me and my friends wouldn't admit to liking are now trendy, cool and making lots of money.

Bill Gates has truly taken over the world.

"Spiderman" just shattered all opening gross records. Spiderman is the flag ship title for Marvel Comics. I grew up reading Marvel Comics. As a freshman in high school me and my best friend Chris Ruff hid our love of comics from the rest of the football team. Now a super hero movie is grossing 17 billion dollars in its first weekend. Tobey Maguire is going to be a very rich man portraying Peter Parker, a science geek who becomes a super hero. Tobey Maguire gets to kiss Kirsten Dunst AND make a ton of cash. What's wrong with this picture.


"Spiderman" supplanted "Scorpion King" as top dog. The star of "The Scorpion King" is Dwayne Johnson, who is better known by his W.W.F moniker, "The Rock". The Rock is poised to become the next great action hero, taking over where Stallone and Shwartzeneger left off. Just five years ago wrestling was seen as the sport for in-breds, rednecks and felons. Now it is not only acceptable, but also mainstream.

As a kid I'd come home from school an put on my "Rowdy" Roddy Piper "Hot Rod" shirt and have backyard wrestling matches with my friends, hoping no one at Gridley Middle School would find out. Now I get compliments from attractive women when I sport my Rock, "Just Bring It" T-shirt. What's going on here?

"Lord of the Rings" was the biggest hit of 2001. Everyone I knew was reading Tolkien. In high school the only thing more embarrassing than being a comic book geek, was being a Dungeons and Dragons geek. It seemed like it would have been better to be got watching porn that reading "The Hobbit". Just a few years ago "Lord of the Rings" was a but of jokes on "Friends". Now everyone I know is walking around with a copy of the "Two Towers" or "Return of the King".

Spiderman's records look to be short lived. The latest installment of the Star Wars series is coming out and "Attack of the Clones" should make about 200 bazillion dollars in the first weekend. Already there are people in costume lining up for tickets. Not too many years ago the thought of a bunch of guys sleeping out in front of Mann's Chinese Theater in full Jedi garb would lead to all kinds of jokes. Now not only do these guys have girlfriends, but odds are they parlayed this experience into a money making web site.

Somehow all of this is due to the web. All of those people who got laughed at in high school are now millionaires (except me). While the star quarterback lost his shirt investing in tech stocks, the captain of the science club owns AOL and Paramount.

Random Thoughts:

Jennie Finch has made the rounds in the national media. She is set to be featured in "Sports Illustrated", was showcased on "George Michael's Sports Machine" and was a topic of discussion on a national radio show. Would this happen if she wasn't 6-2 and gorgeous?

If I was a position player and was traded for a punter, I would probably retire.

Have you noticed that NBA telecasts are being dominated by members of the 1988 Wildcats? First Lute Olson was on the draft. Then it was Sean Elliott on TNT. Tom Tolbert steps up and dominates on NBC following the Jason Williams incident. Finally while actually watching the Kings/Mavericks game, there was Steve Kerr on the screen. I'm waiting for Joe Turner to break down the NDBL All-Star game next spring.

Speaking of Kings/Mavericks, did you ever think you'd ever see those two teams in a heated playoff series? Cubs fan have hope, not much, but hope.

Do you ever find yourself saying, "Remember when the NBA was good?" Happens to me all the time lately.

I was listening to Chuck Daly being interviewed and he said this about fast break opportunities in the NBA, "You have to rebound and transist." Is that a word? I can't find it in my dictionary, but I want to use it.

Not that anyone is listening, but if it were up to me I'd award an M.V.P. (Most Valuable Player) and a M.O.P (Most Outstanding Player). Jason Kidd is my M.V.P, but Shaq is the M.O.P.

Atlanta Braves pitcher Jung Bong has my second favorite name in the Major Leagues behind Trot Nixon of the Red Sox. Trot Nixon sounds like he should be playing alongside Roy Hobbs for the New York Knights. Even better, Nixon was suspended for "throwing" his bat at a pitcher. Instead of having a pitcher throw at an opposing batter, the Red Sox found a way to get back at a pitcher despite the DH rule. Nixon came to bat and whiffed on a pitch. He intentionally let the bat slip and it went straight to the mound. While I don't condone this, it will make AL pitchers think twice before throwing the bean ball and hiding behind the DH rule.

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