Reasons Why The Last Starfighter Is Better Than Star Wars

I’m going to shock and offend a full 60% of the Internet, but I’ll say it loudly: The Last Starfighter is better than Star Wars.

 

In the interest of full disclosure, The Last Starfighter might have some additional resonance for me, since I was a precocious teenager living in a trailer park with a little brother with an extensive Playboy collection when I first saw it on videocassette. So now you know where I’m coming from.

Both stories follow a similar arc: a boy is called from a backwater to go into space, show off his skill at martial arts, and then save the worlds from an evil menace. However, the main character in The Last Starfighter comes from the common man and works with a highly democratic society on Rylos, whereas in Star Wars, the main characters (Luke and Leia) come from high birth and one even bears the title “Princess.”

Let’s just stack up the characters:

The Hero

Alex Rogan is a kid from the trailer park who loves his mother, dreams of going to far away places (the university, mainly). Rogan has useful skills as a handyman and electrician–too much so as he has to forego partying with his friends because someone needs a 30-year-old fuse box patched.

Luke Skywalker is special from birth because he’s the product of a lineage with lots of mito-pseudoscience-deusexmachinians in his blood. Sure, he’s a decent droid cleaner, but he’s a whiny little snit who would rather run off with his friends than tend to his duties.
The Love Interest

Mags, played by Mary Catherine Stewart. Her affection for Alex is constant, and she’s ready to leave the trailer park for the stars with him at the end. Also, she’s cuter than Carrie Fisher and has aged better.

Princess Leia, portrayed by Carrie Fisher, is a high maintenance princess who is an action hero, but vacillates among the available men.
The Mentor

Centauri, a universe-wise wily operator who invents a game, merchandises it, gets it into the stores before Christmas, and is unafraid to recruit Starfighters from planets not officially in the Star League. He’s doing it for the greater good, but it never hurts to be rich, my boy. Capitalism working for the betterment of all.

Obi Wan Kenobi, a Jedi whose last project turned out pretty poorly after his Padawan slaughtered and scattered the Jedi, including the younglings. Instead of working for his own profit, he serves some hokey, nebulous religious order and spouts off recursive and reflective “wisdom” like the Sphynx from Mystery Men (the latter is supposed to spoof Obi Wan, but come on, in retrospect it’s pretty straight up homage, ainna?)
The Alien Sidekick

Grigg, the lizard. He’s a good navigator, he can bypass electrical circuits to use power from the life support systems to start the engines in the nick of time, and he’s got a sense of humor. Oh, yeah, and everyone can understand him.

Chewbacca. He’s a good navigator, he can make ship repairs, but only Han Solo can understand him. He’s big and can handle a bowcaster, so those are positives. But he was in The Star Wars Christmas Special.

Now, then, what do we have? A democratic society with capitalist principles leading to personal growth, public gain, and whatnot versus a theocracy or at the very least some sort of aristocracy posited as the highest goal–although the Empire is somehow worse than a system relying on the Jedi to maintain order.

Also, in the 25th anniversary edition, they cleaned up and crisped up some special effects in The Last Starfighter, but left the movie intact. I don’t think Star Wars has gone a whole decade without George Lucas doing something to it to tamper with it, to throw in a Wall of Sight aesthetic into it, and to extract money from the dwindling number of die hard fans.

Book Report: Home for Christmas by Lloyd C. Douglas (1937)

Book coverIf you like Holiday Inn, White Christmas, or The Bishop’s Wife, you’ll probably like this book.

Written by a Lutheran minister in the heart of the depression, it recounts the story of a sister who retained the old farm when her parents died and her efforts to get her reluctant siblings–cosmopolitan and successful people now–to return to the farm to have a Christmas like they used to when they were children. She asks them to leave their children at home so they can do things the old fashioned way.

It’s a nice little story, short at 118 pages, but a nice pseudo-Dickens. As it was written when and where it was, particularly dealing with rural Michigan instead of the big city, you have the residents driving cars, but some residents still with buggies. As you might recall, that was the way with rural communities even into the 1940s. Strange to think how late the complete changeover was, and how it happened without government bans.

Book Report: Kill Me Tomorrow by Richard S. Prather (1969)

Book coverYou would think that since I have chased poor Rob Prather around the Internet for a decade, from his old blog Insults Unpunished to his guest time on Outside the Beltway to social media outlets telling him “I love your Shell Scott novels!” that I would have read more than two in that time period. You would be mistaken. I’ve read Kill Him Twice in 2008 and this book in 2011. I have read more than that, anyway, since I have at least one other paperback on my read shelves and might have gotten some from the Community Library back in the day.

Shell Scott goes to an Arizona resort to rest up and recouperate after being shot in a disagreement with some mob types, but shortly into his stay, movie star and Sophie Loren proxy Lucrezia Brizante seeks his help. Her father is in some kind of trouble, so Scott goes down to the Arizona retirement community to find out if the old man is really in danger. And he finds the mafia moving in, looking for some government money that’s coming to the retirement community.

The style of the book blends some lighthearted, irreverant humor with complicate plots endemic of Ross MacDonald or Raymond Chandler. It’s not quite as campy as the Dean Martin Matt Helm films, but Scott doesn’t take himself seriously, and one expects that Prather doesn’t take him entirely seriously either as some realism is sacrificed for spectacle. I think I was a little more down on it in 2008, as the review isn’t without reservations, but I guess if you’re in the mood for this particular style of book, it’s better than if you’re not.

So it’s worth a look if you’re in that mood.

I Don’t Want To Make You Feel Old, Old Man…

But as J. Christian Adams points out, the U2 album Achtung Baby is 20 years old this month. Which would make The Joshua Tree, what, 25? You remember the olden days, when bands had comeback albums after their initial success, and that time period was like five years? And it seemed like a long time?

Here’s my favorite U2 song, “One”, which is from the album:

Like all good U2 songs, and by which I mean “both,” (“I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” being the other), the song starts out highly personal, where the listener can relate in a very raw fashion, and then all of a sudden we take an Automan-like left turn and Bono is singing about Universal Harmony and Feeding Africa (but not manufacturing there). Strangely, I spent most of my youth thinking the song was about a man and a woman rehashing, again, their broken relationship, but apparently I was enjoying a meaning at odds with the song’s real meaning. So it’s my failure as a listener that makes this song my favorite from U2.

So I posted on Facebook about the age of Achtung Baby, and a contemporaneous friend said, “And the album hasn’t aged one bit, I still listen to it all the time.”

To which I replied, “You tell yourself that. To an eighteen-year-old today, you might as well be listening to Pat Boone.”

And not the metal Pat Boone:

What? No More Mr. Nice Guy is fifteen years old?

But he was just on Letterman the other day promoting the album.

Now I’ve made myself feel old, old man.

UPDATE: Welcome, VftP readers. Hey, if you’ve got a buck, I’ve got a comedy to sell you. The Courtship of Barbara Holt is now available for the Kindle. It, like Achtung Baby is about 20 years old, but I’ve stripped most of the dated pop culture references from it except a reference to the Spin Doctors.

Book Report: Ghost Radio by Leopoldo Gout (2008)

Book coverI have an advanced reader’s edition of this book, and, blimey, I wouldn’t send this out for review. It contains misspellings and improperly formated sections. As some of you know, I’m working over another book presently, and I’m gnashing my teeth about every last missing comma and whatnot. But the difference between me and a professional is that this ARC contains those errors, but the pros will weed them out by the time the book has gone to press, whereas I’ll publish something with typos in it. And it drives me crazy.

Oh, right, we weren’t talking about me. We were talking about Ghost Radio.

This is a story about a young man with a radio program about the paranormal who has to deal with a ghostly sound pattern communicating with him. He suspects it’s the ghost of his friend Gabriel, who like Joaquin (the narrator) survived an automobile accident that orphaned them both (maybe). Gabriel died during an electrical storm as the duo, rockers and sound engineers, commandeered an abandoned radio station for an impromptu performance.

You know, I can’t really some up the plot for you because it bends and twists reality a bit, and you can’t be sure how sane Joaquin is and what’s going on. The book moves among flashbacks and the present as well as shifting from the first person narrators of Joaquin and his girlfriend/radio partner Alondra. So it moves along, keeps you guessing, and, if you’re like me, you eventually worry that the thing is going to go all Lost and end up sucking. Well, it’s not that bad, although I was a bit disappointed in the resolution. The book’s ending reminded me a lot of Douglas Coupland’s Girlfriend in a Coma (which I must have read before I was blogging since I can’t find a book review for it–did I read before I blogged? What was that world like?).

Still, it’s a pretty good book. And Gout has not published anything since. I hope he’s working on something.

Books mentioned in this review:

 

Now Available for the Kindle: The Courtship of Barbara Holt

Book coverAs you might have heard, I’ve been working to prepare another book for publication. This book is The Courtship of Barbara Holt with Dennis Thompson Goes On Strike, a five-act play followed by a short one act play. Here’s the back matter/summary:

The Courtship of Barbara Holt:
Mark Dever, English major, has trouble talking to women. It’s worse than being speechless: When Mark is interested, he speaks in blank verse, like some Shakespearean courtier. When he meets Barbara Holt, his inadvertent poetry goes into overdrive. But Barbara is not interested in some wishy-washy English major, unlike her friend Jenn, who is an English major herself. Can his friends help Mark woo Barbara successfully and, more importantly, woo Jenn?

Dennis Thompson Goes On Strike:
Dennis Thompson has had enough. All his life, some nameless author has been writing the book that is Dennis’s life, and Dennis has decided that he’s not going to play along any more. If The Author says, “Jump!”, Dennis is going to say, “No.” It’s like Six Characters in Search of an Author, but with a twist.

They’re definitely the summation of all the things I thought were awesomely funny 20 years ago, and they still crack me up.

The book is available for Kindle now at the low, low price of 99 cents.

I hope it looks all right; as you know, I don’t have a Kindle proper, and I had to rely on the Kindle for PC reader and the online Amazon Kindle emulator to see how it laid out, and in the process I found bugs in both Microsoft Word and the online Amazon emulator which led to a lot of frustration and hours upon hours of trying to lay it out properly (a play is different from a novel in that its layout is more complicated and depends upon more than a couple page breaks here and there). So if you see something egregiously wrong with it, let me know.

The book form is working its way through the channels (my proofreading and parlaying with the POD solution), so it might be available on Lulu in a couple of days and on Amazon.com by the New Year. It will be $6.99 for the paperback edition with the handsome cover I designed aw by mysewf.

White House Thanksgiving Turkey Update

Although in years past, the President has traditionally pardoned the annual White House Thanksgiving Turkey, this year an independent panel created on page 2,408 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, calculated that the quality of life for the bird, when compared to the costs of ongoing health care and maintenance for the fowl, would not be cost-effective and recommended its immediate termination.

Book Report: Daytrip Missouri by Lee N. Godley and Patricia M. O’Rourke (1998)

Book coverThis book essentially collects and standardizes information from the various visitors’ bureaus in a number of cities and towns throughout Missouri to show you what you can find if you hop on a highway for an hour or two in the state.

The book is sectioned into highways; that is, a collection of towns on or near Interstates 44, 55, 70, and 29 and Highway 36. Each section is broken down into major cities on the route (Springfield, Columbia, Kansas City, Cape Girardeau, Hannibal, et cetera). Each chapter then has a brief history of the city (a couple paragraphs) and then information on historical sites, arts destinations/venues, shopping, dining, and sometimes a map or checklist of tips for traveling to the city. When applicable, the book also lists other towns nearby with interesting points of interest, although sometimes “nearby” is a little flexible.

A healthy little primer on some of the cities in Missouri, especially the distant corners where one has yet to visit. And if you’re in a traveling mood, it might give you some ideas. Although the book is the 1998 edition, since the book focuses on enduring sites within the cities–historical venues and shopping districts–the information has a better shelf life than if the book had identified the hot shopping spots and the latest faddish restaurants at the height of the tech bubble. So one should not fear for the timeliness of the information. It’s probably pretty accurate for the most part.

Books mentioned in this review:

A Modifier Whose Time Has Gone

“visible from space,” as in Giant Mound Of Tires In South Carolina Visible From Space. Especially when your photo credit is

Satellite image of collection of tires in Calhoun County, S.C. (credit: maps.google.com)

This just in: Sometime in the last decade, Google has made everything VISIBLE FROM SPACE! Easy enough for a local CBS affiliate to find on the Internet.

Frankly, I’ve had my pickup truck for 10 years now, and it’s so awesome I’ve seen it from space in three different zip codes. The latest:

Nogglestead VISIBLE FROM SPACE!

  • Dang, am I an awesome Dad or what? My children’s sandbox is VISIBLE FROM SPACE!
     
  • Those Nogglestead gardens this year were so poorly tended and overgrown that they were VISIBLE FROM SPACE!
     
  • Hopefully, BRIN-3 will pass over again soon so you can see that my self-refinished deck was done so well that the new waterproof stain is VISIBLE FROM SPACE!
     

And so on.

Seriously, by the time I click Publish, the new NSA satellites will have infraredded and ultravioleted through the walls enough to see how messy my desk remains after all my attempts to clean it, and the Department of Agriculture will have analyzed, based on that satellite data, how much what I should add to my corn bed to actually get corn from the soil this year. Newspapers who try to make you think something is more something because you can see it from space need to come into the twenty-first century with the rest of us.

UPDATE: Thanks for another link, Ms. K. Visitors, please check out my novel John Donnelly’s Gold, which Roberta X. called a satisfying story.

Book Report: The Book of Questions and Answers by Joshua Coltrane (1994)

Book coverAs advertised, this is a book of questions and answers about various things, such as why the sky is blue except at sunset, why the ocean is blue, who Dr. Pepper was, why the mile is 5,280 feet, and whatnot. It runs about 128 pages and is probably geared to a younger audience, so don’t expect that it’s a science textbook. The questions are not so esoteric that Cecil Adams would cover them in The Straight Dope columns nor Slate in The Explainer columns.

But if you’re a bit rusty or if you want to bone up for obvious questions from your children, it’s probably not a bad idea.

Books mentioned in this review:


Book Report: Daytrip Missouri by Lee N. Godley and Patricia M. O’Rourke (1998)

Book coverThis book essentially collects and standardizes information from the various visitors’ bureaus in a number of cities and towns throughout Missouri to show you what you can find if you hop on a highway for an hour or two in the state.

The book is sectioned into highways; that is, a collection of towns on or near Interstates 44, 55, 70, and 29 and Highway 36. Each section is broken down into major cities on the route (Springfield, Columbia, Kansas City, Cape Girardeau, Hannibal, et cetera). Each chapter then has a brief history of the city (a couple paragraphs) and then information on historical sites, arts destinations/venues, shopping, dining, and sometimes a map or checklist of tips for traveling to the city. When applicable, the book also lists other towns nearby with interesting points of interest, although sometimes “nearby” is a little flexible.

A healthy little primer on some of the cities in Missouri, especially the distant corners where one has yet to visit. And if you’re in a traveling mood, it might give you some ideas. Although the book is the 1998 edition, since the book focuses on enduring sites within the cities–historical venues and shopping districts–the information has a better shelf life than if the book had identified the hot shopping spots and the latest faddish restaurants at the height of the tech bubble. So one should not fear for the timeliness of the information. It’s probably pretty accurate for the most part.

The Smile Train Charitable Protection Program

The pitch for the “One Gift” program kinda sounds like “Nice mailbox you got there. Be a shame if we were to continue sending pitches to it with pictures of children with cleft palates.”

The Smiiiiiile Train!

I think the schtick is that if you send them a one-time “gift,” they’ll stop sending you the envelopes full of deformed children.

That doesn’t stop those same disturbing photos from appearing in the back of every national magazine (at whose cost?). Also, according to this American Institute of Philanthropy report, the donation doesn’t stop the solicitations.

Book Report: The Executioner #24: Canadian Crisis by Don Pendleton (1975)

Book coverThis books finds Bolan hitting a joint in Buffalo to rescue a Canadian undercover policeman who is the brother of a dead compatriot of The Executioner. Bolan catches wind of a plot to take the Mafia international with a meeting in Montreal. While there, Bolan impersonates an Black Ace, again, to infiltrate the hotel taken over by the mafiosos and their crews. Once there, he finds a group of terrorist Free Quebeckers who might be planning something for the 1976 Olympics–or maybe just for Mack Bolan.

It’s a quick read with a lot of “snorters” flying through the air. The political takeaways from this: One, Mack Bolan believes that people should have the right and the ability to defend themselves. Two, Mack Bolan doesn’t have much truck for revolutionaries who are just playing at it, much as he thinks the Free Quebeckers in the book and other young student-type revolutionaries are. He points out that in those kinds of civil wars, a lot of innoncent people die needlessly, especially when terrorists attack soft targets instead of engaging the military. Of course, he compares this to his War, which is different, and it is.

The book reminds me a little of the Robert B. Parker Spenser novel The Judas Goat because the climax of that book is set at the 1976 Montreal Olympics. What a big deal that must have been that it makes its appearance so frequently in pulp of the era. Maybe the London 2012 Olympics has the same cachet in modern pulp, and I just haven’t gotten to it yet (and probably won’t for 30 years).

Books mentioned in this review:

 

There’s An Awful Lot Of Caffeinated Piranha In Brazil

So I was telling the five-year-old about freshwater carnivorous threats to man the other day, one of many such educational conversations we have on a daily basis, and I mentioned that the United States really only has the alligator, since the crocodile is African. We talked about the gar, which is not really a threat, and we talked about the muskie and the northern, which are carnivorous, but not a threat to man. Heck’s pecs, I even brought up the catfish and educated not only my children but also my beautiful wife on Noodling (that is, sticking your hand in a catfish hole and getting the catfish to bite you so you can pull it out of the water hanging from your extremity–my wife didn’t believe me and had to look it up).

Then, because my son is friends with a young man from Brazil, I brought up the piranha.

Speaking of piranha:

Thousands of flesh-eating piranhas have infested a Brazilian river beach popular with tourists, biting at least 15 unwary swimmers.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2062819/I-lost-tip-toe-Thousands-flesh-eating-piranhas-infest-popular-Brazilian-river-beach.html#ixzz1e1CD9A1n

Elson de Campos Pinto, 22, who was bitten on Sunday, said: ‘I took a dip in the river and when I stood up, I felt pain in my foot.

‘I saw that I had lost the tip of my toe. I took off running out of the river, afraid that I would be further attacked because of the blood. I’m not going back in for a long time.’

Firefighter Raul Castro de Oliveira told Globo TV’s G1 website: ‘People have got to be very careful. If they’re bitten, they’ve got to get out of the water rapidly and not allow the blood to spread.’

Authorities said the beach would remain open because it is an important draw in Brazil’s Pantanal region, known for its ecotourism.

I have explained to my child that I would not go swimming in the Amazon. I’ll add the Paraguay to my list.

You’re saying, “Hey, Brian, you forgot to tell the child about the Candiru. I didn’t forget; I didn’t bring it up on purpose. Because the father in this situation can talk scientifically, calmly, and dispassionately about the aforementioned piranha, crocodiles, alligators, and so on. But the candiru makes Daddy whimper.

UPDATE Ms. Harris corrects me and tells me that American crocodiles do exist. Be that as it may, if I change my answer know to my child, he will never believe me about anything ever again.

The obvious solution to this dilemma: Poaching party!

DVD Report: Seinfeld Seasons 1 & 2

DVD coverAfter reading The Seinfeld Universe, I saw the first two seasons available on DVD for $1.50. I bought them, of course, and now I’ve watched them.

The first two seasons of Seinfeld (and The Seinfeld Chronicles, as it was originally known) ran roughly during my first year of college, including the first summer I spent back in Milwaukee. I pretty much lit out for my birthplace the Monday after my graduation from the high school in House Springs, Missouri. Which will explain why I didn’t see them when they first aired: I was too busy with my first job (working almost full time while shirking my first year of school en route to losing a full ride scholarship at Marquette), trying to learn piano and writing a song for a Southern belle who only mocked me for it, growing a mullet that started pretty much from my not getting a haircut for a long time, shirking actual classes by hiding in the Memorial Library and getting busted occasionally by the Pop Cop because I realized I could find a book about anything there, and cruising the streets and highways of Wisconsin (and occasionally Illinois to go to Barnaby’s in Schaumburg because we’d once gone there to bring back a pizza on a bet) while wailing out the hits of Icehouse and Bad English with Chris and Deb (who is my first girlfriend, except she was 34 when I was 20).

Anyway.

The first two seasons are a total of 16 episodes, 8 “hours” of television (minus commercial time). Good for a one-a-night sort of viewing, or a one-every-couple-nights viewing pattern if that’s your pleasure (it was mine, sort of).

One of the knocks on the series concept, according to the book The Seinfeld Universe, was that the book was too Jewish and too New York. Twenty years later, I’d say the show was a bit urban for my taste, but I’m entering middle age now and live not in the suburbs, but in the areas where the suburbs will be in twenty years. The exurbs. Almost rural. So the show is a little outside my sweet spot of relatability. Also, I’ve been married my entire thirties, so I don’t know I relate to thirty-somethings having the problems I had when I was twenty-five. I’d probably make the same criticism of a number of other programs, but I don’t watch most sitcoms. Bloody heck, the only television show I’ve watched from the recent past is Human Target (although I’m recording Whitney because they played the ads enough during football and I think Whitney’s cute, but whether I watch them depends on two factors: one, whether I get around to seeing them before my DVR’s non-moving parts stop non-moving and two, whether my beautiful wife reads this review and reacts to the “Whitney is cute” thing enough to make me guiltily erase the shows unseen–although in my defense, I’d like to say I thought Whitney Houston was cute back in the day, too–come to think of that, my defense is further excavation). Half-hour sitcoms have lost a lot since Sledge Hammer!.

The shows were amusing, and they were not “about nothing” as they claimed. They had their conceits and their topical humor built on those conceits. They were about something, but not something I can relate to A)twenty years later, B)older than the characters, and C)more Midwesternly stablely married than the characters.

I only had one belly laugh in the whole collection, and that was in a moment of physical humor. The rest amused me, but it did not Touch My Life as it did so many people in the 1990s. As did Friends, apparently. Maybe we’re older and wiser now, but do sitcoms today touch us like they did in those days (purportedly)? Watercooler and Internet talk these days focuses on really intriguey dramas. Well, that’s the zeitgeist now, I guess.

Do I recommend it? If you can find it for $1.50 without shipping and handling, hey, why not?

Books mentioned in this review:

The Rooting Hierarchy

Without a Packers game on today, my son was a bit unclear about for whom he should cheer in sporting events on television. Daddy tried to explain, as best he could, the rooting rules within the household and why they are rational and just.

  1. In the NFL, you root for the Green Bay Packers.
     
  2. In baseball, you root for the St. Louis Cardinals.
     
  3. In hockey, you root for the St. Louis Blues in the NHL or the Milwaukee Admirals in the AHL.
     
  4. Regardless of the sport, you root for anyone but Chicago. If you’re watching a football game of the Bears against the Cardinals, or even the Bears against a team that could challenge the Packers in the NFC North, you root for that team against Chicago. Or if the Reds can go a half game up on the Cardinals in the NL Central if they beat the Cubs, you root for Cincinnati to beat Chicago.

    Frankly, Daddy is from Milwaukee, which some infiltrators (i.e., residents Daddy does not respect) call Milwaukee “Chicago North.” You know what? Milwaukee kicked Chicago’s back bottom in the olden times, until those lazy cheapskate railroad tycoons didn’t want to drag tracks an extra ninety miles north and settled on “Milwaukee South” as their railroad hub for iron ore and timber. Generations later, Daddy retains the outrage. You can root for Real Madrid or even Manchester United, child, but in any contest where Chicago plays, you root against Chicago.
     

  5. Root against the St. Louis Rams until such time as they return to Los Angeles, at which time this rule is voided and the Los Angeles Rams become just another team. Frankly, I’m sick of paying taxes to lure this team to St. Louis, to keep sports commission members and their retinue in luxury boxes, and to eventually try to retain the team through additional tax-paid amenities for a corporation.
     
  6. If the teams are playing against someone who challenges the above-named Packers, Cardinals, Blues, or Admirals for position in their divisions/conferences, you root for that team. That is, if the New York Giants play the Detroit Lions, you root for the New York Giants. But you feel conflicted about it.
     
  7. You root against the teams from New York. If the Titans play the Jets or the Eagles play the Giants, if the Phillies play the Mets or the Twins play the Yankees, root for the team from the realer world.
     
  8. There are degrees of badness amongst the enemy cities. If the White Sox play the Cubs, root for the White Sox. If the New York Giants play the New York Jets, root for the Giants. One team in the latter example has a primadonna quarterback who wouldn’t play for whomever drafted him; the other has a bunch of loudmouths. We’re a number of numbers deep here in the hierarchy, so we’re allowed to be esoteric.
     

Those are the basic rules. When one starts in on the personalities (Go Broncos, the former Packers we want to see do well (Go Titans!), and the other subtle, arbitrary distinctions, it’s no wonder the child is confused except for the ABC (Anybody But Chicago) rule. But that is the most important rule.