Dallas Stars: Finding Inspiration From Pixar During The Season Pause

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With the NHL completing its second full week of the pause, many Dallas Stars fans and sports fans in general are still contemplating how to spend their time. So, why not turn to Pixar movies in this trying period?

Time is an interesting concept. Though it never changes and is consistent in nature, it always seems as though we have either too much or not enough of it. Over the past 14 days, we’ve had plenty of time to wrestle with the merits of time.

It’s been almost two weeks since the NHL and every other professional, college, and minor sports league paused, suspended, delayed, or cancelled the remainder 2019-20 season. And while two weeks seems like a relatively short period of time in general, it’s probably felt closer to two years for those involved and invested in the sports community.

In addition to feeling longer than they actually were, these past two weeks have provided a challenge for different members of the sports community.

For writers, it’s provided the test of coming up with story ideas even though there are no new events to report on and no players, coaches, or staff to interview on a daily basis. From my own perspective, this is the longest I’ve gone without writing a story about the Dallas Stars for any publication since April 2014 when I started with Blackout Dallas.

For content creators, the challenge has been rooted in trying to concoct a talking point or storyline from thin air. There are no stats to play off of, no hot streaks or slumps by players or teams to work with, and no quotes to build on.

For those in the sports broadcasting world, these two weeks have created a relatively empty void. With control rooms and demo sets empty due to a lack of new content to present, produce, and air, the empty time has presented a unique challenge both mentally and financially for all involved.

And for the typical sports fan, no new games to indulge in, storylines to follow, opinions to debate, and analysts to label as ‘delirious’ and ‘idiotic’ leaves an unfamiliar feeling of dissociation from sports.

For myself, I’ve spent the past two weeks of self-quarantine doing a number of things to keep myself either active in the sports world, active in covering the Dallas Stars, or active to keep my brain from turning to mush.

In addition to covering FOX Sports Southwest’s Encore presentations of the top Dallas Stars games from this season for our social media channels and recording a daily episode for the Locked On Stars Podcast (I’d be forever grateful if you gave it a listen and subscribed), I’ve also dabbled in learning how to play the ukulele (let’s just say it’s a work in progress) and playing NHL 20 on Xbox One.

I’ve also spent a part of each evening watching Pixar movies on Disney+. Just about every night for the past week or so, I’ve picked a film at random and watched it in its entirety. While I’ve seen a handful of them in the past few years, there are some that I haven’t come across in almost two decades.

So, it’s been a fun exercise.

What I’ve gained from this endeavor – besides a substantial dose of childhood nostalgia – is a handful of valuable lessons. Spinning a valuable lesson into each film was likely of prime importance to those directing and producing the movie at the time; but as it turns out, these messages can also serve sports fans and society as a whole at the moment.

In the past week, I’ve watched Inside Out, Finding DoryThe Good Dinosaur, Up, and Finding Nemo. And while the plan is to watch the remaining Pixar flicks over the next two weeks while we continue to self-quarantine in an effort to help flatten the curve on the COVID-19 pandemic, these first five movies provided a good jumping off point for a 22-year-old writer/social media person covering the Dallas Stars that’s trying to get rid of writer’s block with plenty of time on his hands.

DISCLAIMER: if you haven’t seen one or all of these movies, I would highly recommend that you do so while also abiding by the CDC guidelines and practicing social distancing/quarantining. It’s a terrific way to spend 90 minutes each day.

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