Everyone has a Roman Empire. You don't know exactly why. But it's always there.
I considered it a personal affront when this trend arose about how often men think about the Roman Empire. Because...I think about it several times a month. A high school friend of mine could probably teach a college-level course on those ancient badasses, and he got me into it years ago. I combed through all of Mike Duncan's History of Rome podcast (highly recommend) a little after college in order to cement the strange fixation further. The Roman Empire is an awesome thing to learn about. I shan't hear otherwise.
Anyway. The analysis of the Roman Empire's hold on the male brain has caused a new trend to arise: equating the Roman Empire to anything you randomly and regularly think about. Basically, "this is my Roman Empire," followed by a concept, moment, person, etc. that has a recurring role in the person's mental programming, for some odd reason.
I posed the question to my fellow Peanut Gallery writers. What is your Roman Empire? What skips to the front of the line inside your brain a few times per week as you're driving or showering?
Let's learn about the many Roman Empires of the Peanut Gallery.
Steve's Roman Empire: Leia's "Feeling" About Luke
Those who know me know that I love Star Wars. I’ve watched the OT series of films close to a hundred times, and as a result, I’m left thinking about it and other nerdy things constantly. What really draws my attention is a line that the maker himself, George Lucas, put into Return of the Jedi. Why would Leia kiss Luke in the Empire Strikes Back, only to tell Luke that she’s always had a feeling they were siblings? So even though she knew deep inside that Luke may be her brother, she decides to lay a big fat kiss on him to make Han jealous.
I don’t know about you, but that’s not something siblings who aren't from the deep South do. I think about it nearly every day.
Teddy's Roman Empire: Sports Dynasties
I am constantly thinking about sports, and specifically, dynasties. The greatest thing in sports, whether you like them or not, is dynasties. One franchise taking over the entire league for years is just incredible to watch. It’s a show of absolute domination that feels like it will go on forever.
I think about a few dynasties in particular. I think about the Patriots dynasty in football. A dynasty that will be unparalleled in sports history. I think about the Warriors and Bulls dynasties. They all have the same element of just being unbeatable with an innovative system. They took over and there wasn’t much anyone could do about it. When there is a really good team that has won a few championships in a couple years there are almost different rules when you play against them. These teams play their sport at the highest possible level day in day out and it is incredible to watch. I find myself thinking about these dynasties much more than normal.
Matt's Roman Empire: The Universe
My Roman empire...I often and randomly think about the universe.
What was before the Big Bang? Are we in a giant effing cosmic shoebox? Does the universe go on forever? How the hell was all this shit made and who/what made it?
And why do so many people watch the Kardashians?
Josh's Roman Empire: Home Invasion Preparation
Maybe it is because Halloween is rapidly approaching, maybe it is because I live off of horror movies, or maybe I am simply a diligent home (okay…condo) owner who wants to be ready when (okay…if) terror strikes. Whatever the reason, a lot of my mental real estate is occupied by brainstorming a game plan for unwanted guests who come knocking…or breaking in if they are impolite burglars/serial killers/otherworldly entities.
Would I hide? When do I call for help? Do I have time to call for help? Grab a weapon? What is the closest one? Grab a weapon then hide? How do I determine how many intruders I am dealing with? What do I do with my amazing, yet woefully unintimidating, canine? Are the invaders human? Are they here to steal something? Do they intend me harm? Can I slip out a window or another exit? That is a mere sampling of the endless queries I dissect front to back and back to front, over and over and over. It boils down to a primal instinct to plan for the unimaginable. Some may think this is a waste of time. I call it survival.
Presley's Roman Empire: The 2016 Miami Marlins
The 2016 Marlins pop into my mind on a daily basis. Losing out on what could have been and entering another half decade plus of mediocrity, all because of one tragedy. This sent my favorite franchise into a twirling, downward spiral that the team is just now recovering from.
I can only imagine the success Miami could have had, and where this team could have been by now, if that core of MVPs and All-Stars was able to stick together. Playoff runs? World Series appearances? More awards? Another ring? If only things could have gone differently.
Sheehan's Roman Empire: Nyjer Morgan's "Catch" at the Wall
In reality, my Roman Empire is...the Roman Empire. But in keeping with the spirit of this game, my other choice is Nyjer Morgan's attempt at catching a flyball at the fence in 2010, which resulted in an Adam Jones inside-the-park home run after he threw a temper tantrum while the ball was still in play, unbeknownst to him.
One of the funniest moments in the history of baseball, in my opinion. And the fact that it was produced by Nyjer Morgan, who took a clothesline from Marlins 1B Gaby Sanchez after charging the mound later that season, makes it even funnier. Morgan, the self-titled "Tony Plush," is among the most annoying players ever; this Little League-level blunder could not have happened to a better person.
Sometimes, the Baseball Gods give us fans something to laugh about. Forever and ever.
What's your Roman Empire? What takes up space in your mind for...some reason. Let us know in the comments!