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Friday Food for Thought: Happy Star Wars Day

Standing at the crossroads of light blue and light sabers.

Advance Preview For Star Wars Identities at The O2 Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images

Welcome to Friday Food For Thought, the weekend conversation starter. Each week, this article presents a topic for debate. Whether in the comments section, on the golf course, or around the weekend game table, the goal is to provide enough background that either side could be a winner. In order to facilitate the discourse, a suggested beverage pairing is also be included. So speak up, mix it up, and drink up.

Today, we are celebrating Star Wars Day (May the Fourth be with you) with a challenge: what is the best Star Wars - Tar Heel comparison? Sure, it would be easy to say that Durham is the Death Star. It would also be easy to remember Chris Webber getting caught on the sidelines calling timeout as we all yell, “It’s a trap!”

We are looking a little deeper here though. Two options are presented below. A whole galaxy of options, far far away, exists. Please chime in with your thoughts and suggestions.

1. Point

Who among us that grew up with the original trilogy did not have at least a little crush on Princess Leia? She was smart, competitive, fiery, and a true leader. Leia united the Rebellion, saved the day on numerous occasions, and served as one of the emotional backbones of the story. She was unequaled in her poise.

To find a comparison for Leia, we have to look for a leader who her peers looked up to. It has to be someone with an unbelievable inner drive who constantly delivered winning results. The Tar Heel Princess Leia is Mia Hamm.

Hamm ruled the pitch from 1989 through 1994, which included a 1991 redshirt to focus on the first Women’s World Cup. How good was Hamm at North Carolina? Her career record was 94-1. That is simply unbelievable.

Hamm’s teams won four National Championships. She was the ACC Player of the Year three times and the ACC Female Athlete of the Year twice. She finished her career with 103 goals and 72 assists.

Hamm is widely considered to be one of, if not the greatest, female athletes in UNC history. Sure, I admit it, I had a little crush on her too.

2. Counterpoint

Not everyone can be the leading woman or man. All good stories require a supporting cast that generates interest and leaves the audience thirsty for more screen time. One of my favorites was the suave Lando Calrissian.

Lando is an incredibly charming character who develops over the course of the original trilogy into a leader and key cog in victory. He has a key role in the ultimate underdog victory as the pilot of the Millennium Falcon. His bright smile, great wit, and drive to constantly improve are what made Lando such a fan favorite.

At Carolina, the role of Lando was played by Rick Fox. Fox did not play much in his 1987-88 freshman year as he averaged just under 11 minutes and 4 points per games. Those numbers steadily increased, however, with per game point averages increasing to 11.5, 16.2, and 16.9 over the next three years. His assists per game and rebounds also increased each year with a tremendous senior season of 6.6 boards, 3.7 assists, and 2 steals per game.

Fox’s smile and good-natured demeanor complemented his competitive nature. As far as underdog stories go, Fox also did this:

Sure looked like blowing up the Death Star to me.

Drink Pairing

In need of encouragement to debate – Tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo. Lots of possibilities. I will go with the simple and addictive Escobedo Margarita. Wipe the rim of a cocktail glass in lime juice then dip the glass in margarita salt. Add ice then one-third to half fill with tequila. Agave nectar is the key and should be used generously. Finish with lime juice. If a little fizz is needed, a touch of seltzer water is perfect. Stir carefully so as not to knock off all the salt.

Can debate without assistance – Tomorrow is the Derby. A Virgin Mint Julep starts with 6-10 mint leaves. Use a little ice to gently muddle the leaves. Fill two-thirds with ginger ale then add lemon juice and a pinch of raw sugar.