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We're In The Endgame Now

OH MY FUCKING GOD, IT’S HERE. ‘AVENGERS: ENDGAME’ IS UPON US.

I woke up in a cold sweat, hyperventilating, with a heartrate more rapid than that of which spurred on by a marijuana-induced heart attack. For the past ten/eleven years, my life has led to this moment, in one way or another.

I was just nine years old when the first ‘Iron Man’ came out. I saw ‘The Incredible Hulk’ on my tenth birthday with the whole family. I went to my first midnight showing with my new friends, friends I still have to this day, for ‘Iron Man 2′, and later, ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’. I rented ‘Thor’ from RedBox and hated it. Twice. ‘The Avengers’ was a life-changing spectacle like none other, that had more buzz around it than any than any movie in my entire life had up to that point. I made my mom drive me to the theater to see it on three separate occasions, god bless her.

My brother and I saw ‘Iron Man 3′ on opening day, and, well, and I didn’t like that one much either. We were pleasantly surprised by ‘Thor: The Dark World” when we saw that on opening night, however, an opinion I know is controversial to this day. ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ and ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ blew me away like I couldn’t believe. ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ had me worried that the Marvel Cinematic Universe was beginning to near its end (how dumb was I?) before Paul Rudd in ‘Ant-Man’ reassured me there was still plenty of fun to be had, and ‘Captain America: Civil War’ brought my fandom to new lengths, making it stronger than it ever had been. I saw that one multiple times in theaters as well, with my now brother-in-law.

I didn’t have that much interest in ‘Doctor Strange’ before its release, but one of my friends I initially saw ‘The Avengers’ with bought me a ticket on opening night, and I wound up loving it. ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2′ brought the same energy the first did, in the best way possible, and ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ gave me the interpretation of Peter Parker I’d longed so much for since diving a bit more into his mythos as I got older. It was also the first Marvel Cinematic Universe release I’d seen as a full time employee at Barstool Sports, which caused a very paranoid me to delay my viewing of it ’til a late night Sunday showing, knowing everyone would be fixated on Game of Thrones and not concerned with anything I’d maybe have to blog about. ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ made Thor one of my favorite characters in not only the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but the universe as a whole, and introduced the MCU to some mothafuckin’ ZEPPELIN!

‘Black Panther’ was one of the most fun, and powerful theater experiences I’ve ever had, and my first with Jeff D Lowe and KenJac, two of my best friends now. ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ outdid that experience tenfold, leading me to see it another four times in theaters, and countless more at home. I’m watching it right now, as I’m writing this, actually. I’d assume the count is up to a legitimate thirty, maybe thirty-five rewatches. It’s my favorite of all of the flicks, and easily one of my favorite movies of all time. It still makes me cry! ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ was an awesome Saturday morning watch for Trent and I, and ‘Captain Marvel’ was the first MCU feature I got to see early as one of Barstool’s nerd bloggers. Another one that I saw multiple times in theaters, and another one that really tugs on the heartstrings.

These movies, as silly as it may sound, mean the world to me. I watched them growing up, and it certainly feels like they watched me growing up. Through thick and thin, they were there for me. When things got shitty in the real world, they provided the escapism I so desperately needed, and still do. When things were going great in the real world, they made things even better. I’ve spent countless hours (and dollars) of my life with this group of characters, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m sure there’s even countless more hours to come, because my four-year-old nephew is now OBSESSED with all things Marvel, and I’m praying to Stan Lee that one day, my kids will be too. Speculating about the movies before they come out with my buddies has become one of my favorite hobbies, and something as natural as breathing, at this point. There’s almost nothing I love more. You could hear it in my voice on this week’s My Mom’s Basement, where I had Clem on to speculate-away with me one last time before we get to unravel the story told in ‘Endgame’ tonight.

I don’t think I could ever express enough gratitude towards Dave, and Erika, and KFC, and Riggs, and everyone else responsible in my hiring and path to this point, where talking about the shit I’m passionate about has become my full time job, but just know, I wouldn’t take this for granted for a second, and thank my lucky Infinity Stones every night that it’s the case, because discussing, speculating, and theorizing with you guys has since become as natural and fun as it is with my closest friends. Stoolies have made this franchise even better for me, and have made me even more passionate about it than I ever was.

Basically, what I’m trying to say here is – tonight means a lot to me. It’s more than just a movie. It’s a bookend of sorts, on the last ten/eleven years of my life, and yes, I know how dramatic that sounds.

I’ve made so many new friends along the way, and I’ve lost friends along the way. I’ve welcomed multiple new members of my family, and I’ve lost members of my family. I’ve gone from an anxiety-ridden fourth grader, to a…well…an anxiety-ridden blogger, but one thing remained the same over this past decade – a constant – the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been there. It’ll still be there, after tonight, of course. ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ is only a few months away. It’ll just be a bit different, though, because, well…

…WE’RE IN THE ENDGAME, NOW.

Let’s go get that son of a bitch.

Have fun tonight, folks. Don’t spoil the movie for others, and obviously, be very weary of spoilers yourself. I would stay off social media as much as you possibly could, and to be honest, I wouldn’t even check the comments of this here blog. Assholes are all over the internet right now, trying to ruin our fun because nothing brings them as much joy as these silly flicks bring us. Don’t let ‘em.

If you want a quick catch-up, the Lights Camera Barstool guys have gotcha covered…