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Entourage has not only become a long running, popular television show. It has become a cultural phenomenon.
The show revolves around four New Yorkers who have moved to California to realize talent and a dream. This sounds like something of an upcoming pitcher moving through the minors or a college basketball star entering the draft early. But…no, one of the four main characters is not getting called up to play for the Angels or getting drafted by the Lakers.
Vincent Chase, movie star, brother, and best friend, is the main focus of Entourage and moves to Hollywood with his two best friends, Eric and Turtle, and brother, Johnny Drama, to pursue an acting career. Entourage has remained successful with the help of Vincent’s agent, Ari Gold, who provides the show with a loud and obnoxious but hysterical character that has left viewers waiting to see what he will do next. Through ups and downs, success and failure, despite all the glamour, cars, and girls, Entourage has truly been a story of people just trying to make it in this world. It has been about waiting to hear your name called and seeing if you made it. It has simply been about whether you are good enough to take it to the next level.
All of this sounds like what any athlete at any level has to deal with. Entourage has portrayed a similar message between the entertainment business and the sports world, leading to a numerous amount of cameos of sports stars to help portray that message.
On Entourage’s most recent episode this past Sunday, Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, Amare Stoudemire, and Michael Strahan all made an appearance. In a desperate attempt to finance another dream, Turtle calls upon all four new york stars to help him. Turtle has been famous for consistently wearing New York sports attire around Los Angeles, always rocking a New York Yankees fitted and numerous Yankees, Giants, and Knicks jerseys, episode after episode. Even though all four deny Turtle of any money, not once does he curse their names, showing once again the bond Turtle has had with his beloved sports teams throughout the eight seasons of Entourage.
Turtle’s loyalty is further displayed earlier in the season when Tom Brady, quaterback of the New England Patriots, makes a guest appearance and plays golf with Vincent, Johnny, Turtle, and other special guest, Mark Wahlberg. After Vincent and Johnny show pleasure in meeting Tom Brady, Turtle does the exact opposite and completely disregards the presence of the three-time Super Bowl Champion. Throughout the episode, New York Giants hat and all, Turtle stays loyal and continues to show his animosity towards Tom Brady. It wasn’t until Turtle and the famous quarterback reached common ground that Turtle stopped his onslaught of insults and distaste for Brady, which proves that if sports weren’t in the equation…New York and Boston could actually get along. (Could we really?)
With the appearance of Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez, HBO showed how big these two stars have become in the big apple and that a television show necessarily doesn’t have to have Derek Jeter make a cameo to show how popular the Yankees are, even on the opposite side of the country. Even though A-Rod is already in the spotlight and has been for years, he has proved to New Yorkers that he can win, practically putting the team on his back in the 2009 playoffs and World Series, making his appearance on the show just as special as Jeter’s would. Mark Teixeira did not waste any time becoming a Yankee fan favorite and has awed us all with his near-perfect glove and powerful bat. Teixeira’s way with words during interviews and post-game conferences have also warmed the hearts of New Yorkers as did his humorous performance on Entourage.
Amare Stoudemire and Michael Strahan display a theme of past and present on Entourage. The appearance of Amare Stoudemire on Entourage is similar to a psychic telling you your future. When all is said and done, Amare Stoudemire is the future of the New York Knicks and with his cameo on Entourage, it seems that only good things are to come for the Knicks in the future; a team in desperate need of a face and of wins. Michael Strahan was a big part of making Giant football relevant again leading them to their first Super Bowl victory in 2007 since 1990. Even after retiring, Strahan’s cameo shows another piece of the puzzle to the success of New York sports.
Other sports stars to appear on Entourage include: Lamar Odom, Michael Phelps, Steve Nash, Lebron James, Adrian Peterson, and many more.
You can take the New Yorker out of New York but you can’t take New York out of the New Yorker. Although the same applies for other big sports areas like Boston and Chicago, New York truly has the largest fan base around the country/world. Entourage has only helped further illustrate that concept. From the very beginning of the show, the characters made it evident where they came from. Besides Turtle’s wardrobe being filled with New York sports paraphernalia and Eric always wearing his one New York Islander tee shirt, their attitudes have shown their true color, constantly keeping that New York state of mind.
Being thousands and thousand of miles away from any New York sporting venue, they have shown what loyalty means and how to truly represent your home town. In the midst of all the important occurences on Entourage that have stirred up and shocked viewers, Vincent, Turtle, Drama, and Eric have made it difficult to forget where their loyalty lies. And if you did forget from time to time, I’m sure the appearance of A-Rod and Tex helped you remember.
In the past episode, Turtle explains that he is still “more queens than ever” after getting questioned about what Los Angeles has done to him. Well if I can explain something else amidst all this sports and entertainment jargon above, it is that…we as fans are more loyal than ever.