This looks like a standard pic of me with another celebrity. On the surface, it si just that, a pic of me with Carl Weathers, but there's a lot more to this photo.
Weathers was a football star at San Diego State. Although he went undrafted, he played parts of two seasons with the Oakland Raiders. He then ventured to an acting career.
Rocky is one of my all-time favorite movies and Weathers as Apollo Creed was a big part of it. Weathers reprised his role in a few sequels. Most recently, he had a recurring role in The Mandalorian.
When I met Weathers at Fan Expo, I mentioned his football career and Rocky and he laughed and said I was the first to ask about football and one of the few to mention Rocky. He continued by joking he felt old. Suddenly I felt older, too. Granted, Fan Expo has a younger crowd and Star Wars is huge, but Rocky is iconic. The Wizard of Oz came well before my time, but I still know all about it.
For Weathers, though, it's all good. Being a part of a legendary franchise is a ticket to much demand at comic cons. While Weathers was always popular and could demand a decent price, being in the Star Wars franchise increased both of those factors.
It doesn;t end there for Weathers though. As a former NFL player, he is a triple threat. Football fans, Raiders fans in particular, will always want to meet him. Of course, playing Apollo put him in the sports con world, but the Raiders connection cements it.
Standing next to Weathers was surreal. It took me back to my youth watching Rocky for the first time. I never thought I'd be standing next to him and even talking to him as a journalist. I have met many celebrities, but Weathers is one who will always stand out.
The funny thing is I didn't even expect to meet Weathers. Once again though, the fine staffers at Fan Expo created a great opportunity for me and thousands of others.
Fan Expo replaced Wizard World in late 2021. The Chicago event in August was its debut here and it was fantastic.For more info, check FanExpoHQ.com.