“Billy L. Mitchell Arriving At Miami Airport” Lame Photo of the Day 12-1-09

Billy Mitchell

Today’s lame photo is yet another airport picture (I’m guessing that will be a common occurrence for LPOD), this time from Miami Airport and featuring video gaming “legend” Billy L. Mitchell giving photographers a not-as-cool-as-he-thinks thumbs up. This cheesy long-haired villain was featured in the documentary film King of Kong: Fist Full of Quarters, which follows video gamer Steve Wiebe as he tries to break Billy’s 1982 world record Donkey Kong score of 874,300.

Here’s a great review from Robert Horton:

The stuff of gladiatorial battle is here: good versus evil, right versus wrong, nerd versus… super-nerd? At any rate, it’s a more entertaining showdown than most fictional movies can muster. The King of Kong is the saga of Steve Wiebe, a Redmond, Washington dweeb who sets a new record in the video game Donkey Kong, only to see his accomplishment challenged by the grand poobahs of the gaming establishment. And if you don’t know how pernickety the grand poobahs of the gaming establishment can be, well, one of the pleasures of this movie is finding out about this collection of oddballs. It seems Wiebe has toppled a score that has stood since 1982, when eminent “Gamer of the Century” Billy Mitchell set it, and Mitchell isn’t too happy about being overthrown. A black-mulleted showboat, Mitchell provides the perfect counterpoint to Wiebe’s mild-mannered family man, and the smaller fish around him are no less colorful. This is one of those movies you watch in delighted disbelief, marveling that such people exist–and that they gladly allowed themselves to be filmed. Director Seth Gordon does an important thing in presenting this world of eccentrics: he doesn’t mock them, or provide editorial nudging; he simply lets them be. The result is an ingratiating classic.

Potentially spoiling the movie for those who haven’t seen it (It’s actually very entertaining despite the inundation of campiness inevitably present in a world where people care a great deal about record Donkey Kong scores twenty years after the game was popular), Wiebe eventually does beat Mitchell’s score, but only after having to overcome numerous seemingly unfair obstacles placed in his way by the Mitchell-loving video game world establishment. I’m not kidding. The whole thing plays out like an exaggerated Coen brothers comedy!

To put him in a contemporary context, he’s sort of a a Chris “Jesus” Ferguson but with an ego like Phil Ivey. Either way, here is a photo of the former holder of the Donkey Kong world record score at the Miami Airport with a boy I assume is his son and who I also assume thinks that his dad is pretty lame. (In his defense, he is the only person to have ever played a perfect game of Pac-Man.)

Photo: Crockett/Tubbs / Flynet Pictures

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