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Tag Archive: Miracle

Oct 19

A look back at my columns about the Kansas City Royals: Part 12 — Royals fans, time for movie therapy — first published May 3, 2012 in The Examiner, an Eastern Jackson County, Mo., daily newspaper.

Royals fans, time for movie therapy

“You love the Red Sox, but have they ever loved you back?”
–from the 2005 movie ‘Fever Pitch’

I read several sports stories the other day devoted entirely to how Royals fans are dealing with the fact that the Kansas City Royals are bottom dwellers in the Big Leagues early in the 2012 season.

The Royals’ arguably ill-timed slogan, ‘Our Time’, doesn’t help.

Is it a jinx? Do we fans need therapy?

I think I do and will have to rely on my tried and true method—movie therapy. Suffice to say, I use it when life throws me a right hook, i.e. Royals. I will explain more later about how watching movies helps me cope.

I love the Royals; don’t get me wrong.

If any of you dear readers recall, I waxed poetic back in March about the Royals after attending spring training in Surprise, Arizona. The Royals looked good, promising, exciting, and clicking on all cylinders, as the saying goes.

I believed that it absolutely would be our time, finally.

That bubble burst for diehard fans like me on opening day when the Royals dropped an embarrassing game, leaving fans like me with an undeniable, worried oppressive feeling of impending doom.

Sorry to say, we were right. The Royals went on to lose 12 out of their first 15 games, and not since 1994 has there been one winning season. They could be baseball’s answer to the NFL draft’s ‘Mr. Irrelevant’.

Sometimes I don’t want to watch the Royals games on television anymore; it is too painful. My powder blue Royals jersey hangs unworn in the closet on most game days.

I feel guilty because I love these guys—Hosmer, Butler, Gordon, Francoeur, Moustakas, Pena, Duffy, Chen and all.

And I cannot begin to fathom what JP (on Twitter @LilFrenchie21) must think about all these losses. Incidentally, if you do not tweet, you may not know that J. P., a 7-year-old Kansas City Royals true-blue fan, has become something of a sensation in Twitter world. Is JP sad? I guess not because he recently tweeted this: “I still wear my Royals shirts to school almost every day! I don’t care if people tell me they are losing. At least I GO TO GAME!”

Now, I feel even guiltier, especially if a 7-year-old is this loyal. I should be, too.

But back to my movie therapy I promised to explain.

I started by watching Major League, a comedy aired in 1989 starring Bob Uecker and Charlie Sheen. In this film, the Cleveland Indians are in last place in the Majors, and inexplicably turn their miserable season into a winning one. Sidesplitting humor. I felt better.

Over the course of the next week, I watched ‘Money Ball’ three times. Yes, three times, mostly, because it was based on a true story. It ranks right up there with ‘Miracle’ and ‘Secretariat’ for me, and gets me out of the doldrums fast.

Remember Billy Beane, general manger of the Oakland Athletics who took that team out of the cellar to victory and into the history books by changing the way the game is managed. Now, I was feeling hopeful.

Since Money Ball is based on the Athletics’ true story, it could be possible, in my way of thinking, for the Royals to find success, too.

Finally, I watched “Fever Pitch,” the 2005 comedy about a diehard Boston Red Sox fan Ben Wrightman who never gave up on his team. He never lost faith despite the fact that the Red Sox could not overcome the 86-year-old “Curse of the Bambino” that legend says blocked them from ever winning the World Series because they sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees.

Ben’s friend Ryan asked him in frustration one day, “Why do we inflict this on ourselves?”

Ben’s answer: “Because they haven’t won a World Series in a century or so? So what? They’re here. Every April, they’re here. At 1:05 or at 7:05, there is a game. And if it gets rained out, guess what? They make it up to you. Does anyone else in your life do that? The Red Sox don’t get divorced. This is a real family. This is the family that’s here for you.”

Ah yes, movie therapy. I’m all better now and wearing my blue again, but I might have to watch Money Ball one more time.

It’s still bad at the bottom folks.

May 02

Royals fans, time for movie therapy

“You love the Red Sox, but have they ever loved you back?”
–from the 2005 movie ‘Fever Pitch

I read several sports stories the other day devoted entirely to how Royals fans are dealing with the fact that the Kansas City Royals are bottom dwellers in the Big Leagues early in the 2012 season.

The Royals’ arguably ill-timed slogan, ‘Our Time’, doesn’t help.

Is it a jinx? Do we fans need therapy?

I think I do and will have to rely on my tried and true method—movie therapy. Suffice to say, I use it when life throws me a right hook, i.e. Royals. I will explain more later about how watching movies helps me cope.

I love the Royals; don’t get me wrong.

If any of you dear readers recall, I waxed poetic back in March about the Royals after attending spring training in Surprise, Arizona. The Royals looked good, promising, exciting, and clicking on all cylinders, as the saying goes.

I believed that it absolutely would be our time, finally.

That bubble burst for diehard fans like me on opening day when the Royals dropped an embarrassing game, leaving fans like me with an undeniable, worried oppressive feeling of impending doom.

Sorry to say, we were right. The Royals went on to lose 12 out of their first 15 games, and not since 1994 has there been one winning season. They could be baseball’s answer to the NFL draft’s ‘Mr. Irrelevant’.

Sometimes I don’t want to watch the Royals games on television anymore; it is too painful. My powder blue Royals jersey hangs unworn in the closet on most game days.

I feel guilty because I love these guys—Hosmer, Butler, Gordon, Francoeur, Moustakas, Pena, Duffy, Chen and all.

And I cannot begin to fathom what JP (on Twitter @LilFrenchie21) must think about all these losses. Incidentally, if you do not tweet, you may not know that J. P., a 7-year-old Kansas City Royals true-blue fan, has become something of a sensation in Twitter world. Is JP sad? I guess not because he recently tweeted this: “I still wear my Royals shirts to school almost every day! I don’t care if people tell me they are losing. At least I GO TO GAME!”

Now, I feel even guiltier, especially if a 7-year-old is this loyal. I should be, too.

But back to my movie therapy I promised to explain.

I started by watching Major League, a comedy aired in 1989 starring Bob Uecker and Charlie Sheen. In this film, the Cleveland Indians are in last place in the Majors, and inexplicably turn their miserable season into a winning one. Sidesplitting humor. I felt better.

Over the course of the next week, I watched ‘Money Ball’ three times. Yes, three times, mostly, because it was based on a true story. It ranks right up there with ‘Miracle’ and ‘Secretariat’ for me, and gets me out of the doldrums fast.

Remember Billy Beane, general manger of the Oakland Athletics who took that team out of the cellar to victory and into the history books by changing the way the game is managed. Now, I was feeling hopeful.

Since Money Ball is based on the Athletics’ true story, it could be possible, in my way of thinking, for the Royals to find success, too.

Finally, I watched “Fever Pitch,” the 2005 comedy about a diehard Boston Red Sox fan Ben Wrightman who never gave up on his team. He never lost faith despite the fact that the Red Sox could not overcome the 86-year-old “Curse of the Bambino” that legend says blocked them from ever winning the World Series because they sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees.

Ben’s friend Ryan asked him in frustration one day, “Why do we inflict this on ourselves?”

Ben’s answer: “Because they haven’t won a World Series in a century or so? So what? They’re here. Every April, they’re here. At 1:05 or at 7:05, there is a game. And if it gets rained out, guess what? They make it up to you. Does anyone else in your life do that? The Red Sox don’t get divorced. This is a real family. This is the family that’s here for you.”

Ah yes, movie therapy. I’m all better now and wearing my blue again, but I might have to watch Money Ball one more time.

It’s still bad at the bottom folks.

Apr 28

Movie therapy provides a quick remedy for what ails you

This is not a PG column.

No matter what may be out of sorts in your life, I have a tonic that will help—movie therapy. I guarantee it will take your mind off your troubles, at least for awhile.

A “tried and true” method, movie therapy can be a temporary fix for just about any situation that occurs, no matter how difficult, happy, or sad.

Just ask my kids.

Child psychologists may shoot me. On second thought, do not ask my kids.

As I said, this is not a PG column. Reader discretion is advised. The following list is approved for adults only.

Keep in mind, my theory has taken years in the research and development stage, although it will never be fully completed. I have put in long hours watching movies in order to bring you the results of my research.

Well, somebody had to do it.

Here then, is my adult-approved movie therapy list for whatever ails you:

  • If you are having a really bad time of things at work or if your career is a mess, watch Office Space.
  • When you need to accept yourself just as you are and crave a good love story at the same time, there is nothing better than Steve Martin’s Roxanne.
  • When you need motivation and inspiration, it is time to watch Top Gun (a favorite with the guys). Surround Sound helps this movie get the blood pumping. The sound of the planes revving their engines is so intense that I swear I can feel the heat off the tarmac. Actually, I just watch it for Tom Cruise.
  • Speaking of Tom Cruise, if I need a Tom Cruise fix and can forget his ridiculous behavior of late, my movie of choice has to be Jerry McGuire. It is a perfect choice for a chick flick, as well.
  • Chick flicks, by the way, are the ticket when you need a good, long cry. Nothing more therapeutic. I recommend the classics: Casablanca, An Affair to Remember, Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail, When Harry Met Sally, or Pretty Woman.
  • In order to feel better, guys need drama movies about wars with lots of blood and guts, fights, and triumph over evil stuff. Here are just a few—Troy, Gladiator, Die Hard, or Braveheart. I usually leave the room when these are playing.
  • Some movies are both motivational and inspirational. I need these when I absolutely have to believe that “I can do it.”  Then, it is time to watch Miracle, Cinderella Man, Seabiscuit, Rudy, or Bagger Vance.
  • If you do not want to think and just want to “veg”, by all means, watch any of the Vacation movies, my favorite being Vegas Vacation, unless it is holiday time.
  • During the holidays, in my book, there is one choice and one choice only– Christmas Vacation.  Just think, Chevy Chase was once a madcap comedian doing inane sketches on Saturday Night Live.  Today, he is a holiday icon since his Christmas Vacation movie has become a standard. Chevy is at the top of my holiday movie list, followed closely by these favorites– It’s a Wonderful Life and White Christmas. These three give me a choice during the holidays. I can laugh, cry, or sing along.
  • Speaking of singing along, my preferred movie has to be The Blues Brothers. This is such an important movie in our household that when the boys bring friends to visit, they are required to watch it. Just kidding, or not.
  • If you have forgotten your own college days or want to understand your children’s life at college, watch Animal House. I told you this was not a PG-rated column.
  • Sometimes, I just want the hair to stand up on my arms. I want to feel something. I am bored. I need a thriller, a mystery, a suspenseful spy story, or a detective or crime story to make my heart thump. That is when I reach for The Bourne Identity or The Bourne Supremacy.
  • When I cannot think of a single thing to write for this column, I watch Romancing the Stone. In this movie, writer, Joan Wilder, finishes her latest romance novel while listening to powerful western music and imagining her hero Jesse arriving at the last second, on horseback, of course, to save her heroine from the bad guys. Works every time.

There you have it, my movie therapy plan. Life is good, as long as I have a portable DVD player handy.