It’s an odd thing, isn’t it? To be watching a movie, hear an obscure quote and think, “That perfectly applies to situation X”(in this case X= the Seattle Mariners fan)? Sometimes a bolt of inspiration comes from an unlikely source.
For Mariners fans, they can learn a thing or two from great movies. Today, I come before you with 2 movie quotes to remember over the course of the 2018 season. Interestingly, neither come from a baseball movie.
The Mariners fast start has created some buzz around the team. When you listen to as many people as I do talk about the team, you realize most people fall into 2 camps. Camp A being the “Mariners always blow it” camp. While Camp B bends over backward to compare this team to a team of the past, namely the 1995 Mariners team.
Let’s address Camp B first. If you want to remember a team, I’m not trying to stop you. And yes, there are some interesting parallels between the two teams. In his swan song article, former contributor Michael Johnson made this comparison.
However, I feel compelled to break news to this camp: It’s not 1995 anymore. The 95 team last put on a uniform together 22 1/2 years ago. They aren’t walking through the door.
Mitch Haniger is not Jay Buhner. Nelson Cruz is not Edgar Martinez. James Paxton is not Randy Johnson. And you know what? That’s just fine. It is hard not to reminisce about glory days, but this is a new Mariners team.
I was only 3 years old at the time of the 95 run. I don’t remember any of it. However, I do know what it’s like to go on such a run. I watched the Seattle Seahawks go from an afterthought to World Champs. I know the feeling of finally being satisfied after years of disappointment.
And you can stop your snickering Camp A. You are no better. The sins of Mariners teams of the past are not applicable to the 2018 squad. Just because it didn’t work that one time doesn’t mean it can’t work.
The 2018 Mariners deserve to be judged solely on their body of work, not judged by comparing them to teams of the past. Whether it is as a compliment or an anhedonic wet dream.
Now I know what you are thinking. Where is the dang movie quotes? Well, our first quote is for both camps, as a gentle reminder this Mariners team is not to be compared, good or bad, with teams of the past.
Our first quote comes from the Pixar film, The Incredibles. It is delivered by one of the most underutilized characters, Ms. Edna Mode.
"“I never look back Darling, it distracts from The Now.” – Edna Mode"
Never look back, it distracts from the now. If you spend all your time looking at teams past, you might just miss what is in front of you. What’s in front of you is a really fun baseball team who has already overcome much adversity in 2018. You have it pretty good now, so stop fantasizing about the 1995 team or the 2010 team. This group is neither, and you should look at them for what they are: the 2018 Seattle Mariners.
Wow, that was long-winded. Now about the second quote. I am sure you’ve noticed by now, either through your social media or interactions with real people, that people love to talk about their team being cursed.
It is easy to feel this way. The sheer volume of injuries suffered by the team in the past 2 seasons is enough to give anybody pause. However, our second quote is a simple reminder of what curses really are.
The quote comes to us from the football movie, Friday Night Lights. In the movie, star QB Mike Winchell ask his coach:
"” You ever feel cursed coach? Like no matter what, inside your heart, you feel you’re gonna lose?”"
His response is classic and is our second quote to carry the remainder of the 2018 season.
It is the final sentences that we focus on today. Coach Gary Gaines (portrayed by Billy Bob Thorton) says, ” …I believe our only curses are the ones that are self-imposed… We, all of us, dig our own holes”.
It is this moment of clarity that leads to a reminder for Mariners fans. There is no such thing as a curse. Believing curses make it easier to ignore the reality. The shortcomings of the organization as a whole are not due to some sort of divine intervention. It is the result of self-dug holes, from poor management, draft picks, trades, etc.
Choosing to believe in a curse also is a free pass to those that are currently on the team. It’s easier to believe some mythical power over cold, hard evidence. A convenient lie is not better than the inconvenient truth.
If you get anything out of this article, I hope it is this: Mariners fans, you have a good thing with this 2018 team. They are a fun group, playing well, who deserve to be judged on their own merits. And if, in the end, it doesn’t work out, it’s not because of a mythical curse, but rather flesh and blood mistakes.