There are a lot of tangible life lessons that can be drawn from movies that involve sports. Movies like Hoosiers, Field of Dreams, and The Sandlot are iconic films embedded with a keen exploration of human nature. They teach us about ourselves and make us reflect while focusing on the human aspect rather than a game.
My personal favorite is Bull Durham, arguably the best written movie that deals with sports.
Bull Durham centers around Durham, North Carolina and the minor league, Class-A Durham Bulls baseball team, the “Greatest Show on Dirt.” It is especially well-acted and investigates what makes people vulnerable. The quotes and one-liners are timeless. The setting is authentic. You can still visit the “DAP”. They play occasional games there even though the Bulls are now housed at the “DBAP” as the Triple-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays.
If you have not seen it, then find it. Listen to every word. Enjoy the humor. Regale in the verbal exchanges and the chemistry shown by Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon, and Tim Robbins.
And if you happen to be familiar with the affairs in North Carolina, see how well some of the iconic quotes perfectly frame our political and social landscape because films like Bull Durham imitate real life in so many ways.
Quote #1 – “The world is made for people who aren’t cursed with self-awareness.”- Annie Savoy (Susan Sarandon).
Many people could claim that there are many on West Jones Street who are not self-aware or even aware that their actions on bills like HB2 exclude others and make them more self-aware because of discrimination.
Quote #2 – “This is a simple game: You throw the ball, you hit the ball, you catch the ball. You got it!”- Skip (Trey Wilson)
This quote seems to come right out of the playbook used by many GOP officials in Raleigh on how to pass regressive legislation. It’s almost like one could say,
“Politics are a simple game: You create a bill secretly, modify it in late night committees, and pass it during special sessions. You got it!”
Quote #3 – “1) We gotta play ’em one day at a time. 2) I’m just happy to be here. Hope I can help the ballclub. 3) I just want to give it my best shot, and the good Lord willing, things will work out. – Crash Davis (Kevin Coster), listing “cliche’s”.
And those in Raleigh use lots of empty cliché’s. There’s the “religious freedom” platitude from Phil Berger, Dan Forest’s banality of “if we can save the life of one child”, and the governor’s “plan to reward” teachers. All of them ironically seem to be reading off a script when they say these things.
Quote #4 – “How come in former lifetimes, everybody is somebody famous?”- Crash Davis
Maybe this could be written to say “How come in present lifetimes, these people (lawmakers) believe they are so famous?” The direction that North Carolina is heading now would probably make these people infamous in the eyes of others.
Quote #5 – “You guys. You lollygag the ball around the infield. You lollygag your way down to first. You lollygag in and out of the dugout. You know what that makes you? Lollygaggers. – Skip
If you replace the word “ball” with “bill”, “the infield” with “West Jones Street”, “first” with “legislative chambers”, and “the dugout” with “committee meetings”, then you have a perfect explanation with what is happening in Raleigh.
Quote #6 – “Know what the difference between hitting .250 and .300 is? It’s 25 hits. 25 hits in 500 at bats is 50 points, okay? There’s 6 months in a season, that’s about 25 weeks. That means if you get just one extra flare a week – just one – a gorp… you get a groundball, you get a groundball with eyes… you get a dying quail, just one more dying quail a week… and you’re in Yankee Stadium.” – Crash Davis
Think of that quote in this way:
“Did you know the difference between a regressive state of North Carolina and a progressive state of North Carolina? A few more resources allocated to our citizens. There’s a lot of people in this state. If you get a little more Medicaid expansion, a public school system that is no longer a dying quail, a voter ID and HB2 law repealed, then you’re playing in the big leagues.”
Quote #7 – “Walt Whitman once said, ‘I see great things in Baseball. It’s our game, the American game. It will repair our losses and be a blessing to us.’” – Annie Savoy
Baseball is a patient game. You play until someone wins. In Raleigh, the people should win, not special interests. And that means that legislators should repair losses that have happened over the last three years. We should feel like they have our blessing, rather than feeling like we got blessed out.
That is if those “big guys” remember that “the rose goes on the front.”