I cope with life in a unique way, by relating the horror of my own existence to random pop culture. I tend to use movies and music as a catharsis against the masochistic relationships I have with sports teams. Obviously we all acknowledge the pitfalls of cheering on Kansas City sports teams. Only twice has a team from Kansas City won a title during my life (three if you technically count the Jayhawks, but I'm guessing a few of you don't). The first being the Royals when I was four months old, and the second being the Wizards in 2000 which like a Bruce Vilanche sex tape went unwatched by Americans. I'm not a bandwagon fan, but even on the occasion where I was one, I watched 7-4 124 lb. Hakeem Olajawon make Shaq Daddy his bitch and Penny Hardaway's swan song as a professional athlete at 24 years of age. My catharsis for this loss was to sing fittingly appropriate Soul Asylum songs, which resulted in my parents placing all of the cutlery out of my reach.
As always I have digressed terribly from my original thought that I wanted to share with everyone here. I found a perfect film to act as a metaphor to the current Royals season. As all great thoughts do, this occurred to me while I practiced my sadistic need to fill in all of "the greatest fans in baseball" on the constant happenings in Royals baseball. I say that in jest because most of my friends' Cardinals worship prevents them from either having a coherent thought about the sport of baseball or acknowledging that there are 28 other teams not just the Cubs and Cards. So I typed in the line:
The Royals starting pitchers now have given up 2 runs in 19 2/3 innings; their bullpen has allowed 14 in 9 1/3 (0/3 on save opportunities). I hope they don't think that being firemen means being responsible for starting fires.
Yes, the Royals season currently can be summed up as a modern production of William Shakespeare's Backdraft.
1666 Production of Backdraft Goes Awry
Notice the similarities between the two.
Billy Baldwin as Rick Ankiel, The Traumatized Baseball Player
Now, you may think Billy Baldwin, alliterative like Billy Butler or Double Down. That's way too easy. Billy Baldwin is representative of Rick Ankiel. As we get into this you may ask is it legitimate to compare the trauma of fictional firefighting to people who poorly masquerade as baseball players, and in this case because I'm a cold heartless bastard, yes. Billy's character Brian McCaffrey watches his father burn to death, without creepily realizing that his father and brother are the same person.* Now, sure that may be rough. Imagine standing on a mound in an NLDS game and completely forgetting how to pitch. Each man because he realized he has no other way of living his life returned to face his fears; Brian, by reasonably approximating how Alec Baldwin would have acted the scenes, and Rick by finding new enemies, mainly walls and any well thrown pitch. And look after being such a complete fuckup the first game, both succeeded in the second one.
*This kind of self-procreation is known a the Phillip J Fry effect, but has never been explored from the being directly your own father standpoint. I'm sure it has something to do with a Stargate and James Spader.
Kurt Russell as Willie Bloomquist
At one point the take-charge veteran firefighter Stephen, played by Kurt Russell, bites off more than he can chew. His mistake leads to another firefighter being horribly burned. When veteran Willie Bloomquist takes charge on a pop-up, thousands of early season hopes die in the fiery shots of Jack Daniels necessary to facilitate. Occasionally, they are thought to be responsible for everything that is wrong with their respective units. Do not fret though because both characters redeem themselves before the end with typical Kurt Russell badassery and surprising run saving defense. Unfortunately, this comes at the cost of Stephen's life and any sort of meaningful production from Willie's bat.
Scott Glenn as <Insert Current Shitty RP here>
You'll be happy to know that in this reproduction of the Royals 2010 season, the entire bullpen will be played by Scott Glenn. There must be a certain level at which the only way to prevent more carnage is to create carnage. While like Axe, the bullpen's play with fire will ultimately lead to their (professional) demise, the fires may be the catalyst to reform Station 17 or replace our outhouse of a bullpen with indoor plumbing.
Robert DeNiro as Mike Aviles
He's one of the most talented men involved, but we don't get to see him often. I know this doesn't fit well, but it would if for 95% of his scenes they replaced DeNiro with Keanu Reeves.
Donald Sutherland as <Insert Starter>
The starters are trapped, captured after showing tendencies for erratic behavior. Now, they appear completely lucid and are essential to the cause, until one mention of the bullpen and then on comes the crazy. They have fell into personification of the demonic presence that seems to ruin the lives of numerous Royals fan's. Sometimes they call it "The Animal". This ultimately leads to flashbacks to Jeremy Affeldt getting speared by rabid bulldogs.
Fire will be portrayed by Miguel Cabrera
Both are large and all consuming, not known for defense, and firefighters not having to understand how a backdraft works is about as likely as 330-foot foulpole shots off of Joakim Soria are.
Rebecca De Mornay as Trey Hillman
Something about Rebecca De Mornay just creeps me the hell out. Maybe it's her eyes which are both alluring and scary as hell, like Trey's mullet. Maybe it's The Hand That Rocks the Cradle. I could see Trey Hillman foolhardily trying to breastfeed children, which seems an apt metaphor for his managing style. Just because you have nipples/relief pitchers, doesn't mean they're useful. Sorry to switch movies, but I literally can't remember her part in this movie being useful at all, except to foreshadow that Stephen is going to die and we should care about that.
J.T. Walsh as Dayton Moore
Of course, the Alderman and Dayton Moore have a certain kinship. Both have remotely no idea how to put out a fire, the fires while not directly started by them are their fault, and they both look like huge douches in the end. Firefighters dying is proof of inept firefighting in the same way RBIs are proof of the process being successful. Sure, funding and not being a ass-hat that inspires arson might save lives, and putting more men on base might result in more RBIs and success. But, you know what: fire-retardant clothing and walks are for pussies.
Who are we in this whole experience?
I guess we are Jennifer Jason Leigh's character. Sure, that may imply a level of man crushing on Billy Baldwin, but it could be worse...it could be Stephen. We are torn between our responsibilities as fans of the douche alderman's team, but we feel a keen amount of pity for the awful players who have to pretend that they take the field with a slim hope of survival.
Although, being JJL might be gayer than I thought if it requires blowing the guy from Wings and then killing him with a heel. On the plus side, our older brother is totally cool with our abortion, as long as he gets to keep his Phoebe Cates fantasy. See, pop culture has rotted my brain.
Expected grit level of Royals>Total Grit Level of Picture Below