I’m not the biggest movie fan. I don’t go to see all the new flicks and I’m out of touch with movie quotes if they’re from the year 2000 or later. But that doesn’t mean I don’t love the movies. And what’s great about them is that everyone has those films that no matter when they’re on, no matter what part of the movie you come in on and no matter what else you might have been watching…you’ll stop to watch that flick. You’ll wait for the GREAT scene, the awesome quote or the climatic event. I’m sure you have some favorites. I have them as well. Godfather II, Die Hard, A Few Good Men, Julius Caesar and The Hunt for Red October are just a few. One of my favorites is The Dirty Dozen (we’ll refer to it as DD from now on). It’s an older film set during WWII and some of you younger readers may not have seen it. But it’s is truly one of the coolest war time movies ever. It’s a comedy, drama, historical piece and buddy film. DD also has some of the coolest actors of its time. Lee Marvin, Charles Bronson, Ernest Borgnine and Telly Savalas. It even stars former Cleveland Brown’s running back and model citizen Jim Brown (although he doesn’t wear that silly little hat in the movie like he does in real life). The movie is about 12 soldiers who are in military jail for life. But a deal is made with them by a Major (played by Lee Marvin). If they all agree to help in a mission to defeat the Nazis, they’ll be given reduced sentences or even a pardon. They all, eventually, work together and destroy a major German facility.
But there’s one scene at the end where Jim Brown is throwing grenades into storm drains and trying to run to safety. Right when he’s about to be free and clear, he’s shot in the back and killed by one of the Nazi soldiers. DAMN! Every time I watch DD and see that scene, I think, THIS will be the one time where Jim Brown makes it. Where he lives and gets to go home. But it never happens. It’s always the same ending. I think y’all know where I’m going with this.
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve felt the same way when I watch a Braves game. Atlanta has a lead, bases loaded with no outs, O’Ventabrel about to pitch, McCann at the plate or a grounder out to the mound. Any of these scenarios earlier in the season would give Braves fans something to be happy and cheer about. But now we all wait for the other shoe to drop. We dread seeing the Braves #6 hitter come up with runners in scoring position. We wring our hands as Venters comes in to pitch in the 8th inning to a dirty Nazi…um…I mean…Shane Victorino or anyone on the Washington Nationals. It’s not fun to watch and we all end up getting shot in the proverbial back. And when the Braves magic number has been the same for about 12 days, it doesn’t give any Atlanta fan too much hope for the playoffs or World Series.
BUT!!! There’s another movie to consider as well. There was once a young man who didn’t know his parents. He possessed great power, but didn’t know it. He was befriended by a “crazy old man” who lived out in the desert. The man taught him the ways of his power and how to use it. They took off on an adventure to help save a rebel leader and destroy a symbol of pure evil. That’s RIGHT! Star Wars, Episode IV (I think Empire Strikes Back is the best, but New Hope was the first and my parents took me to see it at a drive in, so I have fond memories of it).
Luke Skywalker uses his new powers to save Lea, escape Jose Reyes (I mean Darth Vader) and blow up the Death Star. He closes his eyes and destroys the Death Star with one shot; just like at home with his T-16 shooting womp rats. So Braves fans…hold on to HOPE! We just need one player to be our Han Solo, when he shoots Vader’s Tie Fighter and clears the way for Luke’s one single shot. One guy to clear the way for that play to win it all. One timely hit, pitch, out or HR. So as Han Solo might say:
You’re all clear kid! Now let’s blow this thing and go home! I hope the Braves take that single shot and hit the bull’s-eye. Because if not, instead of celebrating with all the Rebel Alliance…we’ll be hanging with Jim Brown. And nobody wants that.
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