Friday, January 30, 2015

Going the Distance

In my final viewing of The Bad News Bears, I noticed that one of the most predominant themes in this movie is perseverance. I noticed this last class, however it became more prevalent towards the end of the film. The Bad News Bears had lived up to their name initially - as many classmates said, they had sucked as a team. Many of them didn't improve as time went on, but the addition of Amanda and Kelly gave the Bears some hope. Buttermaker's progressive increase in passion throughout the film also helped the team substantially.

With each baseball game, the pressure kept rising, and in the blink of an eye, it was time for the championship! Throughout this game, the level of competition kept getting steeper. There were several moments when I thought to myself, "it's just a game". The two coaches were nearly at each others' throats, and both teams took part in petty tactics in order to increase their chances of winning, such as one of the Bears getting hit on purpose by the pitcher. The adults and the kids from both teams were extremely determined to succeed, and towards the end, the Yankees had narrowly defeated the Bears, 7 to 6. The Yankees tried to act like they were kind and friendly, and gave the Bears a tiny second place trophy while they proudly displayed their gargantuan cup. One of the Bears ended up throwing it on the ground at the Yankees, and then the team proceeded to throw a party. Now you may ask, why would the team celebrate if they didn't even win? Shouldn't the Yankees be the ones celebrating?

The reason why the Bears celebrated brings us back to the bigger picture: how far the team has come since it formed. They went from being a chaotic, hostile mess to a force to be reckoned with. Afterall, the Yankees had only one by a single point. In this case, it's not necessarily about winning, instead, it's about "going the distance". From this point, I can make a comparison to several of the movies we watched earlier in the year, especially Rocky. Rocky Balboa didn't defeat Apollo Creed in the end, much like how the Bears didn't defeat the Yankees. However, Rocky went from a small-town wrestling "bum" to a national star. He definitely "went the distance." That in itself is a significant accomplishment, instead of focusing on winning. He still gave it his all and put up a good fight.

I can also draw a connection between The Bad News Bears and my Peer Leadership class, which I happened to have during the next period today. A Yale student came in to talk to us about acceptance. Previously, she had visited to talk about mindfulness and meditation, both of which coincide with acceptance. Today she taught us the importance of acceptance in life, because it can help to deal with stress and failures. The main concept is that if you fail, or something doesn't go as planned, the worst thing you can do is let it stop you from succeeding. It's important to overcome these hurdles, and make the best out of them. No one's life is perfect, and there is never a time when absolutely all of your desires are fulfilled. Therefore, you shouldn't focus on your losses all the time, because they will eat you alive.

The Bears clearly accepted the fact that they won second place in the end of the film. They could have walked away and sulked, and Buttermaker could've scolded them about why they should have performed better. But guess what? They didn't. It was over and done with, time to move on. No use crying about it. And even better, why not celebrate the progress they've made? So much for bad news.

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