A daily accumulation of history and present as I follow the 2011 year through the baseball season and reflect on the glories and disappointments of the greatest game on Earth.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Derek Jeter

Back in the day, I never got Will Ferrell. He was the moron who did Saturday Night Live skits like the cheerleaders and the lovers, and I just found him to be horribly annoying. I saw Old School when it first came out and I didn't like it at all, but in hindsight, I was just on a really bad Match Dot Com date, and I have since watched it again and again, and I really liked it, but that was a gap in time, and I'm getting ahead of myself. Before that and somewhere in being made to watch Anchorman twice, I found some of it amusing, but by the end, I was bored again, and I refused to watch him for the longest time.
Then, I met my wife and she made me watch Elf, which may be the greatest Christmas movie ever. Christmas is finally here when I get to watch Buddy the Elf make his way to New York City to find his dad and have snowball fights and Christmas decorating extravaganzas and shower room singing with Zooey Deschanel (and who doesn't want that?).
Megamind, which was the best animation movie of 2010 - easily - featured the existential dilemma of being an arch villain to Brad Pitt's Metroman, who ended up not being able to be a villain because his dastardly plans to kill him finally succeeded. Somehow, he fell in love with Tina Fey's Roxanne Ritchie who fell back in love with him and got loved by the world after he defeated Jonah Hill (is that guy everywhere, or is it me?). As a lover of animated and PIXAR movies, I have to say I was rolling on the floor more than the bevy of nieces and nephews that we took to the movies that day.
And there are good movies and there are animated voices and there are bit parts and there are movies that are phoned in, and perhaps nowhere is that more noticeable than in The Other Guys, which also stars Mark Wahlberg, a great actor who also phones in the movie - save the part with Derek Jeter. If you don't want the part given away, read no further, but to see the cameo of Wahlberg as a former superstar cop being groomed for homicide who now rides a desk because he shot Jeter in a dark hallway before Game 7 of the World Series is perhaps the funniest scene imaginable. Afterward, the running gag of Wahlberg having shot Jeter and how that plays out is more than enough to make the movie worth your while, but it just isn't something worth owning.
That being said, once again, Derek Jeter, the hated Yankee that he is, plays his personality and star perfectly and does nothing wrong ("he's a bi-racial angel") unlike his arch nemesis on his right side of the infield ("it should have been A-Rod") stands as the potential of all things that a sports star can be - especially in New York.
After reading how Roger Maris was treated during his playing career and the majority of his life until George Steinbrenner of all people made every sincere gesture of respect and resuscitation to pull Maris out of the obscure doghouse of the past to bring him to Yankee Stadium and Monument Park, where he belonged is quite a powerful image. Jeter was handled perfectly and he handled himself perfectly.
For as much as I hate the Yankees (and I do), I find it harder and harder to hate Jeter - especially after he took that shot to the face catching the foul ball that beat the Red Sox in a meaningless all or nothing mid summer "classic." Sure, I'll hate on him in the playoffs, but I have had him on my fantasy team. Is that me going soft? Is it something only marriage could do? Marrying my wife still wouldn't have me wear a Yankees hat or shirt. Hell, I'd rather fall down a flight of stairs than ever go through that horrible scenario, but alas... I digress.
Somewhere in the image of Jeter rolling on the tunnel floor and calling Mark Wahlberg a dick, there is a hilarious moment that represents this generation of baseball perfectly. Who would have thought that all it would take to make it happen was a Will Ferrell movie?

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