JOHN L. PITTS: Movie talk keeps us focused

By John L. Pitts/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Every workplace has its own specialized language, and the Daily Journal sports department is no different.
To follow along with our conversations, though, it helps to have a working knowledge of several popular movies, only some of which have sports themes.
Rarely a night goes by that we do not make reference to the greatest movie ever, which is neither “Citizen Kane” nor “Gone With the Wind.”
I refer, of course, to “Road House.”
That 1989 movie, a staple of cable TV, is brimming with wisdom for the ages. Little wonder, then, that we cite it often when we’re hard at work.
When the work gets too demanding, we remind ourselves what Dalton – the movie’s hero, played by the late Patrick Swayze, might say:
“Pain don’t hurt.”
What he’s suggesting, of course, is that your attitude goes a long way in determining how you feel about a particular piece of work. Which is true.
And if we get discouraged and wonder if we should be doing something else? “There’s always barber college.”
Most importantly, in our dealings with the public, Dalton offers this piece of advice: “I want you to be nice, until it’s time not to be nice.”
The punchline – it’s the boss who’ll tell you when that time arrives.
As the boss, I like that.
Other attractions
If we don’t refer to “Road House” on a given night, it’s likely one of these others will come up:
Caddyshack: A favorite of sports writers everywhere. Any time it’s raining at an event, somebody will throw out Bill Murray’s immortal line: “I’d keep playing. I don’t think the heavy stuff’s gonna come down for quite a while.” Also, among many, many others: “Noonan!”
Hoosiers: “You need one more, coach. … My team’s on the floor.” “Don’t get caught watchin’ the paint dry.” “I’ll make it.”
The Godfather: “Today, I settled all family business.” “I want you to use all your powers, all your skills …”
Bull Durham: “Don’t think. It can only hurt the ballclub.” “Lollygaggers.”
A League of Their Own: “There’s no crying in baseball!”
Major League: “Juuust a bit outside.” “Let me get back to you … I got a guy on the other line asking about some whitewalls.”
The Natural: “Pick me out a winner, Bobby.”
John L. Pitts ( is sports editor of the Daily Journal. You could look it up.

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