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"The Curse of the Grebes"

The Curse of the Grebes

The Curse of the Grebes - title card

Season/Series: 10
Number in season: 6A
Original Airdate: Flag of the United States May 22, 2006[1]
Flag of the United Kingdom November 9, 2006[2]
Credits
Written by: Stephanie Simpson
Storyboard by: Elie Klimos
Jeremy O'Neill
Episodes
Previous
"Flaw and Order"
Next
"Arthur Changes Gears"
Read transcript
"The Curse of the Grebes" is the first half of the sixth episode in the tenth season of Arthur.

Summary

Can the addition of three new players help the Elwood City Grebes win their first baseball championship since 1918? Or is the team cursed?

Plot

In the introduction Arthur talks about Sisyphus who was cursed by the gods to push a boulder up a hill, only to have it roll back down at the last moment. Arthur argues that in the days of baseball Sisyphus would be an Elwood City Grebes fan, since they always blow their chances of winning the world championship at the last moment.

The Curse of the Grebes

Buster is excited about the Grebes being in the World Series, but Arthur reminds him that they have not won a World Series since 1918 and they are up against the 25 times champions Crown City Kings.

Brain believes the Grebes are going to win based on statistics, especially because of the three star players Playmon, Winlin and Batería.

Francine believes the Grebes are going to win as long as she wears a particular fan hat to ward off “the Curse of the Kid”. The curse started in 1918 when a boy retrieved the ball after the winning out-of-the-park homerun, only to have it taken away by the Grebes' owner Horace P. Crane. The boy cursed the ball and the Grebes went on the worst losing streak in the history of the league. Buster claims the curse was lifted after a descendant of Crane put the ball on the boy's grave. Brain is skeptical.

Buster watches the game with Harry Mills. The Grebes lose after a normally poor batter hits a homerun for the Kings.

Muffy shows Francine a TV commercial in which she and her dad pose as Grebe fans. When Francine confronts her with the Crosswires being Kings fans, Muffy claims that it is more fun to be on the winning side. Francine replies that it takes character to stick with the underdogs.

The Grebes are leading three games to one, but when Buster and Harry watch the fifth game, the Grebes lose again.

Francine suggests that Buster is bringing the Grebes bad luck. Buster has a fantasy in which he makes the Grebes lose the last game and everybody hates him for it.

Buster decides not to go to the game, but then he meets Playmon, Winlin and Batería in the supermarket. They tell him that the only curse is not having the support of fans like Buster. Winlin quotes a poem (“Hope is the thing with feathers...”).

At the big game Playmon has two strikes, when Buster is seen on the big screen in the stadium shouting “Hope is the thing with feathers”. Playmon hits a homerun and the Grebes are world champions.

Many years later an old Buster tells his grandchildren the ball sprouted wings after the game and flew into space.

Characters

Main

Minor

Cameo

Trivia

  • When Muffy changed her Grebes' hat to a Kings' hat, the Grebes started winning, and every time Muffy was at a game, the Grebes lost.

Cultural references

  • Sisyphus was an evil but clever king from Greek mythology. Since he cheated even death, Zeus instead punished him by making him roll a boulder up a mountain for eternity.
  • The episode's title is a reference to the "Curse of the Bambino" which lasted 86 years, from 1918 to 2004. The Elwood City Grebes are a reference to the Boston Red Sox and the Crown City Kings are a reference to the New York Yankees. According to this episode the "Curse of the Kid" lasted 87 years starting in 1918, which means the episode must be set in 2005.
  • Another famous baseball curse is the "Curse of the Billy Goat" (Chicago Cubs, 1945-2016). "Kid", as in "Curse of the Kid", is both English for "bambino" and the term for a young goat.
  • The three star players look like and are voiced by real major league players: Johnny Damon (as Playmon), Mike Timlin (as Winlin), and Édgar Rentería (as Batería). At the time, all three played for the Boston Red Sox.
  • In Buster's fantasy, Brain refers to the observer effect, which states that most forms of measurement have some effect on the thing being measured. In quantum mechanics, which applies to extremely small things, the effect can be significant. The observer effect is sometimes wrongly used to claim that you can affect reality by observing it, like Buster thinks he is doing.
  • In the grocery store Winlin recited the first stanza of Emily Dickinson's poem, "Hope is the Thing with Feathers," of which Buster later chants out the first line during the Grebes' game.
  • Ebos Schachter's ground ball error in Game 6 is a play on the 1986 World Series when the Red Sox were playing the Mets. In the 10th inning, a ground ball went right to Bill Buckner, and went through his legs which lost the game for the Red Sox.

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