Singing About the ’95 Mariners

Recently Tim Hunter wrote to me. He said, “I was working the morning show at KLSY radio in Seattle back in 1995 when our program director, Bobby Irwin, was contacted by ‘the people’ representing a new singer, Sari. They were offering to go back into the recording studio and sing new words to her single they were pushing, ‘Faith.'”

Tim explained: “I hurriedly wrote some lyrics, we shot ‘em off…..she went in, recorded as promised and that gave us a song that we played to death during that playoff run. We added some clips” of Dave Niehaus game calls, “and the rest is history.” He sent along the mp3 file of the song, called Faith in the Mariners. I uploaded it to, where you can download it.

Also, I found a Seattle Times article, “Grand Salamimeister Spices Up M’s Songs Across The Radio Dial,” by Janet I-Chin Tu, from October 12 of ’95, a few days after the ALDS ended. Here’s a couple excerpts:

There’s Dave screaming about grand salamis while country singer Tim McGraw drawls his chart-topping tune “I Like It, I Love It” on KMPS 94.1 FM.

Turn the dial. There’s Dave, my, oh, my-ing through R & B singer Montel Jordan’s dance hit “This Is How We Do It” on KUBE 93 FM.

And wait. Isn’t that Dave lending his crackling explosions to Sari’s adult-contemporary ballad “Faith” on KLSY 92.5 FM?

Dave! Have you left the land of Edgar and Randy to join Madonna and Michael?

Not to worry, Mariner fans. Niehaus hasn’t abandoned the field of miracles. But these days, the voice of the Mariners’ play-by-play announcer can be heard up and down the radio dial, thanks to local stations that are writing Mariners-touting versions of hit songs, often with Niehaus’ announcements thrown into the mix.

It’s a town in collective ecstasy, and what better way to express strong emotions than through song?

Tu added this:

A few notches up the dial, KING 98.1 FM, a classical station, plays Beethoven’s “Ode To Joy” in honor of the Mariners. KBSG 97.3 FM has “Seattle Mariners Are On A Roll” to the tune of Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock n’ Roll.” STAR 101.5 FM features “We Will Cheer For You,” sung to the Rembrandts’ theme from the TV show “Friends.” KISW 99.9 FM has a slew of song parodies. There’s “Randy Johnson’s Fastball,” sung to AC/DC’s “Big Balls” and “Pennant Fever,” a version of “The Fever” by South Side Johnny and the Asbury Jukes.

Bob Rivers, writer of the Mariners-version lyrics and morning host at KISW, has penned at least 12 song parodies about the Mariners in the past six years. Highlights include “Will They Stay Or Will They Go,” sung to the Clash’s “Should I Stay Or Should I Go,” during the tenure of former owner Jeff Smulyan; “Lou Pi-niel-la” sung to the “Hallelujah” chorus from Handel’s “Messiah;” and “Bye-bye To Those Mariners Guys,” sung to Don McLean’s “American Pie,” before the recent stadium-funding vote.


Mariners President Chuck Armstrong on the Meaning of ’95

Last year Armstrong spoke to student at the University of Washington about the business of running the Mariners. You can read the full transcript here, but presented below is him talking about one connection with a ’95 fan. Armstrong said:

Here we were in November of 1995. My wife and I were out here, getting ready to go to a Husky-USC football game. This woman recognizes me. She runs up, gives me this big hug, and starts sobbing. My wife says, “Who’s this woman?”

So, she said, “The Mariners saved my father’s life.” In August of 1995, her father had suffered a major stroke, lost most of his faculties. He was going to be consigned to being, perhaps, a vegetable the rest of his life. The doctors didn’t think he would get his faculties back. So, because we play every day, they would wheel the radio or the television in, and he started to watch Mariner baseball.

And if you remember, and I’ll get to this one later, our fans coined this phrase, “Refuse to Lose.” He got into this. He says, “The Mariners are going to refuse to lose. I’m going to refuse to die.” And he says, “Besides, I want to see how this turns out.” So, here we were, a week before Thanksgiving, and he had regained most of his faculties.

He was out of the hospital. He was coming over to her house for Thanksgiving dinner, and she and he said, “That’s because of the Mariners.”

Some Data/Trivia About the ’95 Season

A few days ago I looked through the Mariners’ media guide for 1996 and came up with some pieces of information about the ’95 season I thought people might be interested in. So, here they are:

The smallest home crowd was 9,769, vs. Oakland, on June 27.

The largest home crowd was 54,573, vs. Oakland, on September 23.

The Mariner with the most RBI in a game was Mike Blowers, with 8 vs. Boston on May 24.

The team made its most errors in a game, 5, vs. Toronto on July 13.

The Mariners most runs scored in a game was 15, four different times: Tuesday, May 2, Wednesday, May 24, Saturday, August 5 and Sunday, August 6.

The Mariners’ most steals in a game was 5, on May 29 vs. New York.

The longest hitting streak was 14 games, by Edgar Martinez, from August 13-26. Edgar also had a 37-game streak of getting on base.

Edgar’s OBP peaked at .504 on August 25, and at the end of August, he was hitting .369 with an OBP of .501 and slugging percentage of .661.

He played seven games at a position besides designated hitter (third base in four games, first base in three games; and he made an error at each position).

Felix Fermin was the worst Mariner hitter, by a sizable margin: he had 39 hits in 200 at-bats, for a .195 average, and his six doubles gave him a .225 slugging percentage. He also drew six walks, for a .232 OBP: his OPS+ was 20. Fermin started 60 games at shortstop and second base: ’95 was his last full year in the majors.

The longest losing streak for a pitcher was Dave Fleming’s 6, from May 5 through June 19.

The most consecutive scoreless innings for a starter was 18, by Randy Johnson from August 16 to September 8.

The most consecutive scoreless innings for a reliever was 15 2/3rd, by Jeff Nelson from July 3 to August 1.

The Mariners were 52-30 on turf and 27-36 on grass fields in 1995.

The Mariners threw eight shutouts, six of them when Randy Johnson started the game.

The team was 33-40 in one-run and two-run games.

The best record against another team was 10-3 vs. Texas; the worst record was 5-7 vs. Boston and the Royals.

Seattle was 9-4 vs. New York (6-1 at the Kingdome). For the entire season (counting the ALDS), the Mariners were 12-6 vs. the Yankees, with six of the 12 wins coming in the team’s last at-bat.

Attendance in August was 310,114, over 13 games at the Kingdome, for an average of 23,854.

Attendance in September was 449,736, over 14 games at the Kingdome, for an average of 32,124.

The last day of especially low attendance was 12,102 for a game on Tuesday, Sept. 12, vs. the Twins.

Kingdome attendance was still only 26,524 on Wednesday, Sept. 20 vs. the Rangers, but it doubled the next day to 51,500, with the Mariners tied for the division lead and playing the Angels at the Dome.

Attendance was higher for the three Oakland games in late September, which was a weekend series, than for the two-game Angels series in the middle of the week that followed the A’s series.

The Mariners had 43 comeback wins in the regular season, 12 of them in September, and made comebacks in 8 of the last 11 wins.

The 182 homers in ’95 set a new club record.

August 2 was the only time that the Mariners were 13 games back, but they were 12.5 games back on August 16, and 11.5 games back as late as August 24.

The Mariners were 17-5 in their last 22 games.

Raul Ibanez was the team’s minor league player of the year for ’95; Bob Wolcott was the minor league pitcher of the year.

The Mariners were 25-11 after August 23; the Angels were 12-23 over the same time.

The team made up six games on the Angels in 13 days, from August 24 to September 6, despite going just 7-5.

For the season, the Mariners had eight home games that drew under 12,000; another 14 drew under 15,000.

On the other hand, nine home games drew over 40,000, and four of the last six home games drew over 50,000.

The Mariners were 27-3 in the Big Unit’s starts, and 52-63 in all other games.

Johnson (18-2) set an A.L. record for best winning percentage in a season in ’95 (minimum 20 decisions), breaking Ron Guidry’s .893 mark (25-3) for the ‘78 Yankees.

He also set a then-major league mark for Ks per 9 innings with a ratio of 12.35, breaking Nolan Ryan’s 11.48 mark in 1987 with Houston.

Johnson equaled a career-high in pitches with his 160-pitch complete game at Cleveland on July 7.

He had 14 games in which he allowed one run or no runs.

Nineteen different times Johnson threw over 120 pitches in a game, including each of his last five starts.

Johnson was 7-0 with a 1.45 ERA for his final 10 starts.

Joey Cora was the lead-off hitter in 43 games.

Norm Charlton was the A.L. pitcher of the month for September.

Charlton became the closer in late August; he had a .89 ERA in his last 19 games.

Charlton had his first save in two years on August 3 of ’95.

The Mariners’ team ERA in June was 5.44; the team went 11-17 that month.

Blowers had three grand slams in 15 days in August; Buhner had two grand slams that month too.

Here are some more items, this time from the 1995 post-season media guide:
Buhner set a new MLB record for the highest single-season RBI to hits ratio, at 121 to 123: 40 of the 123 hits were homers.

Randy Johnson missed three starts in August and early September, and was second on the M’s in starts, with 30: Bosio made 31 starts.

Griffey was playing in late ’95 with seven screws and a metal plate in his wrist.

Edgar was 18 for 46 against the Yankees in the ’95 regular season, with 7 homers and 20 RBI in 13 games.

Jeff Nelson spent seven full years in the minors before joining the M’s in 1992.

The M’s hit 10 grand slams in ’95, and had 8 shutouts. Their home attendance, 1,640,992, was lower than their road attendance, 1,777,159. They only lost 1 game to the Yankees at the Kingdome all year.

Johnson’s 294 strikeouts were more than triple the second-best M’s pitcher, Bosio, who had 96 Ks.

The M’s had 43 come-from-behind wins in ’95, 12 of them in September, and 8 of their last 11 wins were comeback jobs. They had 16 wins in their last at-bat, two of them from Chad Kreuter singles.

The M’s David Arias (now known as David Ortiz, or Big Papi) led all Mariners rookie league players with a .332 average, 37 RBIs in 48 games, and an OBP of .403. He played mostly at first, and stole two bases.

Other notable M’s minor-leaguers in 1995 who didn’t play for the Seattle club included Derek Lowe, Jose Cruz, Jr., Shawn Buhner, Jay’s brother, Raul Ibanez, Craig Griffey, Ken’s brother, Jason Varitek, and Don Wakamatsu.

Finally, a list of some players you probably don’t remember being on the 1995 team: Chad Kreuter, Gary Thurman, Greg Pirkl, Arquimedez Pozo, Warren Newson, Marc Newfield, Bill Risley, Bob Wells, Darren Bragg, Rafael Carmona, Tim Harikkala, Jim Mecir, Jim Converse, Dave Fleming, Steve Frey, John Cummings, Tim Davis, Kevin King.

Some Slogans and a Poem from ’95

Here are a few fan slogans from 1995, followed by a poem about the season and an article about the “Refuse to Lose” slogan, and Chuck Armstrong talking about the legal issues around the slogan.

At the start of the season, the signboard for the Greenlake Ale House read “Boycott M’s Opening Night”

Six months later, fans came up with some slogans for game 3 of the ALDS:

25 Yanks Can’t Beat Our Johnson
Yank This!
Welcome Back to Civilization
Here We Let Our Pitchers Do The Throwing
Hey George, We Have Fans, Not Animals in the Stands
LEYRITZ: 0-0, 4 Hit By Pitches
Begin to Win
Ken Griffey, Jr.: Mr. October The Next Generation

For game 4 of the ALDS, the fans chanted, about Donnie Mattingly: Don-nie Strike-out! Don-nie Strike-out!

Some slogans for game 5 of the ALDS:

Bring on Cleveland
This is What It’s All About Man
Saint Edgar
We’ll Take The Yankees To The Cleaners With Our 24 Hour Martinizing
Griffey: That’s Our Boy
It’s Too Late For You NY
Today’s Menu: Yankee Noodles
Start Spreading the News – Yankees Lose
Let’s SnoCone
Yanks Choose to Lose
Keep the Magic Alive
Edgar: Grand Slam Superman
Yanks are Sweepless in Seattle

For games 1 and 2 of the ALCS:

Senior Octubre
Planet Edgar
In the big inning, Edgar creates
Just Lou it
We adora Cora
No stadium=No Edgar
Corkless in Seattle
Saint Edgar’s cathedral
Better pray, Indians, you’re in St. Edgar’s Cathedral
America the Buhnerful

Here’s a poem printed in the Seattle Times just after the season ended, called “Hail, Mariners”:

Hail, Mariners, craftsmen of summer, now autumn warriors,
You beckoned us from darkness and ashes,
Out of the death of baseball and its forged return,
To the summer light of our ritual, national myth.

Hail, Mariners, when your leader fell, his wrist broken,
Our doom was complete, our epic undone.
Yet the undoing was your becoming, and you beckoned further.

Hail, Mariners, and that raucous, joyous September night,
When Texas fell, and with our tears and cheers
Your banner was marched into first place,
For the first time in autumn.

Hail, Mariners, warriors, champions,
From the fulcrum of the plate your bats blistered,
From the rampart of the mound your mighty arms hurled.
Now, the battle is done, and the shadows are long,
But when the season returns
We will raise the glorious banner,
Western Division Champions 1995

John Littel, Seattle

And finally, here, from October 14, 1995, is a Seattle Times article by Eric Pryne on the Refuse to Lose mantra, headlined ” ‘Refuse To Lose’ Catchy Battle Cry But Not Exactly An Original One”:

Refuse to lose.
Simple, catchy, tripping off the tongue as the perfect sports slogan should. Why didn’t someone think of this before?

Someone did.

The Mariners’ playoff motto isn’t an original. “You mean the motto the Mariners borrowed,” says Bill Strickland, sports-information director at the University of Massachusetts.

“Refuse to lose” has been the battle cry of UMass’ nationally ranked basketball teams for several years, he said: Coach John Calipari “blurted it out at a post-game press conference a couple years ago, and everyone just picked up on it.”

It also was a motto for Eatonville High School’s 1992 state Class A football champions. “I remember us using it,” said George Fairhart, then an assistant, now head coach, “but I don’t know where we got it. I just thought it was a common phrase.”

All this was news yesterday to Mark Schupisser, the Redmond entrepreneur who claims a proprietary interest.

Schupisser says he and his girlfriend painted and hung the “Refuse to Lose” banner that first appeared over center field in the Kingdome Sept. 24. His company, Never Quit Sportsgear, was the first – at least locally – to market T-shirts with the slogan.

Schupisser said he has filed papers to register “Refuse to Lose” as a company trademark. He said he has tried – unsuccessfully – to get other manufacturers to stop using the phrase.

Never Quit produced the first “Refuse to Lose” T-shirt last February, before the Mariners’ dream season even started. “It came from watching a ball game,” Schupisser said of the motto’s origin. “I heard something, and it just popped.”

A UMass basketball game? Schupisser said he doesn’t remember.

Strickland, the UMass spokesman, said he thinks Coach Calipari already has the rights to “Refuse to Lose” for a clothing line with which he’s affiliated.

Schupisser seemed unaffected by the news. “We’ll just have to negotiate with them,” he said.

In his talk at the University of Washington Law School in 2009, Mariners president Chuck Armstrong added some new details about “Refuse to Lose.” He said:

We thought, “Hey! Maybe we can do something with this.” So, being the good lawyer I am, I said, “Research ‘Refuse to Lose’!”

I didn’t know you could copyright, trademark this stuff. So, we found some guy in South Carolina had actually copyrighted “Refuse to Lose.” We contacted him and bought a license for $25,000. Boom! We started to put it on shirts and banners, and made a lot of money on it.

So, here we are in the playoffs, and I’m called to the front desk. A process server serves me that the Mariners are being sued, Major League Baseball is being sued, and I’m being sued, by John Calipari.

At the time, he was a coach at the University of Massachusetts, and he’s now been named the head coach at the state school in the state where I grew up, at the University of Kentucky.

Apparently, between the time when we got a license from this guy in South Carolina, Calipari went down there and actually bought it from this guy. The guy didn’t tell him that he’d already licensed us.

So, Calipari’s suing us for half a million dollars for violating “Refuse to Lose.” So, I said, “We’re not paying this guy a damn farthing. Nothing for him.” It goes on, goes on, goes on.
To make a long story short, the Mariners paid him nothing. I paid him nothing. Major League Baseball ended up paying him $6000. So, when Calipari left UMass to become coach of the Nets, he lost a lot.

So I sent him a note, John, what about “refuse to lose”? I didn’t get anything back from him.

“Baseball’s Greatest Series”: The Book on the 1995 ALDS

A few days ago I learned about this book, called Baseball’s Greatest Series: Yankees, Mariners, and the 1995 Matchup That Changed History. The author, Chris Donnelly, then sent me the text, and having read it, I can say that the book is the most comprehensive retrospective analysis of the ’95 ALDS that I’ve seen. Donnelly has written a biography of the two teams from the ’80s up through 1995. In Seattle’s case he begins with the Pilots and then discusses the Mariners’ various travails before focusing on Lou Piniella’s job of transforming the franchise; in New York’s case he focuses on George Steinbrenner and the Yankees’ revolving cast of managers during the ’80s and early ’90s.

Donnelly then describes the course of the Mariners and Yankees’ regular seasons in ’95, but this is all a prelude to the main event: a highly detailed account of the five games of the ALDS. Donnelly describes each game at an inning by inning level, interspersing short profiles of players on the two teams–not just the superstars, but also players like Tim Belcher, Sterling Hitchcock, and Joey Cora. For key at-bats,  Donnelly zooms in even closer to describe individual pitches and the mentality of the pitcher and hitter during the at-bat. You can read some more about the book and buy it here. Meanwhile, here’s an excerpt describing Edgar Martinez’s grand slam in game 4:

Wetteland, working cautiously, threw two straight breaking balls to Martinez, both outside. It was impossible to pitch to Martinez, regardless of the situation, but Wetteland wanted to keep the ball outside, hoping Martinez would end up hitting the ball hard somewhere for an out and keep the damage to a minimum. Wetteland’s breaking ball was not working and he could not afford to walk Martinez. Down 2-0 in the count, he delivered a fastball straight down the middle. Martinez swung under the pitch, sending a high pop down the first base line in foul territory and the Yankees almost caught a break. Randy Velarde made a mad dash for the ball, nearly tripping over the visiting team bullpen mounds in the process.

Stretching as far as he could, he stabbed at the ball, but it dropped just out of his reach in foul territory. Had Velarde caught it, Vince Coleman would most likely have scored from third base giving the Mariners the lead, but considering how the Mariners’ bullpen had pitched in the series, a one run lead would not have assured victory. Instead of an out, Martinez was presented with a second chance.

Wetteland fired two more fastballs and Martinez fouled off each of them. The tension and anticipation inside the Kingdom on each pitch was utterly nerve racking. The count now 2-2, Wetteland got the sign from Mike Stanley, brought his hands to his belt, checked the runners, and delivered a fastball straight down the middle. “I wanted to get just one good slider over to Edgar (but) I had to come in with it (a fastball). When you do that you have to live with the consequences,” said Wetteland. Martinez, following through with a lightening fast swing, sent the ball screaming to straight away center field. It was hit so hard that fans didn’t have enough time to contemplate whether it may or may not go over the fence. The ball quickly sailed over the center field wall just to the right of the 405 foot mark and crashed into the batter’s eye tarp for a grand slam. Mariners’ announcer Dave Niehaus, sounding like he might blow a vocal chord, could barely contemplate what he was seeing. “Get out the rye bread and the mustard…a graaaaand salaaami,” the overly excited broadcaster screamed into his microphone. “I don’t believe it, my oh my!” In the Mariners’ dugout, Lou Piniella high fived Lee Elia with both hands.

The crowd reaction surpassed anything that had ever taken place inside the Kingdome to that point. It was ear-shattering, painful, and unreal. A mix of elation and pure pandemonium.

Martinez, mild mannered and rarely one to wear emotions on his sleeve, raised his right arm in triumph after seeing the ball clear the fence. The emotional display was certainly justified. Martinez had just hit the biggest home run in the history of the Mariners’ franchise. “I was only trying to make contact,” said Martinez. “I was surprised it went out. I was so excited. As a kid you always dream of hitting a home run like that, and here it is in the playoffs.” His team, once down 5-0 and looking at the end of their season, was now leading 10-6. Just two hours ago they had been thinking about spring training in 1996. Now they were starting to think about Game 5 the next night.

John Wetteland stood dejected on the mound. Things had collapsed so rapidly it was hard to contemplate what had just happened. “It was just a poor, ugly, non-inning,” said Wetteland after the game. “I started off bad and things caved in on me from there. The walk, the ball off Griffey’s foot…it was just ugly all around.” Seconds after Martinez’s shot had crashed behind the centerfield wall, Buck Showalter was already making his way towards the mound. Chaos ensued all around him as “Shout” blasted from the loud speakers and 57,000 people sang along. Just a minute after giving up the home run, Wetteland sat on the bench in stunned silence.

Jay Buhner, Mike Blowers, and Dave Valle on the ’95 Mariners

On the afternoon of January 30, during the first day of the Mariners FanFest for 2010, Buhner, Blowers, and Valle participated in a discussion and question and answer session with Dave Sims and the Mariner fans. A fan asked about their best moments as a player. I took out my pen to record their answers as best as I could because I knew what was probably coming. Here’s what I jotted down as they talked.

Buhner said: “1995, it’s the season that saved baseball in the Northwest. The greatest thing was the different spirit of the team as we made the run. It was contagious. We couldn’t be surprised at winning; we found all the ways to win. And Anaheim was continuing to lose; they were finding all the ways to lose. The Kingdome was the funnest place to go. The camaraderie: we’d all go into the stadium at 1, everyone eating lunch, hanging around afternoons before the games. We were a family. I’ve never experienced anything like that in my life. It was like a first love.”

Blowers: “Going off what Jay said, yeah, that ’95 season was the funnest. Watching Junior fly around 3rd base; in the Kingdome the dugout was at field level, so we could see it clearly, and just roared out onto the field when he slid into home. Any of the personal accomplishments I had; they don’t top that moment.”

Valle: “I’d spent 14 years with the Mariners, but in ’95, it was the first season I was with the Rangers. And we came into town [in mid-September] and got swept 3 games in that series in Seattle. In the visitor’s clubhouse that series, we heard the screams of fans coming down the ramps, banging on concrete. They were so excited. I never heard that as a Mariner. That excitement, unabashed love.”

Buhner: “All that you see here now is because of that ’95 team. I’ll always be in contact with those guys. It was pretty special, no doubt about that.”

David Cone on the Doug Strange Walk and Randy Johnson in Game Five

David Cone’s performance in game five of the ’95 ALDS gets some extended discussion in A Pitcher’s Story, the 2001 book he collaborated on with Roger Angell. In the book, Angell describes the Mariners’ run as “a populist triumph that kept the Seattle franchise in town” as well as “a huge boost for the new and widely disparaged extra tier of playoff games . . .  and a television godsend for baseball itself at the end of two unhappy, strike-shortened seasons.”

Cone reflects on his split-finger fastball to Doug Strange for ball four, a bases-loaded walk that let in the tying run in the eighth inning of game 5.  He says: “It took me forever to get over that. I couldn’t sleep. I almost didn’t go out of my house for a couple of weeks after. I’d thrown a hundred and forty-six pitches in the game up to that point, and I had nothing left, but I was still sure that was the right call. I just didn’t execute. Maybe I’m stubborn, but I have this conviction that I should be able to deliver any pitch in any situation.

“I’ll never forget that flight home. My catcher, Mike Stanley, kept telling me it was his fault for calling the pitch, but I wouldn’t let him get away with it. Buck Showalter, the manager, must have known that he was finished with the Yankees after the loss, and Donnie Mattingly is somewhere else in the plane, going home for good and knowing that he’s never going to play in a World Series. I’d let them all down.”

A little bit later in A Pitcher’s Story, Cone talks about Randy Johnson’s performance in the ALDS, specifically Randy coming in to relieve in game 5. Cone:  “I can’t say enough good things about the man who can perform like that when the price is so high.”

Cone adds: “This was the game I’d come out of, after that base on balls. I’m in the dugout, thinking how I’d let the team down, but when Randy Johnson comes in I stopped being an opponent. What Randy did-that disregard for long-term effects-is what real players do. I was proud of him. He had back trouble the next year and had to go on the D.L., and there may be a connection, but you don’t think of that at the time. What we knew, watching him, was that he’d already beat us on a four-hitter and here he is back again after only one day of rest, ready to pitch some more, because he was their best. I was in awe, watching.

“Here’s a man about to become a free agent who could name his own price anywhere, and he pitches on like that, regardless of the risk to his career. This came on the heels of a bitter strike, when the players had been hammered in public opinion. I think America began to change its mind about players right there. Sitting in the dugout, I applauded him as a fan.”

As for Cone’s 147 pitches in game 5, he says: “I’d have thrown two hundred and forty-seven to win that game.”