Apparently marinara is named after mariners. Something about being able to keep on long sea voyages. At least according to my southern Italian cookbook.
From A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius:
After graduating he tried Chicago first, but was tired of constantly running into people from Champaign. They were all there, the whole school — so few make it out of the state. To most, Chicago was Oz, anything beyond it was China, the moon.