Stop the Presses! Controversy Ahoy!
Go right ahead, I don't mind.
This column will make your blood boil, your liver quiver, and your hair turn white overnight. You will be outraged, perturbed, upset, freaked out. You will send outraged emails to E$PN, you will call your local affiliates and demand the immediate cancellation of ABC shows. Go for it. I don't care.
A man's gotta speak truth to power when the occasion calls for it. If we learned nothing else from the upheavals of the civil rights movement, we have learned that. So old Skip B. is drawing his Maginot Line in the sand. (Don't know what I'm talking about there? You probably went to public school. Look it up, punk.)
Here is the statement that is going to get me fired for its utter controversiality and envelope-pushing-ness: Baseball is a better game than soccer.
I know, all you crunchy types out there with your tofu shampoo and your hemp underwear and your snot-nosed rugrats running around the rectangular environs of local elementary schools will be up in arms about this. It's not exactly the "fashionable" opinion anymore, not in our modern "soccer mom" age, where secular liberals run the show and good ol' boys have to hide our pride under a bushel basket. But ol' Skip calls 'em as he sees 'em, the same way he always did, the same way he always will. If that means he needs to go looking for a new job -- well, he's been fired before, it'll happen again.
This is occasioned by the weekend's activities. My sister has been pestering me to come to little Jeremi's "Summer Silly Soccer" games for about three billion years, so I finally decided to shut everyone up by actually showing up. Now, I had never seen a soccer game before, except sometimes when me and some of my buddies used to go "break them up" down at the municipal park back in the days, if you know what I mean.
Well, as long as I'm letting it all hang out, let me say that I was just disgusted by what I saw. Kids in big flappy shirts running around poking ineffectually with their toes at a weird-looking ball; parents yelling encouragement from the sanctity of those little chair thingies you buy at Target; coaches who greet kids running off the field with hugs and little syrupy phrases...oh, it was enough to make my heart jump out of my chest, sprout legs, and run around the sidelines until the last geyser of arterial blood had been ejected onto my already-spoiling corpse.
Give me good old Little League baseball any day! There, there are no encouraging hugs, only manly hand- and chest-bumps after good plays, and cold stares of contempt when a kid screws up the suicide squeeze. (If you want to know why America is so soft, look no further than coaches who "hug it out," bitches.
There, parents do not get to set up "Cushy Tushys" -- it's the bleachers or nothing, take it or leave it, the American Way at work. And none of this rotating parent snack jazz either: like the song says, it's peanuts and Cracker Jack, or hot dogs and cold frosty beers, or maybe a graveyard snocone. Oh, sorry, that might offend the dead...better call it a "rainbow coalition artificially-flavored ice treat."
And there, kids can use their hands. I've never seen anything more sickening in my life than a lot of good normal kids artificially handicapping themselves by not being able to reach out and grab that danged ball and run like the dickens to daylight. In Little League, kids use their hands all the time, and it's good for them! Throwing! Catching! Hitting! All noble American pursuits. In "Stupid Saturday Summer Soccerball Secular Scenario" or whatever the heck it's called, they get a penalty for even accidentally touching the ball. Whatever weirdo European/Latin/African/Asian/etc. plot this "soccer" is, it's clearly in the same league as appeasement of terrorists and fluoride in the drinking water. Not letting a kid touch a ball with his hands...can you imagine if we put the same restriction on John Kruk?
Neither can I.
The idea that millions of kids in this formerly great nation are spending their leisure time running around doing "throw-ins" and "corner kicks" is literally making me heave up my Wheaties. In fact, I'm so nauseated that I don't really mind that you've already dashed off about 50 whiny letters to E$PN demanding my removal, "for the good of the children."
You know what would be good for the children? How about a little something called playing baseball or football or basketball instead of soccer? And accepting Jesus Christ as your personal savior while you're at it, you hippies.
Well, it'll never happen. I know I've stepped over the line. They'll be coming for me any second now. Believe me, I'm well fortified here at the compound. And I know what to do when the black helicopters land.
Shoot for the face.
Skip Bayless is a syndicated columnist who is a regular contributor to E$PN2's morning show, the huge ratings success "Cold Pizza." He is also the author of several books about the Dallas Cowboys, barbecue restaurants, and gladiator movies.