How have you celebrated Major League Baseball's opening week, Daddy-O? I prepared for the season in the usual fashion—screaming at willfully ignorant L.A. Times sports columnists, and watching MLB Network's surprisingly enjoyable "Bleacher Feature" movie series, especially its rebroadcasts of that '70s latchkey classic, The Bad News Bears.
If you haven't seen The Bad News Bears, you really should (baseball fandom is not a pre-requisite). Short of that, enjoy the trailer below, which is currently being discussed with occasional alarm over at Reddit, under the subject-header:
"Jews, spics, niggers, and now a girl?" Actual line delivered by an 11 year-old in the 1976 Paramount trailer for "The Bad News Bears"
Ah, you're interested now, aren't you?
Before dismissing the discomfort at this as just another sign that kids nowadays are P.C. softies, it's worth remembering that, as I wrote in 2005 after viewing the neutered re-make starring Billy Bob Thornton, it could just be that America has moved on to a mostly better place:
We now live in a country where big moments on the professional baseball diamond are no longer automatically accompanied by thousands of half-drunk fans flooding the field to tackle the victors; where power black-outs are no longer guaranteed riots; where inflation is tamed, presidents aren't morose, and Little League is no longer the favorite dumping ground for latch-key parents.
Movies are reflections of their times, and one of the few perks of encroaching middle age is that we get to enjoy the shocked reactions when younger generations encounter the anachronistic rancidness of our childhood faves. Also, I can exclusively report that The Bad News Bears still totally holds up, though as the trailer hints at above, it is on the slow side compared to modern editing practices.
Hat tip to my former co-Little League team coach, Tony Pierce.