News item: Our Lady of Sorrows Academy forfeited an Arizona state baseball championship game this week rather than play Mesa Prep because it had a girl on the team.
Talk about Turn Back the Clock Day.
Seriously? A high school team wouldn't play for a state championship because the opponent had a -- gasp! -- girl on the team? What is this, 1953? Or maybe 1853? Was Our Lady of Sorrow just afraid to be embarrassed by a girl, or did the school only want second baseman Paige Sultzbach to wear an appropriate alternate uniform for a girl, such as a pleated skirt (with a yardstick-wielding nun to make sure the hemline is low enough)?
No girls allowed? Good Lord. This is such a sad response that it would have seemed lame and tired 30 years ago. After all, Hollywood addressed it in the 1976 movie, "The Bad News Bears." But perhaps we need another sequel ...
The Bad News Bears in "Breaking Commandments"
[With a cigarette dangling from his mouth, Kelly Leak drives the Bears' team bus into the parking lot at Our Lady of Perpetual 16th CenturyLink Field for the Arizona state championship game. He turns and bounces an empty can of beer off Morris BUTTERMAKER's head to wake up the manager sleeping in the seat behind him. BUTTERMAKER stirs himself awake and reaches for another can of beer. He pops it open and takes a swig. He wipes his mouth and belches.]
BUTTERMAKER: Cripes, Kelly. Could you drive any slower? How long was that ride, anyway? Feels like we got on this bus 36 years ago.
[BUTTERMAKER squints out the window, but doesn't see another bus. Or any other cars. The parking lot is empty. He looks toward the field and doesn't see anyone there, either. The championship game is in half an hour, but there is no opposing team. He takes another drink and turns to his players in the back of the bus.]
BUTTERMAKER: All right, everybody. Get your gear and warm up while I go see where the other team is.
[As BUTTERMAKER steps off the bus, he is greeted by the TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR.]
DIRECTOR: Congratulations, Buttermaker! Your team is the new state champion!
BUTTERMAKER: What do you mean, state champion? We haven't played yet. Where's the other team?
DIRECTOR: Umm, they're not here. They're not coming. They forfeited. They say they won't play your team.
BUTTERMAKER: Why not? Is it because I swear and occasionally show up to practice drunk and give 11- and 12-year-old children beer?
DIRECTOR: No, though you might want to at least serve them vodka and orange juice and make it look like an energy drink. It would be less obvious.
BUTTERMAKER: Well, is it because our center fielder is clearly three to four years older than everyone else, smokes and, considering how far he hits the ball, is probably taking a performance-enhancer?
DIRECTOR: No, that's fine. We're used to PEDs. You should see the football players these days.
BUTTERMAKER: Is it because we portray our racist shortstop as cute and adorable and expect you to laugh when he calls a minority reprehensible slurs?
DIRECTOR: No, that's not it, though we don't laugh at that kind of language anymore. Didn't you see the 2005 remake with Billy Bob Thornton?
BUTTERMAKER: Well, then, what the hell is it?
DIRECTOR: The problem is your pitcher is a girl.
[BUTTERMAKER is stunned. He says nothing for a moment, staring at the TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR with his mouth open. He starts to laugh.]
BUTTERMAKER: No, really. What's the problem?
DIRECTOR: I'm being serious, Buttermaker. They won't play because you have a girl on the team and they are an extremely conservative Catholic school that doesn't believe in mixing the sexes during adolescence.
[BUTTERMAKER glances at his watch.]
BUTTERMAKER: What year is this, anyway? No, wait -- what century is this? No one had an issue with Amanda pitching when we made our first movie, and that was almost 40 years ago. I wouldn't have had a problem with it when I was a grumpy old man, either.
DIRECTOR: I know, I know. It's pretty radical. But they're a very conservative Catholic school. And they say they firmly believe in educating boys and girls separately during their adolescent years.
[Having overheard, pitcher AMANDA WURLITZER joins in the conversation.]
AMANDA: Educating? What sort of an education is that? That boys and girls are not equal? That girls are the weaker sex? That we shouldn't play sports? That we should just be cheerleaders who wear skirts and wool sweaters and decorate the boys' lockers on game days and swoon over the high school quarterback? That we should never feel the strength and power of our bodies?
Are girls not supposed to learn what we're fully capable of? To not gain the confidence that playing sports gives you? To never feel the joy of sports? That we're just supposed to be meek or earn 70 cents on the dollar to be the secretary of some skirt-chasing louse? That you get to pick and choose when you want to follow Title IX? What kind of 17th century bulls--- is that?
[The rest of the Bears join in.]
TIMMY LUPUS: Yeah, and what are the boys supposed to learn? That we don't have to compete against girls? That there will always be a glass floor separating us from female co-workers so we won't have to work as hard to succeed? That we will always have an unfair advantage just because we have a penis?
TANNER: Aw, Lupus, you're such a spaz, I don't think you even have a penis. And forget all that women's lib @#%$. I just want to play ball.
[A quickly forming crowd begins to chant.]
CROWD: Let them play! Let them play! Let them play!
BUTTERMAKER: Is there another team? Like Tanner said, we want to play. We don't want to win a championship this way. Hell, I wouldn't want to win by forfeit even if it was to that child-slapping jackass Roy Turner and his damn Yankees. Is there anyone else we can play instead?
DIRECTOR: Actually, they did arrange for a team for you to play instead. In fact, they suggest an entire league of your own to play against.
[The TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR points to another team bus that is just pulling into the parking lot. The Bears anxiously peer over to see who their opponent is. As the bus stops and the door opens, they see an entire female team slowly step off the bus, followed by a hung-over manager with a bad knee: JIMMY DUGAN of the Rockford Peaches.]
DUGAN: All right, everybody! Let's win this one! And remember, Evelyn, there's no crying in baseball!