Paul Daugherty of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports some sad news in the world of Little League:
The Knothole Club of Greater Cincinnati has decided to eliminate "chatter." Unless the chatter is "positive" and directed at your own team. You can't say "We want a pitcher, not an underwear stitcher!" unless, maybe, you grew up in a culture that idolizes underwear stitchers. Standings for the Feelgood Division of the Self Esteem League will be available any time now.
What's next? Are we going to stop keeping score? No more post-game trips to Dairy Queen because the snack now has to be healthy? No more referring to your teammates by endearing ethnic slurs? No more dugout scuttlebutt about how the second baseman's mom is a total MILF? For the love of God Knotholers, let the boys be boys.
"We didn't want Knothole to get a bad name for anything," Knothole president Dave Epplen explained. "If you're saying, 'Swing, batter,' and this poor little kid is swinging at everything, he feels bad and maybe he turns to the catcher and gets mad. Honest to gosh, I didn't have any trouble doing this."
Honest to gosh Mr. Epplen, I think you were that poor little kid swinging at everything. Just because you couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with a fly-swatter, don't take away the last vestiges of adolescent hazing we have in this country. If we don't create a clear demarcation for when adulthood begins, we could have people playing dodgeball, kickball and eating at breakfast cereal restaurants well into their 30s. Oh wait . . . -KD
(Much respect to SPORTSbyBROOKS.)