Three Strikes You’re Out: A Call for the Rebirth of American Tradition

by: Charlotte Sawyer: 

Almost three weeks ago, I went to my very first Nats game. My friend Jon: had an extra ticket, so he invited me. I was thrilled to go! I had: been wanting to go to a Nats game since I moved to DC, and this was: the last game of the season. The last baseball game I went to was back: in Florida (my old home) when I was six years old to see the Marlins: play. The Nats were playing my hometown Marlins at this game in DC: that night! The tickets were great; we sat right: behind home plate in the Diamond Club section.We got our wine and food and settled in to watch the game. After the: Pledge of Allegiance and the Star Spangled Banner, the announcer told: us to turn our attention to the Veterans sitting in the audience and: to say thank you. What a beautiful moment. The stadium roared with: applause. “This,” I thought to myself, “is what America is about. This: is the American spirit!”

The game progressed and the camera panned: from excited family to excited family. I noticed children around me: sitting with their fathers, gloves in hand. I watched each time a: ball was hit into the crowd; the kids raced towards the top of the: stadium in hopes of catching the ball. It was the cutest thing ever. I: was once again reminded of the American dream. These athletes had: trained their entire lives for this moment, the great American: tradition of athletics and discipline. I was also reminded of the American spirit. The: audience and athletes were bursting with pride and an eager desire to: win. How beautiful!

A few innings went by, and I tried to focus on the game despite the: cold wind whipping in my face, but I couldn’t help but be distracted: by the conversation behind me. I tried in vain to focus on: the game, but I found myself eavesdropping more and more. I heard: things like “Well, the Family Research Council hates gays” and a few: other choice words. I quickly shot a look back to see who was: responsible for spewing something so untrue. It was a group of about six: adults; it appeared to be a group date night. I turned my eyes to the: game. It was getting exciting! We already had a few home runs! The: adults’ conversation progressed, and I continued to sit further and: further back in my seat to hear more of their conversation.

Their conversation took an even uglier turn. One of the men began: talking about the Duggar family. The others roared with laughter as he: read their biographies from Wikipedia off of his phone. They: repeatedly mocked the Duggars dating habits, which entail: courting instead of dating. One of the men said that he read an: article that one of the Duggar daughters had a few boys interested in: courting her, but that her father, Jim Bob Duggar, had denied their
requests until a boy he deemed suitable came along.

The daughter and: the boy are now courting. They go out with their families and discuss: their favorite Bible passages. The other adults mocked this, and even: went so far as to condemn the parents and the daughter for her not: being sexually active at that age. They criticized Michelle (the: mother) and Jim Bob for having 19 children.: Just when I thought I had had enough, the man sitting next to me with: his young son, called the pitcher on the opposing team a term so vile: and grotesque that I can’t bring myself to type it, much less say it.

I was suddenly distracted by a huge play that the Nats had made in the: last few seconds of the last inning. The game was tied, and the Nats: had hit a home run! The audience erupted into applause and the players: ran to home plate to celebrate. Perhaps the most memorable part of the: game and the sweetest part of the win was that it was the Nats’: Coach’s last game before he retired. I exited the stadium with a grin: on my face, feeling like good had once again prevailed, and ecstatic: that I had finally gone to a Nats game- and that they had won!

As my cab navigated the DC streets though, I couldn’t help but begin: to feel dejected again. The conversation behind me was horrible, so: judgmental, and absolutely baseless. Furthermore, baseball has: traditionally been the all-American sport. Baseball has been around for ages, and everything: about it screams “Americana.” Walt Whitman even called it “the: American game.” Families attend these games and it’s a sweet, innocent: experience.

You don’t attend a baseball game expecting to hear such: smut from adults. Adults are supposed to set the example for: youngsters, raise the bar high, and teach them values. I started to: think, “If you can’t bring your family to a sporting event for a good,: wholesome time, then what has become of our country?” Have we really: stooped this low? Is this the new norm? Discussing peoples’ personal: lives is suddenly okay? Isn’t it the Left that continually tells the: Right to stay out of peoples’ bedrooms and let them do as they please,
oh, and to please pay for their birth control while you’re at it?: Ironic much? Interesting that the Duggars’ private life was suddenly: up for talks, and unnecessary ridicule.

While some people may think I am out of touch, that I need to immerse: myself more in our “culture,” that this “isn’t that bad,” I really beg: to differ. Wake up, America! Where are your values? I live by a: pre-school and I see the little children everyday as I come home from
work in the afternoon. I always light up when I see their sweet: smiles, so innocent and pure. They are filled with so much wonder and: curiosity, their hopes and dreams seen on their scribbled, colored: artwork hanging on the windows.

While I’m not a parent yet, I feel a: tremendous sense of duty to protect these children from the evil of: the world, even if it is at a Nats game. They still believe in: goodness, in happiness. Let’s not ruin this for them by exposing them: to vulgarities. Adults need to step up and act like adults: watch what: you say and start behaving in an exemplary manner, for there are children around you watching your move and hanging on to your: every word.

This article was originally published on: Counter Cultured’s “‘We Need Family”: column.: 

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