Tuesday, May 12, 2009

With All Due Respect To Jackie Earle Haley

When I originally saw The Bad News Bears, Kelly Leak was the coolest thing ever. He had the glasses, the girls and the bike. His "fuck-you" attitude was the perfect compliment to the stick that was up Coach Roy Turner's ass. On top of that, the kid could swing a mean bat.

But that was then. Now I'm a parent. And a coach. And if a little bastard like that took to the field with his motorcycle, dozens of parents would have to hold me back from putting my size 12 up his ass. My, how times have changed.


Greg said...

Boy, I could make a long list of all the movies I see differently now that I'm older. My kids watched The Breakfast Club a few years ago and all I could think about the characters was, "Shut up you whiney little brats! You think you got it hard, try understanding all the crap your parents go through to keep you fed, clothed and housed. And believe you me, they've made sacrifices for you that you will never understand until you have kids. So once more with feeling, SHUT UP!"

Also, the principal and the janitor are about a thousand times more interesting as characters. But there's one last thing that troubled me when I saw it. I thought, "I'd never write a movie like this as an adult. What's wrong with John Hughes? Why did these characters interest him? Wow, I don't ever want to get stuck in a conversation with him. Ever."

Tommy Salami said...

I still love the original Bad News Bears, and it's funny, nowadays it would probably be NC17 like Bad Santa.

You were right about Leak, he grew up to be a pedophile in Little Children and then a crazy vigilante with a goofy splotched panty hose on his head.

PIPER said...


You make good points about Breakfast Club. When you're that young, most of the stuff you worry about is bullshit.

I remember in college working at a video store with a buddy. We got really busy and he just bolted to the back room and started smoking because he was so stressed out. About renting movies. Good Lord.

But to me, that's the pleasure of youth. That you don't know about the sacrifices. And that you can be a spoiled little shit. Don't get me wrong, it makes me crazy how laissez-fair my son is with some things. But then again, I envy that at times.

And to your point, I often think about the conversation between the principal and the janitor about times changing and not changing with them. It's a pretty good scene and there's a lot of honesty in it.


Don't get me wrong. I love The Bad News Bears. It's a great movie and yes, I do believe it would get a different rating today (especially since Jackie smokes as a teen).

This post occurred to me last night as I was watching my son practice baseball, and there was a kid riding his motorcycle around the fence of the field. And I thought "that little sumbitch better stay the F out of the field or I'm coming after him."

Greg said...

Pat it's true, kids (especially teens) don't understand sacrifice - AT ALL! I don't know if you've got teens yet but I do and Lordy, there is simply something indescribably self-centered, shallow and selfish about a teenager. And I'm saying this from the point of view of a parent with kids who do well in school and are to the outside world perfectly normal and nice kids. But dealing with them as a parent is a whole different thing.

I can't give enough examples to satisfy me (I have thousands) but if you have kids in their teens you'll understand. There is a sense of entitlement they have that they should be completely ashamed of - but they're not. It's mind-boggling.

PIPER said...


My boy is 11 and my daughter is 5, so I have yet to experience the fun that is the teenage years. My brother has a 16 year old daughter, and I've heard the stories.

Like an on-coming storm that will last for almost a decade, I'm planning and scheming and stockpiling. Hoping for the best, but expecting the worst.

Fox said...

Sorry to interrupt "DAD TALK", but I wanted to say something on Haley and his motor bike...

What's been overlooked here is how JLH totally messes up the third base line. It takes some time to chalk those lines, you know. They need to be straight. And this little punk just squirts by and shreds them.

PIPER said...

So what? So you actually want to talk about the post?

What the hell Fox?

I'm with you. Setting those chalk lines is no easy task. And Kelly goes and tears through that shit like nothing.

Fox, go cut me a switch. I'm going to take after that boy.

Rick Olson said...

My kids are 22 and 27 and all I can say is that your worst fears are true, Pat: somehow, they turn into copies of YOU only with less experience to temper the idiocy.

And if you must, Fox: "Bad News Bears" would've been great without Jackie Earle Haley. And the baseball.

PIPER said...


If they are a model of me, they'll be fine. I was a goody-two-shoes as a kid. I did stupid stuff, but on a small scale. And whenever I tempted the really big stuff, something so terribly awful would happen that it would scare me back into submission.

My fear is that they will model after my wife, who is fearless. Fearless in her ability to take nothing at face value and to question everything. It's a good trait to have later on in life, but could get them into a whole lotta trouble in the teen years.

And are you saying that the Bad New Bears would still be good without baseball?

Rick Olson said...

And are you saying that the Bad New Bears would still be good without baseball? ...

Something like that.

PIPER said...


That seems bold.