Lisa Fabrizio
Horsehide hangover
By Lisa Fabrizio
May 27, 2009

When you're out of the country as I was for the past two weeks, no matter how wonderful your destination or how glorious the sites you visit there, some homesickness tends to creep in. In my case, although daily blessed to be treading the sacred ground in the Holy Land, I found myself pining for American sports news.

Now, when I was overseas in October of last year, I was appalled but unsurprised by the European coverage of our stock market crash, as reported by the global liberals at CNN International and the BBC. The countless stories on the failure of capitalism and tales of galloping greed that filled the TV screen in my Roman hotel room made me nostalgic for the domestic versions of same, where at least I'd have some World Series news to soften the blows. After all, in America, sports are our escape from an often ugly reality.

So it was that even on pilgrimage in Jerusalem, I found myself scanning the Israeli newspapers for baseball scores in the evenings, when the distant sound of gunfire was sometimes heard. I figured that news of the New York Yankees would be the cure for the tensions that envelope that holy place; except that I forgot that sometimes when we are away from home we tend to over-sentimentalize whatever it is we miss, often creating a rosier picture than is actually the case.

And so on returning home where I happily found that my beloved Yanks had embarked on a winning streak, it didn't take long for reality to hit me between the eyes like a screaming line drive: the American sports scene is immersed in the worst aspects of our culture. Still, I settled in to watch the Yankees play the defending champion Philadelphia Phillies on the Fox game of the week. So happy was I to be back in the embrace of our national pastime, I foolishly neglected to employ my trusty mute button and was thus confronted by a long promo for an atrocity called "The Hangover."

As I wrote last year, I have given up wondering when sports — which used to be a way to encourage young men away from more dissolute pursuits — has now embraced all that is debased in our modern culture; the objectification of women as sex toys, vulgar language, egotism, and violence. All of this was on display during "The Hangover" promo and another one for a flick aptly titled, "Drag Me to Hell;" both of which would have never appeared in prime time a few short years ago, but now invade our homes on a Saturday afternoon.

Sadly, the trash emitted from Hollywood has now found its way onto the playing field; so much so that I sometimes feel that baseball itself has become some kind of perverted cross-promotion. There is so much violence and egomania in sports today, that you get the idea that it's not enough to simply defeat one's opponent; you must humiliate and 'own' him. In watching nearly all of Michael Phelps' Olympic victories, I don't recall any expressions of elation or happiness, just a series of violent shouts and angry gesticulations.

It's hard to pinpoint exactly when the joy and sportsmanship went out of sport, but a good starting place would be with Muhammad Ali and his worshippers in the American press, who viewed his ascension as kind of a payback to his supposed white oppressors. But it is no longer restricted to race. Although he has the best example of how a great and gracious ballplayer should act in Mariano Rivera, it seems that Yankee pitcher Joba Chamberlain cannot record three outs without furious displays of fist-pumping arrogance, simply for doing his job. Similarly, the chest-thumping antics and 'look-at-me' poses adopted by homerun hitters are great examples of humility and team-play for the kiddies, no?

Yet all of this is tied to noxiously saccharine promotions — MLB produces PSAs to teach kids the value of perseverance and teamwork — that purport to further the message that our sports telecasts are aimed at and produced for 'the children'; a horrible and chilling thought. And this is only baseball, the more genteel American game; the goings-on in the NFL and the NBA are even worse.

With all that's going on in our country today, it may seem like a desire for the return to purity in baseball is a trivial thing, but those familiar with the relationship between the game and our national ethos know better. MLB can do more to clean up the game than pointless drug-screening, and they certainly control the process of awarding broadcast rights to the networks. Let's do our kids a favor and keep the filth, violence and egotism where they belong: in Hollywood.

© Lisa Fabrizio


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

Click to enlarge

Lisa Fabrizio

Lisa Fabrizio is a freelance columnist from Stamford, Connecticut. You may write her at


Receive future articles by Lisa Fabrizio: Click here

More by this author


Stephen Stone
HAPPY EASTER: A message to all who love our country and want to help save it

Stephen Stone
The most egregious lies Evan McMullin and the media have told about Sen. Mike Lee

Siena Hoefling
Protect the Children: Update with VIDEO

Stephen Stone
FLASHBACK to 2020: Dems' fake claim that Trump and Utah congressional hopeful Burgess Owens want 'renewed nuclear testing' blows up when examined

Jerry Newcombe
A politically-incorrect prayer

Victor Sharpe
Who truly deserves a state? The Kurds or the Palestinians?

Pete Riehm
Father's Day: When men sing!

Cherie Zaslawsky
RFK Jr.: The silver-tongued spoiler

Randy Engel
A documentary: Opus Dei and the Knights of Columbus – The anatomy of a takeover bid, Part VIII

Linda Goudsmit
CHAPTER 22: What Is Social Justice?

Stephen Stone
A Song for Independence Day: ‘Have You Been To My Hometown?’

Rev. Mark H. Creech
From ancient idols to modern misconceptions: The call to worship only God

Michael Bresciani
Pride Month – Are we proud of the decimation, disfigurement, and death of children?

Tom DeWeese
The second great Colorado land grab

Matt C. Abbott
Dealing with the Dobbs backlash

Ronald R. Cherry
Book Review: Left Imperialism – From Cardinal Richelieu to Klaus Schwab, by Gary Gindler
  More columns


Click for full cartoon
More cartoons


Matt C. Abbott
Chris Adamo
Russ J. Alan
Bonnie Alba
Chuck Baldwin
Kevin J. Banet
J. Matt Barber
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
. . .
[See more]

Sister sites