The Last of Bites of Summer

Before I pulled up the tomatoes I picked as many green tomatoes as I could deal with and lined them up on the windowsill. We’ve had them in our salads this whole time. They don’t taste the greatest but we still like them.

I can’t remember how it came up but I mentioned something about the original The Bad New Bears movie that came out in 1976. Bob spotted it in the TV guide (is it still called that?) set it to tape for the DVR.

It would be difficult to overstate how obsessed I was with this movie. I was the perfect age – right around the same age as those kids. I had a crush on all the boys. I had a girl crush on Tatum O’Neal — that outfit when she goes to the arcade — brilliant. Back in the early days of cable there would be 5 movies on over and over for a month. I watched it a million times when it was on. I had the tie-in novel, too.

It’s hard to know what to say watching it in 2020. My deep inner 13 year old self still loved it. But my adult self was horrified but also laughing my face off. Where were the parents of these kids? Letting them go off and hang out with Walter Matthau, piled into the back of his convertible, cleaning swimming pools, serving him cocktails before he got back behind the wheel to drive them to the ball park. The coach falling down drunk is played for laughs. The entire movie is a phone call to child welfare services.

My favorite moment when I laughed the hardest was at the end when the coach passed out beers to all the players. Inappropriate bits aside, still a classic. Isn’t it the template for all the kid sports movies that came after?

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One Response to The Last of Bites of Summer

  1. Darren Freire says:

    You have never seen a Christmas Story and I have never seen The Bad News Bears. Tatum was nice but I was more of a Jodie Foster guy, loved that breathy tone…

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