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The Sporting Life

January 12, 2022

You'll Poke Your Eye Out!

The next time your kids complain about having to wear eye protection during sports, show them this:

More than 40,000 people a year suffer eye injuries while playing sports, according to Prevent Blindness America.

For all age groups, sports-related eye injuries occur most frequently in baseball, basketball and racquet sports.

The good news: Almost all of these eye injuries can be prevented by taking the following steps:

    ° Wear proper safety goggles (lensed polycarbonate protectors) for racquet sports or basketball.

    ° Use batting helmets with polycarbonate face shields for youth baseball.

    ° Use helmets and face shields approved by the U.S. Amateur Hockey Association when playing hockey.

    ° Know that regular glasses don't provide enough protection.

Of course, if the entire team wears the proper equipment, that goes a long way toward making protective gear cool. So talk with your child's coaches about this important safety issue.

October 02, 2021

Not Happy With Fox Sports' Violent Promos? Tell 'Em!

Wow. I've been getting lots of e-mails from readers of this blog who didn't want to comment publicly, but who are fed up with Fox Sports running promos for their violent shows during college football games. (See yesterday's post — and check out the excellent comment from dad "JeD" about the experience he and his wife have had with this.)

So I thought I'd make it easy for you to contact Fox Sports directly:

Website address:

Snail-mail address:
P.O. BOX 900
BEVERLY HILLS, CA 90213-0900

Well, they don't make it easy to just call and talk with a real person. The phone number listed on the website, (310) 369-7761, only offers recorded information. If you have a number to reach a real person at Fox Sports, please let me know!

Here's the e-mail I just sent to them through the website address. I'll report back here when I get a reply:


I am really tired of trying to watch a college football game — something parents should be able to do with their kids — and being subjected to violence-filled promos for FOX TV shows. I do not allow my child to watch those shows, and that is my responsibility. It would seem that your responsibility would be to watch the amount of promo-related violence you subject families to during football games. Please.

This past weekend took the cake, however. Who decided it was a good idea to show one of your sports announcers spray painting the screen, tagging style, as part of a promo? Since when is glorifying gang activity a good idea?

I'll look forward to your reply.

October 01, 2021

Fox Sports: Not Exactly a Parent's Best Friend

I couldn't believe it. But on second thought, maybe I shouldn't have been surprised. I was watching the UCLA vs Oregon State game on Saturday with my husband and son, and Fox was doing its usual promotion of its violent shows during the commercials.

Nothing new there. Randy and I have been irritated for years over the fact that it's impossible to watch a sporting event on Fox without being subjected to commercials that are totally inappropriate — and even nightmare-inducing — for young kids.

When Matthew was younger, we'd rush to switch channels during commercials. Now that we have TiVo, we rush to fast forward through them. Matt is 11 now, and probably won't get nightmares from the commercials. But still, why fill his head (and mine!) with this junk?

Saturday, however, took the cake. As if the ads weren't bad enough, Fox chose to do a promo showing one of its sports announcers spray painting the TV screen, tagging style. Nice. With all those impressionable kids watching the football game? Great example to set, Fox.

With much of what this network does, we can just say no. But families should be able to enjoy a football game on TV without Fox showing inappropriate ads — or promoting gang activity by making tagging look glamorous.


August 26, 2021

They're Winners at Heart, Too

Wow. Twelve-year-old Dalton Carriker just hit a home run in the bottom of the eighth inning to give Warner Robins, Georgia a 3-2 win over Tokyo in the championship game of the Little League World Series.

In a game like this, it's easy to say there are no losers. It's tough to get to this level, and all the players are top-notch. Yet one team has to come out on top. As a mom, it was hard to see the tears streaming down the faces of the boys from the Tokyo team. They're just a year older than my own son, and they had just played their hearts out.

Then something wonderful happened.


Continue reading "They're Winners at Heart, Too" »

August 16, 2021

Thanks a Lot, Barry

The following essay ran as an op-ed piece in the Los Angeles Times on August 8, the day after Barry Bonds broke Hank Aaron's home-run record.

Our dog, Charlie, has a middle name: "Bonds." Bestowed upon him by my son, Matthew, when Matt was in third grade, it is fitting. After all, Charlie sleeps in Matt's room, with walls adorned by a San Francisco Giants pennant and a Barry Bonds pennant, not to mention a Rich Aurilia bobble-head doll.

You might say Matt is a fan. While we live in Southern California, he and I inherited the Giants. I did it by marrying Randy, who grew up in the Bay area, going to Giants games at Candlestick Park. Matt became a Giants fan by blood. Who doesn't want to root for the team his Dad loves?

Continue reading "Thanks a Lot, Barry" »

August 14, 2021

Paintball? No Thanks

Well, I stuck my foot in it this time. As if parenting doesn't automatically present enough challenges on its own, I managed to create one this week.

On Sunday, we took Matthew and a friend to see an independent-league baseball game. Big fun. A beautiful afternoon. Hot dogs. Lots of silly games, like musical chairs, on the field between innings. Good family stuff.

We've been going to these baseball games for a couple of years now, and I started to wonder, "How do they pick the kids to participate in the silly games?" So I asked a staff person about it and before I knew it, Matt and his friend were signed up to play "Dizzy Bat" on the field between the 8th and 9th innings.

Continue reading "Paintball? No Thanks" »

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