After a little debate, and a quick Twitter poll, I decided to watch “Bull Durham” with my 12-year-old son last night.
It was a good call.
The film in 31 years old, and it holds up perfectly. Emmett loved the visit-to-the-mound scene; the idea of a pitcher wearing women’s underwear; the banter between Crash and Nuke. He seemed legitimately charmed by the idea of life as a minor league ballplayer. The long bus rides. The fast food lunches. I heard him giggle when Timothy Robbins’ character was trying to sing Otis Redding’s “Try a Little Tenderness” and mangling the words.
Were there some scenes, as a father, I wish I could have skipped? Yes. The movie sorta opens with Nuke having sex in the clubhouse. Later on there’s a somewhat graphic sex scene in the bathtub. The one moment I was warned of is the game when Crash is tossed for calling the umpire a cocksucker. This didn’t bother me—first, because I curse quite a bit, and second, because my son is a big hip-hop fan and we’ve had about 500 discussions on vulgarity, and the proper usage of such. In fact, I took time to explain to Emmett that “cocksucker” used to be the biggest no-no in baseball; how you could refer to an ump as 1,000 different things—but never “cocksucker.” I don’t think Emmett understood why this was such a no-no. Truth be told, neither do I.
Anyhow, I’m not saying “Bull Durham” is right for every 12-year old or every parent of a 12-year-old. It’ll make you squirm a couple of times. It’ll also make you ask yourself whether this makes sense.
But, well, fuck it.
Life’s a cocksucker.