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Wednesday, Apr. 16, 2014

Something to 'chew' on

Saturday, October 22, 2011

It's a disgusting habit. It smells, stains your teeth, and causes cancer. It's unsightly and sets a bad example. That's why senators have begged Major League Baseball and teams to stop the use of chewing and dip tobacco during games. For the last two years, senators have sent memos to both teams playing in the World Series pleading for no tobacco on the field or in the dugout. It hasn't worked.

It's impossible not to see the people behind this movement's point. Tobacco companies get millions of dollars of free advertising during baseball's most watched event every single year. And they don't pay a dime for ads, not that they're allowed to.

When a star player is shown on TV with a big dip in his lower lip, it can influence a young fan. Believe me, I know. The deadly, addictive product is already on its way to hooking another unsuspecting customer. Target them young, the motto of the sleazy tobacco companies. Let's get it off our TV.

It's a great thought. But when I first heard that baseball was considering ridding the game of tobacco I thought, "Sure, right after they get rid of hats."

I don't mean to be flip about something that is killing thousands of people every year. However, it's every single tobacco user's personal choice to engage in dipping. It just so happens Major League Baseball players are some of Skoal's best customers.

Tobacco and baseball have gone hand-in-hand since Doubleday was designing the playing field in the mid-1800's. It's every kind of tobacco; Lou Gehrig and Joe DiMaggio used to smoke cigarettes in the dugout. Smoking I can see getting rid of, others are effected by its users. But dipping isn't effecting anyone but the person putting the Copenhagen in their mouth.

Getting rid of smokeless tobacco at the Major League level is a futile effort. Telling a grown man, some who are making eight figures, not to use dip is barking up the wrong tree. Despite kid's looking up to players doing it, this culture cannot be changed. Like Charles Barkley said, "I am not a role model." It's not a baseball players fault if someone tries smokeless tobacco to try to be like them. That's as outrageous as banning it all together.

There are certain precautions baseball has been taking. Chew and dip are banned at the college and minor league level. That's about all they can do. In a fantasy world, no one would be on TV showcasing chewing tobacco to a nation. In a fantasy world, no one would be using it at all. But in reality, it is a part of Major League Baseball. A big part. And it's not going anywhere any time soon.


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This is just getting dumb! They have been chewing for how many years and now we have these health freaks and people that think they are watching out for the best interest of the children. Well I got news worth reporting!!! Parents stand up and teach your own children that this is a bad habit and teach them that they can think for them self.

Try teaching them that if they are going to look up to a sports players that they too also are not perfect and that they do not need to do every little thing they do. Wow that was hard!!! Let's quit worring about these so called unhealthy acts!! Let's start going after them on things that matter like using steriods and other drugs!

I think that if they want to go after this. Then why do they sell adult beverages at these games while children are around.Hmmm and then these so called responsible parents are driving these kids home. Get where I am going with this!?

Also if we are going after athletes for this, than lets go after all high ranking officials (president, congress, judges, police, firemen, ect.) who also children look up too on what they do on their spare time. I am sure they chew, smoke, drink, and even some extra activities!

-- Posted by acerdj on Sat, Oct 22, 2011, at 10:03 PM

I agree. It's not the athletes' job to be role models. It's their job to play their games and make money for the team owners. It's the team owners' job to entertain-they pick players that will win because winning is entertaining.

It's the people who are looking up to whomever who decide who their role models are. Legislating toward this goal is not only foolish, but doesn't work. Parents can have a say who their kids watch or look up to, to some extent. After that, it's just sheltering them, or they're old enough to make their own choices.

-- Posted by jlees on Sun, Oct 23, 2011, at 7:19 PM


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Zach Jevne
Real Sports Talk
Zach joined the Daily Reporter staff as sports editor in March 2011. He is originally from Decorah, Iowa. He played baseball at University of Northern Iowa and studied multimedia journalism at Simpson College.