Monday, July 27, 2009

What's mine is yours!

I’m an avid sports fan especially football, baseball and softball (women weren’t allowed to play baseball in my day). Growing up in West Texas I wasn’t much of a basketball fan until I went to graduate school at the University of Kentucky. There I had to become a basketball fan as to do otherwise was dangerous in Lexington.

I have noticed that there is a major difference between athletes who play basketball and those who play football and baseball. I wondered if perhaps the difference might be genetic but then some athletes play multiple sports so that can’t be it.

What I don’t understand is why a basketball player can be on the floor for over 30 minutes and not spit while a pitcher can’t throw a pitch, a batter can’t step into the batter’s box and a football player can’t take off his helmet without spitting. Being an ex-Medical Technologist, and having cultured numerous sputum samples, I can tell you that spit is nasty! Yet baseball players have no problem sliding head first into home plate and scraping their hands across someone else’s spit.

From the time I was in elementary school my Mom cautioned me against drinking after someone else. I’m sure every Mom in the world does this but somehow the connection with spitting doesn’t register in our brains.

Every year I write a letter to Bud Selig, the commissioner of baseball , and Roger Goodell , the commissioner of football in which I warn about the health hazards of spitting. I never get a response but I guess they are too busy handing out suspensions for growth hormones.

The comment line is now open……..


  1. Ah yes, the lovely art of spitting...I don't get it and never will. Keep trying lady, but it seems something that is just going to keep getting passed on sadly. Who knows...

  2. Hi Miss Shirley,

    I think what you are missing here are two things

    when boys are very young their fathers teach them the art of spitting. Just like little girls (when I was young) were taught to be ladies, we were taught the rules of being a man. where, when and how to spit were in these "lessons".

    in regard to sporting events: Basketball is inside, Baseball and Football are outside sports. One never spits inside a building. if you have grass/dirt under your feet, Go for it, Spit.

    I AM---

  3. And if you notice over time most of the spitting in the baseball world involves players using chewing tobacco? Which is just plain gross no matter how you look at it.

    Basketball players don't chew tobacco.

    Now as for another difference that may factor into it. Baseball players don't go to college before the pros, most basketball and football players do. How does that factor in? I don't know for sure.


  4. Spitting on a basketball court could be dangerous and no footbal player wants to have a wad of tobacco in his mouth when he takes a hit.


  5. Hi Shirley, Baseball has always been a spitting sport. Being outdoors, I guess it was easy for them to chew. Maybe some of the spitting was to improve their grip on the bat or spit in the glove to better catch the ball. Then theres always the ole "spit ball" the pitchers used! Spitting on the plate could have been a dig to the opposition who may or may not have to slide into it. Ball players have went from tobacco to in later years chewing gum (still spitting) and lastly, in the dugouts a least, sunflower seeds. Still spitting them all over the dugout floor. Not that one bit of this make it any less nasty. Keep after'em! Maybe they'll see the light and change their ways.

  6. Interesting topic to ponder. Regardless of the type of sport, or girl/boy upbringing, or indoor/outdoor, spitting in this day and age is plainly dangerous.

    Last year several football and basketball teams had severe problems with MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staphylcococcus Aureus) which i commonly transferred through skin contact as well as saliva. This bacterium has developed, over decades, into an antibiotic resistant "superbug". In short, this ain't your daddy's sports scene anymore.

    Spitting has always been a means of spreading germs but in the environment we are in, anything that reduces the incidence of debilitating illnesses, no matter how small the chances, is ok in my book.

  7. Indeed, MRSA is a major problem in sports and I always bring this up to the commissioners. Kellen Winslow is only one example. With regards to indoors vs outdoors, many of the teams now have domed arenas so I'm not sure that would fly. While there may be some dirt in the indoor arenas, most have artificial turf which to me is like spitting on carpet. And yes, we have gotten them out of the habit of chewing tobacco - that has now been replaced with sunflower seeds. I cringe every time I see Lance Berkman slide across home plate then reach in his back pocket for some sunflower seeds........