Posts Tagged ‘sportsball
[Click above to embiggen: the miraculous thing that got me to admit that there is something kind of awesome about sportsball after all. And — Great Merciful Zeus! — this is actually a bad picture of Kris Bryant! Move over and get out of town, Zac Ephron. You are nothing to me now!]
For those of you who don’t know, Chicago is right at this very moment flush with excitement over the Cubs doing well in their sportsball-playing this year. There are “W” signs all over town, which when I first moved here I thought were left out by people who were either celebrating and/or protesting George W. Bush.
But it has nothing to do with our former president. It’s actually a Cubs thing…with the “W” standing for “Win.” I think. People here go nuts whenever the Cubs win at sportsball real good. The “W” is how they let you know they approve of this sportsball winning on a large public scale. And if you don’t like that, you can just suck it, Chicago-style.
Generally speaking, I know as much about sportsball as the average straight man knows about Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Maybe less. Growing up in the ruins of inner city Cleveland, I never played much sportsball as a kid because there weren’t a lot of other kids around to play with. If I had grown up on the halcyon fields of suburbia, maybe I would have turned out differently. I would have still ended up gay because I believe that was baked-into my DNA…but I could have turned out as a gay who was wild about sportsball. I’ve only recently discovered that such jock-strapped unicorns do indeed exist (and are actually quite plentiful in Chicago). Who knew?
For some perspective, the blight and urban decay that accompanies one-party Democrat rule over major US cities had completely engulfed Cleveland in the 1970s…and what I call “The Nothing” inched closer to our street every year throughout my childhood and teen years in the 1980s and 1990s, with families moving away and homes and businesses being abandoned. Those of us that didn’t flee the city for the suburbs got to watch it rot from the inside out, which is something that happened to every city that elects only Democrats to most public offices in town. Detroit. Pittsburgh. Gary, Indiana. Your own town (if you keep voting for Democrats).
My parents loved sportsball — especially the Indians — and every now and again they would have the optimistic idea (or sad delusion) that dragging me to a sportsball game would either be a good idea or be “good for me,” or both. This, in retrospect, would be like your taking your gay bestie from work to Hooters for his birthday and hoping he’d see something he liked (other than the boneless Thai chili or peach habernero wings on the menu). Bless your heart. Your poor, sad, delusional, but well-intentioned heart.
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[Click above to embiggen: a bar taped a ollin Kaepernick jersey to the floor so people could wipe their feet on it. Personally, I think they should have superglued it to the inside of a urinal. That’s where it belongs.]
There’s an article over at HotAir today about how the NFL’s ratings are in the toilet…but people still love their sportsball, so many people are still watching the games. I just don’t get that. It makes no sense.
After what Colin Kaepernick and other players have been doing lately to disrespect America, I have a hard time understanding why anyone at all is still tuning in to the NFL on the tee-vee when there are better things to watch. If you truly just love sportsball (or you just like seeing hunky guys in tight pants chasing after each other, grabbing each other, and rolling around on the ground together), there are alternatives for you…starting with watching college games in your area instead (or just standing around Boystown on a Friday night, where you can see all the grabbing and manhandling you want, for free).
I’ve never understood the love for sportsball (which is a term that I lump all the pro-sports teams into; they are, collectively, just sportsball to me…in the way that I bet straight people can’t tell vintage Chanel or Oleg Cassini apart if your lives depended on it). Every now and again, I try to get myself interested in hockey…because sometimes I am in a social situation with straight guys and they start talking about one sportsball team or another. In those moments, I just hijack the conversation and start talking about the Lake Erie Monsters or other obscure hockey teams that may or may not be real. Or I talk about the Kurt Russell movie Miracle, about the USA vs. USSR big hockey game that happened long ago. After that awkwardness (since not many people follow hockey and/or Kurt Russell…or Croatian water polo games…or whatever other niche “sportsball” team I can expound upon), the conversation nudges along to something we can all talk about together…instead of just going on about the Bears, the Cubs, the Sox, the Bulls, or whatever those guys would have talked about otherwise. (I just wrote a book with Megan Fox all about sex crimes happening in public libraries and SLAPP lawsuits to silence whistleblowers, so that’s a good conversation-killing topic too!)
This summer, I tried watching the Olympics to see how much amateur sportsball I could take in an exotic cesspool such as Brazil. Outside of men’s gymnastics and anything involving Speedos, I couldn’t last five minutes staring at the screen and listening to the former athletes and talking heads going on about what was happening in front of them. There were some gorgeous specimens of the male form on display at the Olympics for sure. That gorgeous idiot Ryan Lochte sure didn’t fail to delight and entertain with his antics. The elegance of the gymnastic routines and the stamina of those hunks was a work of art. The diving was fun too, especially with adorable little Tom Daley prancing around. It was all a lot of Hot Damn! and Great Merciful Zeus! and Check him out! exclamations, which was fun for exactly a day and a half. I am gay as rainbows and while I loved seeing those scantily-clad guys in the muscular prime of their lives expertly executing all of their various moves while wearing as little as legally possible, watching the Olympics was like going to the Art Institute for me: I appreciated the beauty and I marveled at the talent…but at a certain point my brain had had enough and I didn’t care to see any more.
Straight people (and lesbians) love sportsball though, and scream and yell at the tee-vee and get all worked up over it. I’ll never understand why, but I accept that they love it. Sportsball is just something they love that my brain can’t understand. In places like Chicago, the NFL is the most important kind of sportsball of all, with very well-fed and large people dressing up in their favorite team’s colors and eating all kinds of gooey, spicy, and sweet snacks while drinking beer and screaming and yelling together on Sundays or Monday nights. So, sportsball is a social thing for straight people (and lesbians). The NFL means something to them that I will never understand, and I get that.
For years and years I tried to think of what my equivalent would be — something that I loved watching and that I felt was sacred to me, a thing that could never be taken away — and I couldn’t come up with anything. There are shows I love to watch (mostly mysteries like Elementary or spooky shows with hunky guys, like Supernatural) but when they aren’t on I find other things to do and I can give them up if I need to for some reason. I used to love the show Scandal (because gorgeous and sassy black women are almost as fun to watch as hunky guys), until an episode last year where the main character Olivia had an abortion and they played Christmas music while they showed her on the table, murdering the helpless little baby she had conceived (with the President of the United States on the show, no less). That was it for me and Scandal. Never again for me and Scandal.
Which was a shame, because I deliberately overlooked all the asinine things about social justice that actress Kerry Washington (who plays Olivia on the show) had said over the years. Washington is a big Obama kool-aid kid and it’s her right to be that if she wants. I’m able to separate what an actress says and does off the screen from how I feel about the show she’s on, no matter what stupid thing she says in interviews. I know not everyone chooses to do that, but I make the choice to keep liking a show even if an actress spouts nonsense I firmly disagree with. Olivia was just too fun of a character that I loved too much…right up until she had that abortion and the show presented it like the act was a marvelous and fun thing to do. Something that every woman should do. It made me sick.
I can love something and believe that I couldn’t live without it…right up until the point where something makes me mad and I realize how easy it actually would be to live without it.
I haven’t bought any Coca-Cola products for a few years now, not since Coke ran a disgusting commercial during the Super Bowl in 2014 or 2015, where they had people sing “America the Beautiful” in Arabic and Spanish, like that was a good thing. That was it for me and Coca-Cola. Never again for me and Coke.
I am someone who believes that if you move to this country then you need to assimilate and start speaking English so that we can be one people, with one language, living and working together as Americans. This push to Balkanize the US into various tribes, with each tribe gibbering in a different foreign language, disgusts me. I share Teddy Roosevelt’s view that there should be no hyphenated-Americans…just Americans. Coca-Cola is a company I will never patronize for the rest of my life because I don’t want to give them a single penny ever again. Let people who speak Arabic and Spanish buy their sugar water. I never bought Pepsi in all my life until Coke ran that terrible ad, but Pepsi products are the only sodas I’ll buy now. And that’s held firm for however long it’s been since that Super Bowl. God bless America!
I wish that more people would turn off the NFL and find an alternative. If you love sportsball, there’s sportsball all around you…where no one is disrespecting our anthem. I never had the honor or privilege of serving in uniform, but my heroes in life are the men and women in the military, especially the United States Marines. On the too-rare occasions that I’ve actually met a Marine in person, I’ve been awestruck. They are true heroes, not pro athletes. One of the single greatest evenings of my life was a few years ago when I got to have dinner with two Marines in Washington, DC when I was in town for an event and few things have ever been able to top that honor. If you disrespect our anthem or our flag or the other things that symbolize our country, to me you are disrespecting those honest to goodness superheroes who wear our military uniforms. I don’t understand how anyone could watch an NFL game (and, thus, put money in the NFL’s pockets via those tee-vee ad sales) when the NFL is allowing our anthem and our country (and by extension our service men and women) to be so disrespected.
If you really love America, I think you should stop watching NFL games. It’s a free country and you can do what you want, but if you love America then help teach the NFL a lesson it really needs to learn.
Here in Chicago, if you love going to a football game, there are about 7 different colleges always having games. There are plenty of hot guys in tight pants for you to watch run around and grab each other. (Northwestern’s games are the best, in my opinion, because the purple and white uniforms are the cutest). If you don’t want to admit that you just love watching men run around in tight pants and you want to pretend that you think football is just strategically fascinating, that’s okay. I am not trying to yank you out of the closet. You can claim you watch football because you are just interested in the plays and you aren’t staring at anyone’s butt. I will never judge you, because we are friends like that.
If you really just are into the strategy (yah, right) and love the game itself, there are tons of high school teams in your area you could support (without ogling!). That’s much better than giving money to the NFL: pick a school and become a team booster. Buy stuff from their concession stand. Cheer the team on. Attend their pancake breakfasts and spaghetti dinners or whatever. Write checks to the booster club. Wave your pennant while wearing your raccoon fur coat, or whatever goes on in the stands at sportsball games. I went to exactly one football game while in high school, and it was only because it was a big homecoming game in some important anniversary year and they needed as many people as possible to wear uniforms and pretend to be in the marching band for some big dance number they wanted to do…so I got roped into doing it, pretending I could play the drum or whatever instrument they had me hold as an extra. I’ve never been to a Bears game here in Chicago because it’s so cold in that stadium and the tickets are more than a week’s groceries, so too rich for my blood. But there is football all around, everywhere, if you really love football so much. You don’t need to be watching the NFL just to see your beloved football.
One of the truly frustrating (and, in this moment, ironic) things about Republicans is that they are like Charlie Brown with his bedeviling football…and they don’t walk away when Lucy yanks the ball out from under them or does something else malicious. Democrats aren’t like that at all: the first time Lucy yanks the ball, Democrats will find a way to take the ball away from her so it never happens again. Lucy would be punished for yanking the ball and would never yank anything again after Democrats taught her a crippling lesson. Growing up a Democrat, I’m still wired like that…where if something awful happens, I don’t just keep setting myself up for the awful thing to happen again. I put a stop to the awful thing and make sure it never happens to me again.
Republicans never seem to learn. If they want to advance at all in the Culture Wars, they need to start punishing entities like the NFL (or Coca-Cola) that disrespect America. That sometimes means giving up something you love or finding an alternative for it. For me, Diet Pepsi and Pepsi Max ended up being just the same if not better than my old Diet Coke and Coke Zero. I don’t even miss Coca-Cola products anymore. I don’t miss the show Scandal either. Life is full of alternatives. I enjoy the fact that neither Coca-Cola nor ABC got any additional revenue out of me after what they put on the tee-vee horrified me in their respective cases.
If you are a rabid NFL fan, all I’m saying is that hockey players have great butts too. And they don’t just stand around and then run for a little bit, but they glide all over the place in exciting ways. They punch each other right in the face too and get all bloody sometimes and are given time-outs when they are bad. It’s so much better than football. Hockey is a great alternative if you want something to watch. It feels like it’s always on, too, because they are always playing hockey somewhere.
Why not give that a try for a while and let the NFL go bankrupt as punishment for allowing the likes of Colin Kaepernick to become the face of your precious football?
Colin Kaepernick is Lucy, just effing with you. The NFL allows this. Why take it?