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A post-Super Bowl read on the homo-tension of football

I couldn’t give a rat’s *ss about football, but this Arizona State U student’s editorial, “When another man makes a pass,” was spot on. (ASU Web Devil):

Yesterday, tens of millions of Americans watched muscular men in spandex tights tackle each other. Announcers lauded various players for their abilities to “penetrate the gap,” “hit the hole hard” or “plug the slot.”

The players congratulated one another via firm pats on the lycra-clad hindquarters of their teammates. Putting the pink icing on this homoerotic cake, each play begins with the quarterback and the offensive center locked in a stand-and-deliver position reminiscent of jailhouse proctology.

Somehow, this annual spectacle of man-to-man physical contact consistently flies under the gaydar of self-appointed culture guardians such as the Rev. Jerry Falwell and James Dobson’s fine boys over at Focus on the Family. Even Gary Bauer’s Family Research Council (an intrepid defender of “family, faith and freedom”) managed to overlook this one.

Maybe they were too busy inflating teen pregnancy statistics to take notice. They sure dropped the ball on this one though.

Even though the Super Bowl happened on a Sunday — a day when these guys are normally busy wringing congregants dry — the safe bet is that each of the aforementioned reverends caught the game. We all saw their reaction to last year’s Super Bowl halftime show foibles, proving that religious fanatics hate nipples almost as much as they hate homosexuality.

Football delivers a clear message: Americans will tolerate beefcake men in tights touching and wrestling with other beefcake men in tights if said wrestling occurs within the context of a militaristic game with a clear winner and loser.

…Perhaps this, more than anything else, is why Falwell and company leave football alone and instead go after questionable cartoon characters such as Tinky Winky and SpongeBob SquarePants. Football allows men to let off homoerotic steam without having to acknowledge that they aren’t as straight as they think they are.

In America, watching the Super Bowl and then voting against same-sex marriage poses no contradiction at all. And that’s just how the religious right likes it.

I love the author’s bio at the end. “Solomon Rotstein is a humanities senior. Send hate mail to solomon.rotstein@asu.edu.” I’m sure he will receive plenty. I should send him one of support.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding