For some reason, I'm in a peeved mood. I already wrote a column about this, but consider this the balls-to-the-wall version of the column.
Actually, the column touches on motivation and what works and what doesn't. What I would like to talk about here is the homoerotic lure of football.
Football is one of those sports that straight men can get really involved in, and go over the top in terms of training, humiliation, training, crawling on the ground with a guy on your back and another one yelling at you, more training and humiliation. And afterward, you hand out in the locker room and jack off together.
I was forced to watch a so-called motivational clip from a movie several weeks ago at a work meeting. The person making us watch this either doesn't realize that half of the workforce sitting and watching was female, and that none of them had ever had the experience of crawling across a football field with a guy on her back. Apparently, it's called the "death crawl." One player crawls on his hands and feet, the other player lays on his back on the crawling player. In this particular clip, the coach yells at the crawling player the whole way. It gets kind of annoying. Finally, the player makes it, and the coach tells him he never gave up, and carried a 140 pound player the whole way. The player who got carried speaks up and says he weighs 160. It got a laugh from my other co-workers, but I didn't really get it. I'm used to seeing football players who weigh more than 200 pounds. Personally, I'd LOVE to get down to 160 pounds. I'd still be considered fat, but whatever.
My point in the column was that this clip didn't motivate me at all. Turns out this clip is from "Facing the Giants", which apparently is a movie about God and football and faith. I don't know what it is about football, particularly on the high school level, that ties that sport in with God. They're practically inseparable. The coach has problems; he has a losing record, people are trying to get him fired, and things aren't looking good. But he decides to turn everything over to God and work his ass off.
Things start to turn around, but I resent that people into football assume God cares about football only. Football players think that God belongs only to them, and that God cares about the game.
Another thing that bothers me is when guys who are gay, or who seem gay, deny it. I realize that it's tough to come out, but dishonesty really gets on my nerves. Also, all the ass patting, Gatorade dumping, sado-masochistic exercises and insults and locker room pranks teeter on the edge of, how should I put it, "putting it in the endzone." Add in some shirtless guys in the stands, and the homoerotic overtones practically shout from the field.
I've known a few gay guys in my life. My first guy friend was gay. I was only devastated because I thought we had a future together. Turns out our friendship was doomed, partly because he was reluctant to admit he was gay. I like gay guys. They are funny, smart, witty, they dress fairly nicely, they aren't slobs and they smell good. Straight guys, on the other hand...well, they are yelling at television screens and probably having fantasies about nailing the quarterback in the locker room. Only they are straight. Really.
So I can't really listen to guys talk about football without snickering. Add in God, and you have the Catholic Church fumbling around on a football field. Tight pants and Gatorade dumped on people (I'm thinking wet t-shirt contest here) and pats on the butt and humiliating training exercises. Yee hah! It's not JUST gay, but gay s and m! Admit it guys. I'd be okay with it if you would admit that football is an excuse to dress up in tight pants, hang out with buff men, and crawl like a subbie to the end zone. It's too Catholic Church/Boy Scouts of America for words.