There is a curious distance maintained between the hetero male fan and the athlete. The athlete seems to be providing a service to the fan, and therefore cannot be considered an equal. But that’s the SAFE reason. There’s another, more uncomfortable reason. One so-called ‘straight’ dudes don’t like talking about and that is the element in this picture. Most dudes ain’t walkin’ around lookin’ like Mr. Edwards, but on the professional (and NOW even college) football field damn near every dude looks like a fitness model! These men are PHYSICALLY what most of the aging, dream-deferred, out-of-shape, couch-stricken, bitter-as-fuck men who can’t get enough of staring at them WISH they could be. This creates an uncomfortable situation for them…
- “I don’t know if I’m sexually attracted to his body or if I simply desire it for myself…and by ‘for myself’ I mean for it to be mine…not like MINE…like you would say MY girl, but I want his body. Shit. Not WANT like I want my girl’s body. I want to LOOK like him…so that girls WANT me…and so that guys WANT to LOOK like ME. In other words: I want to be confused, but act like I’m not. Now it’s time to go punch somebody in the face… Oh, over there, his face looks punchable…… Hey you, in the orange, why are you light-skinned with model features and blue eyes1? No seriously, why YOU and NOT me? Why can’t I be beautiful? I WANT to be BEAUTIFUL too!… Damn. I bet a LOTTA girls probably like you. Eh. No worries, I’ll just find some reasons why they shouldn’t and hide my jealous confusion behind those. Whew. That almost got weird.”
This confusion leads to the distance which leads to the weird love/hate relationship ‘straight’ guys have with male athletes. You can catch this infatuated/jilted lover dynamic on your social media feeds, ESPN and sports talk radio. The athlete MUST be an ‘other.’ Some naturally gifted, PED-fueled freak-of-nature. A primal beast who needs to just shut the hell up and amuse us. He CANNOT be smart, outspoken or arrogant though. The middle-aged white dudes who control the popular narrative of professional sports act all funny then. ESPECIALLY if he’s unabashedly cocky. They hate that shit…
- “How dare he flaunt everything I have EVER wanted in life in front of me. Fit body. Big dick(?)2. Lots of money. Sexual ‘options.’ Fame. Respect. I don’t have ANY of that. Why does he have that? Oh, that’s right, he’s just a dumb-jock who if it weren’t for luck and steroids would be in a prison somewhere. Yeah, that’s right. Now stop showboating and get back in the huddle nigger.”
Yes, athletes can be arrogant pricks, but I can’t even IMAGINE dealing with that much bitterness on a day-to-day basis from some of the wackest limp-dick muthafuckas to have ever lived! Ugh. The reason why I’m so disgusted? I know EXACTLY what it feels like to be bitter, hatin’-ass dude. Intellectualizing hate for sport. I can’t imagine running into THAT dude EVERYWHERE I went. Might get tired of him, might wanna rub his face in my success. Make ’em chew on his own damn heart…
The music of artists like Kanye West and Jay-Z (and much of Top 40 ‘urban’ fare) seems to celebrate extravagance, excess and a few more of the seven deadlies, but sometimes I think this stuff is VERY necessary. These guys go straight for Bitter Jealous Dude’s throat. They give him several REASONS to hate them, fool him into thinking he is in control, but just peep what that bitterness is doing to him. It’s exposing his fear. This holds true for EVERYONE we hold judgments for. It is natural to fight this truth. We WANT (more like NEED) to blame someone else instead of OUR OWN DAMN FEAR!!!!!! Even if a lion bites your nuts off it is up to you to determine whether or not you’re going to fear lions. Some of you may be wondering what fear has to do with jealous, insecure men. It has every-fucking-thing to do with jealous, insecure men. Just think about it. Here, I’ll help you.
1. I think Nice Guys™ complaining about how women talk about wanting a ‘good’ man but going for Bad Boys™ is more tiring than the hypocrisy of these women. I’ve been this guy and all my complaining did was create animosity within me…and when you have all THAT bottled up inside you—all that flowers and candlelit dinners NICE shit doesn’t mean a damn thing—you’re volatile as fuck!↩
2. ‘Straight’ dudes are some of the most dick curious guys out there. And I’m not talking about sexual curiosity, but the ‘I wonder if his dick is bigger than mine’ burden. How he feels about how his dick relates to other guys’ dicks drives how he feels about almost every-damn-thing. Of course dick curiosity is relative. Some dudes don’t think about it much, while others think about it constantly. I’m sure the uber popularity of ‘blacks on blonds’ porn relates to the level of curiosity held by many sports fans.
This stuff is way more ‘gray’ than gay/straight since sexuality is more about ‘capability’ than rigidity and many of us are more sexually capable than we think. And before you say, “No, I know what I like! I like women!” consider the ‘things’ that you LIKE about them. What of these ‘things’ is inherently feminine? Before you answer, consider the fact that when both men and women ‘let themselves go’ they begin to merge. We grow hair in similar places. Even possess similar body odors. Yes, there are differences, but I find it fascinating how so much of what we CONSIDER feminine is ancillary. The female ideal has to be aggressively maintained—there’s makeup, fragrances, high-heeled shoes, shaving, etc. In this sense femininity (like masculinity) is cultivated, curated.
I’d venture to say that many hetero men would find her more attractive than her. Once they find out the former has a dick they may change their tune (many won’t, but will say otherwise). Genders are like costumes. Of course testosterone and estrogen play a part in our behavioral dynamics, but the degree in which these hormones affect us is relative. That is why a man can FEEL feminine and a woman can FEEL masculine. Maybe we maintain these rigid roles in order to create distance or separation between the sexes. Women MUST starkly contrast men. They must represent something else. Something divine. Something pure. A civilizing force.
Our inability to reconcile with predetermined gender roles may be royally fucking us up. I say predetermined because we come into a world full of premade man and woman skins to wear. It is our inability to squeeze ourselves into these costumes that creates the friction that leads to the crisis of identity. Imagine being born a curious-by-nature being and as soon as you start to become aware of your physical body being in a physical place someone pops a football helmet on your head, briskly slaps you on the ass and says, “Get out there and hit somebody son!” No time to ponder the peculiarity of aging men working younger men like dogs for amusement and vicarious thrills…you gotta go BE a man!
In hyper-traditional communities these roles become almost caricature-like. Interestingly, these groups are often the most vocal about the REALNESS of their men and women; realness that is ironically enforced via cartoonish over-compensation.↩