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Sports as Ritualized Homoerotic Combat
I've just never understood how some people can get themselves so worked up about sports. I mean I can understand how someone can feel very competitive if they are playing on a team themselves, or even if a friend or family member is playing on a team or indulging in any similar physically personal challenge like climbing a mountain or skydiving or something like that. You want to support them to push themselves to excel and that is the good part about sports, that it can be personally rewarding and character-building. But I fail to see how people can get excited about a bunch of strangers that they don't even know, expecially in the realm of professional sports where the players are often traded around and even whole teams are bought and sold and moved from one city to the next once in a while. The owners and players don't have any real loyalty, so why do the voyeur participants profess such fan loyalty? It remains a mystery to me and if anyone can ever explain it to me I hope they will.
To me sports has always had some things in common with sex though. They are both good and healthy to participate in (usually anyway), and it doesn't hurt a bit to get a kick out of watching someone else doing it once in a while. But to ONLY ever watch other people doing it, well there's clearly something sicko going on in that case. Extreme sports fans are like masturbaters who can't stop their compulsion.
Sports and sex are also fair to compare because there appears to be a strong sexual undercurrent running throughout sports -- football players grabbing each other's asses all the time for example -- that is very homoerotic in nature. This is a big White Elephant in the Living Room kind of topic you wouldn't necessarily want to bring up at a sports bar or Lion's Club picnic because it will piss off a lot of people and make them dislike you, but it's definitely for real. I think the guys who get so turned on by sports don't quite realize why they are getting turned on and don't like hearing that they might be a little bit (or a lot) queer deep down inside. Maybe not completely homo but "bi-curious" and deathly afraid someone will find out and blab. So of course they're hostile to the idea of any sports-homo connection.
What about those fake wrestlers on TV? They're among my favorite laughs, at least for about 5 minutes before boredom sets in. I actually had a friend once who thought all those TV wrestlers were really fighting! But I was a high school wrestler myself so it was always obvious to me they were just faking. Boy, did Lenny ever used to get upset with me telling him that they were faking all those punches and drops and other phoney baloney moves they do. Real wrestlers grapple each other like a couple of anacondas fighting, but that pansy-ass crap on TV is all choreographed. Yes, choregraphed like the Flight of the Bumblebee. In fact, with those tights they wear and other body-emphasizing gimmicks (think of the hairless-bodied androgynous Rock character, reeking of homo) they really are much more akin to dancers than real wrestlers (real wrestlers wear head and mouth guards, not tights and Spandex bodysuits). TV wresting is a highly homoerotic staged combat situation. I think the reason they don't often pan the cameras across the audiences any more is because they are so primarily composed of pimply teenage boys and gay couples. That's my theory anyway.
The reasons that sports today is symptomatic of a country in decline go much deeper than mere twisted sex, however. Sports as it is commonly enjoyed by the masses of sports fans is ritualized combat, combat that has been sanitized as much as possible to eliminate outright blood and gore but still retain its core element of aggression of one group against another group, or sometimes one individual against another. The appeal is exactly the same as the bloodier combat that used to be staged in the Roman Colosseum centuries ago, but it has been civilized a bit so that we can call ourselves a civilized society. Still though it is the injuries that enthrall, the stories of injuries that get repeated again and again so that sports announcers have something to talk about in between all the incredible boredom, proving the link with our slightly more barbaric past.
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