I’m a football fan and have been one for years, so the Super Bowl, right after the National Championship college football game, is the biggest night of the year for me – even bigger than the Oscars. So it was with much excitement that I readied myself and went to the annual Super Bowl party some of my good friends throw each year.
Of course, pre-game programming begins about a week before the game itself and runs pretty much non-stop until the game kicks off. There is media day, look at the field day, dress rehearsal for half-time, and every imaginable team “formation announced” from the least mentioned “insert given position here” team, to the good Samaritan team. Plays from the season before are analyzed with awards given for best tackle by a punter to most teeth knocked out by a linebacker. This year, they even covered each official – what calls did he throw the most and least, etc.
After the tons of useless information which held no impact on the game at all was delivered, the “on the field” pre-game show began. All of us gathered around to see what spectacular would welcome the world to the Super Bowl telecast and what grand entrance would be created for the players from each team.
We all sat mouths agape wondering and occasionally voicing a “What the hell?” Bizarre and abstract shapes wandered the playing field. After a time it became clear that some of the longer shapes were supposed to be waves as people dressed like mutant tropical fish went under and around them. Shortly after that dance began, people with giant cloth butterflies went running around - but like the fish, around the waves. Not over some simulated English garden. And then there were people…They were semi doing a mambo or salsa dance, but none were very good at it. They were probably too ashamed of the costumes they were wearing – most harlequins would not be caught in these outfits.
In the middle of this, one of the party guests exclaimed, “This is kind of gay for football.” I whirled around to see who had said it; a couple other people looked at the speaker and at me. The crowd at the party was generally sensitive to the fact that I am gay.
Normally, a comment like that raises my ire and I address the inappropriateness of the comment. Social consciousness will continue to allow insensitive statements until people make stands when they hear them. Social language has changed over the years to recognize and challenge racially inappropriate vocabulary. Language relating to sexual orientation and body style remains fair game for public commentary. Until the offended and their allies start making a stand against inconsiderate comments about sexuality or weight, the comments will continue.
“This is kind of gay for football.” After pausing for a moment to decide what to say, I could see the others also waiting for my comment. From the corner of my vision, I could see tank-topped men dancing in garish board shorts and all I could say was, “Yes. This is way too gay for football!”