Sunday, February 5, 2012

Super Bore

Model Jed Hill - NOT a Pro Football Player

When my sister and I were kids, our father basically kidnapped the TV each Sunday so he could watch the Eagles play. My sister tolerated it, but I hated it. Imagine that! A gay kid who hated and didn't care about sports.

These days, when folks get all worked up about "The Big Game" (be it football, baseball, basketball, soccer or whatever else happens to be in season), I proudly admit my indifference. When co-workers approached me last week with their Super Bowl pools, they asked jokingly if I wanted in, knowing full well that I couldn't care less. And I (less than jokingly) responded that I would rather eat glass. And don't even get me started on the Half-Time appearance of the by now completely irrelevant Madonna. Yawn.

Perhaps if modern sports were played in the nude, like the ancient Olympics, I'd pay more attention.

Of course, there are the occasional sports stars who pique my interest in one way or another. Tim Tebow may very well have a great body, but his constant praying and very public anti-gay/anti-choice attitudes are a major turnoff (as are his sneaky-looking thin lips). And former NBA player Dennis Rodman was always a provocateur, though no one likes a show-off (or an ugly man in a dress).

Every once in a great while, an athlete with a twisted sense of humor comes along and throws everyone into a tizzy. Such is the case with San Francisco Giants baseball player Brian Wilson.

Brian Wilson
Known for his practical jokes and questionable sexuality, Wilson famously made an appearance at last year's ESPY awards wearing a tuxedo unitard and has been known to give hilarious and bizarre interviews. Most infamously, Wilson appeared in a 2010 interview on 'The Cheap Seats,' during which a man (reportedly Philadelphia Phillies hot left-fielder Pat Burrell) dressed in a leather fetish-wear walked through the background.

The clip (embedded below) caused a sensation, though Wilson denied any knowledge of the existence of  the man known as "The Machine" or who he might be.

Wilson's the kind of athlete I could get behind, you should pardon the expression.

Here's the thing I don't understand. Athletes (and movie stars) are paid millions of dollars to do what they do. Yes, there are many more millions to be made from what those athletes and movie stars do. But there are brilliant doctors and scientists working on the cures for often fatal diseases like cancer, AIDS, diabetes and who knows what, who toil for far less. Why do we exalt those whose physical prowess excels, while ignoring those whose mental prowess improves our lives? Why is an athlete or an actor worth more than a scientist, mathematician or physicist? Shouldn't the Secrets of the Universe be worth more to humanity than who is better at making touchdowns?

What the hell do I know, anyway? Here's that clip of Wilson and "The Machine," which I think I have embedded before. Notice how Wilson can barely keep a straight face (all entendres intended).

While I remain convinced that Art can save humanity from it's demise, I fear that soon only brute force will matter to the masses and (much like the Roman Empire), it will lead to our inevitable downfall.

Perhaps author Suzanne Collins isn't so far off the mark.

More, anon.


Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

I have ignored football most of my life. But two months ago, I jumped in with both feet, and I've thoroughly enjoyed the sport. This summer I shall read a few books, follow some sports blogs, and watch every game that I can come fall so I can stay informed.

For me, I made the decision that I want to know what's going on in the world. I want to take an interest. So I've set this goal to basically know everything.

Now I know that isn't possible. However, I spend as much time as possible connecting with others, reading, studying, watching, observing. I think it's fun.

Prospero said...

Michael - I understand the game and have even played it in school, but I'm a theatre guy - always have been, always will be. As a kid, it was either watch football on Sunday or go do something else. I always chose something else.