Mark Dery on jock culture

Over at True/Slant, former BB guestblogger Mark Dery asks "How Gay is the Super Bowl?" But last Sunday's spectacle is just a launching off point for a classic Deryan rant on jock culture, his own high school gym class, and the "wavering borderline between homosociality and homosexuality" in the locker room. It ends with a great, er, kicker. From the essay:

During the run-up to Super Bowl Sunday, anchorclones, talkshow hosts, politicians, and the rest of the chattering class act as if we’re one big happy congregation gathered in solemn veneration of the Gipper’s jockstrap, displayed in a monstrance. It’s the sheer presumptuousness of the sports-crazed majority that galls the unbeliever most–an obliviousness to the possibility, even, that not everyone shares the One True Faith. It’s the same genial arrogance that makes evangelical Christians so monumentally irritating to those of us who prefer a good exfoliating body scrub to being Washed in the Blood of the lamb. (The religious reference is apt: in our national religion, sports is one aspect of the Holy Trinity, the other two being the Free Market–whose invisible hand, like God’s, moves in mysterious ways, but always for the betterment of all–and Christianity, which in the American vernacular is a bizarre amalgam of self-help pep talk, Left Behind doomsaying, and theocratic fascism). From the gridiron metaphors in your pastor’s sermon to the scripted locker-room banter of local TV newsdudes, joshing about who’s gonna open a can of whupass on who, to the Fantasy Games geek at the office watercooler maundering on about who had six touchdowns and no interceptions in 12 pass attempts this season, posting a 124.3 passer rating, while outside of the red zone his rating on play-action was only 79.7 and his five touchdowns have to be measured, after all, against nine interceptions, the assumption that every red-blooded American–or at least every red-blooded American guy who isn’t a wussy–would give his Truck Nutz for Super Bowl tickets is as unconsidered as it is ubiquitous.

"Jocko Homo: How Gay is the Super Bowl?"