Football And Musical Theater Collide or There Is Grace And Beauty In Both

The Griz football team won their first round playoff game and advanced to the next round leading toward the championship game in January. Glenn roused me from my slumber early yesterday to join him for the daylong festivities that have become his game day ritual. I typically love going to the game portion of the day, but rarely like to spend the entire day devoted to the process. Hence no blog for yesterday, sorry. It was a bitter cold day that didn’t rise out of the twenties, but I was dressed appropriately for the conditions and was actually quite comfortable throughout the day. Most of my life has been lived completely oblivious of sporting events. But when I met Glenn, I knew it was one of his greatest passions and was willing to enter his world. Conversely he has also entered areas of my world that I know he was not necessarily comfortable with either. I think it is one of the things that has made our relationship so truly remarkable. I have to say a pride swells within me to hear the National Anthem sung in a crowd of 22,005 people and the players emerge from their tunnel into a cloud of smoke onto the field. The opening process for a football game is such a theatrical event, carefully planned, coordinated and executed down to the second to emotionally charge such a mass of people and you can feel that swell through out the stadium. It’s often intoxicating and over-whelming to the point that I am often moved to tears by the pride I feel from the experience. We have amazing seats, that we have had since the beginning of our relationship, a couple of rows up right behind the team and become the target of their stampede into the stadium and feel the full effect of that blaze of glory.

The Griz will go on to play the University of Northern Iowa this Friday for the next round. Though they have been a contender for many a playoff seasons have only won two national championships, one I witnessed in 2001 in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

For American culture, football is almost like a religion and becomes an obsession for most who follow it. It is the one thing that unites our country and it’s people. Working for UPS it is what most people talk about when they meet at the end of the day and I love to see people’s passions flair for bragging rights after the weekend.

Why is it as a gay culture we are just naturally conditioned to reject football and pass it off as a brutal collision of masculinity? It seems ironic that the very archetypes of athletes, which many gay men oppose, become the object of their deepest desire. Yet we are more drawn to the arts of theater and dance. I recently watched the episode from the television series Glee, first season, episode 4, where these two worlds collide into one of the funniest moments I have ever seen. Kurt the “out” gay member of the cast joins the football team to become their kicker. But the only way he can kick is to the Beyoncé Knowles’ song “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” in which he prances and dances across the field to kick a perfect field goal. Somehow the rest of the football team must enroll in dance classes to help improve their performance on the field and in the finally moment, when the team is down all have to dance to “Put a Ring on It” at the line of scrimmage to psych the other team out. I about rolled on the floor with laughter seeing these two unseeingly non interchangeable world’s of football and musical theater collide into a brilliant, hysterical moment of harmony. To me this is the perfection I seek in the world where there are no barriers and only see there is grace and beauty in both.