Credit: Omer Yurdakul Gundogdu
There are certain qualities every guy must possess to be a guy, such as eating bacon whenever possible, playing sadistic pranks on friends, disregarding personal safety in the pursuit of fun, pissing while standing and saying “pissing” instead of “peeing.” If nothing else, a guy should love catching a ballgame, right? That’s a manhood prerequisite.
Which is why it’s so wretched to be a dude who just can’t give a crap about professional sports. All my bros would happily watch ESPN every waking moment, but I’d rather watch paint dry. There are a lot of things I find interesting — music, books, movies, politics, alcohol — but multimillionaires throwing spheres to each other just isn’t one of them, as much as I’d like it to be so I wouldn’t feel like a pariah among my gender.
It’s fun to play sports, of course, and more people in this fat-ass country need to get some damn exercise. But what’s the point of watching other dudes partake in physical activity on a screen — unless naked women are involved and you’ve got some privacy?
Sure, professional athletes have massive amounts of skill and incredible reflexes. So do guys who play videogames all the time, but nobody enjoys watching them hog the Xbox. Instead of Super Bowl parties, can you imagine 99% of America attending Super Smash Bros. parties? Can you fathom the tedium?
I’m aware that I sound like the archetypal girlfriend who only watches Super Bowls for the commercials. Admitting this publicly is enough to get my Man Card revoked. (Behold, a Guy Code Blog post that breaks Guy Code.) Guys have loved sports for thousands of years — gladiators were the original UFC — and that will never change. The vicarious thrill of victory and agony of defeat are built into our DNA, and I’m tragically missing that strand…except during the Olympics, which excite my primal unthinking nationalism.
Perhaps it’s because I’m originally from Alaska, where professional athletics — aside from dog-mushing — just don’t exist. Perhaps, had I grown up elsewhere, I could muster some enthusiasm for MLB, NBA or NFL outcomes. Perhaps, if I were European, it would seem perfectly logical to riot and pillage over meaningless, inconsequential soccer results.
As it is, I feel like an extraterrestrial who can feign humanity but never join it. Ironically, basketball legend Dennis Rodman might be the only other guy who understands.