MALE DISPOSABILITY – The Church of Football


Commentariat, here’s a chance to help out. I want to look at football as a cultural phenomenon in American society, all the way from high school to college to professional ball, and I realize that after decades of avoiding the subject, I am never going to know enough to say anything close to accurate. So please help me out with information and insights.

I suspect there are parallels with the role of football (“footie”) in the UK and Ireland, but there also some differences, so we will deal with that separate and related subject some other time.

I call football a church because of the function it has in society. It’s like a religion for people – they are emotionally deeply invested in it, they wear its symbols as marks of identity and it gives meaning to their lives – specifically an experience and expression of masculinity. What would men rather do on a Sunday – go to church or watch the game? Well both, if the timing works out, but missing which one occasions the most heartache? That tells you what is feeding their spiritual needs. That qualifies it as a church by my lights.

Here are some topics I would like to explore:

1. I suspect that football and sports like it are the male equivalent of the fashion industry in that in both cases the structure of the activity is young people being sacrificed – injured, broken, starved, strung out and juiced up for the sake of performance – for the sake of entertainment for older people. Think of who buys up all those expensive box seats at football stadiums and drives up admission prices generally – middle-aged guys entertaining corporate guests. And who is behind all the money pouring into college football programs? Rich alumni wallowing in the vicarious youthful vigor that money buys. And who do you see sitting in the audience when those fashion models put on that sullen pout and go slouching up and down the catwalk? Emaciated glamor queens – maybe not up in the front row with all fashion writers, but certainly in the rows right behind them – enjoying a jolt of vicarious youthful grace and glitter. 

I’d like to look into this dynamic in more detail, and with an eye to finding the parallels between fashion and these team sports.

2. Football and other professional sports’ primary audiences seem to be blue collar – originally urban but now more diffused – and in some areas the football team seems to be a tribal icon. Even college teams can be the focus of non-college audience loyalties. Why should football assume such a central role in blue collar culture?

My guess is that the drama of football and other team sports are a subsitute for risk-taking behaviors available to men higher up the socio-economic food chain such as high-risk investment, yachting around the world, explorations to the North Pole or to find the source of the Nile, and in modern times adrenaline sports like parasailing and so on; and that is why football emerged as such a cultural phenomenon in blue-collar settings after arising originally as a rich-boy sport in universities. That’s my guess – what began as substitutes for combat for warriors in between cattle raids so many centuries ago has evoleved into basically the same thing for blue-collar guys.

3. Football and team sports are dramas of masculinity. To me this explains several things. One is why so many men these days have little interest in the kinds of drama we trasdiionally call drama – novels, plays, that kind of thing. Another is the way that male sports are such commercial successes while female sports struggle along to get much of an audience at all. (And here by the way is where hypoagency rears its head – to the extent this is ever discussed, it is usually framed as audiences (> men) failing to support these female sports, rather than as female sports failing to attract and hold the interest of viewers.) And finally, this also accounts for female viewers being such huge fans – women like dramas of masculinity – or plain old displays of masculinity in general – and always have.


So those are the topics I’d like to explore and that I hope you all will contribute your insights on. I am especially looking for corrections to my guesses and/or expansions on them.

Jim Doyle
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Jim Doyle

<span class="dsq-postid" data-dsqidentifier="3795">22 comments</span>

  • Your last analogy is interesting. I wonder how it would go if I wrote a story/drama structured along the same lines as a football match… the most exciting one I ever saw my team dominated for the whole game then lost by a point. You missed out Aussie rules football by the way 😉

    For me footy has always been mostly tribalism; I support the team I was brought up to by my father and hate on the Others (most intently those Others who also happen to be local).

    Number 1 rings all to true, I remember one time I was watching a game that was being commented on by some old footballer when one of the players got taken off for a suspected hamstring injury. He was derisive, claiming that “back in his day” they’d play on until they heard the “bang” ( apparently a hamstring fully tearing under strain is quite audible.

    It’s just an impression, but I do get the feeling that attitudes are changing towards the better these days. There’s nowhere near as much money in Aussie rules as there is in American rules though, so the pressure is probably quite a bit lower.

  • sans-sanity: in Aussie rules, the other is usually Collingwood as well as whoever’s closest (unless you support Collingwood which means the other is ‘everybody’).

    It’s not the same sport, but as a huge cricket fan I can speak for the hypoagentive nature of women’s sport there. In the recently completed women’s Ashes test, the website had an article up called “women’s game grows under glass ceiling”. All I could think was …fucking WHAT!?

    In the majority of games (including that on) the quality was less than a state game for men. Also anyone with half an eye for cricket history (world Series cricket nudge nudge) already knows the mini ‘war’ male cricketers went to for a decent wage. Should they now battle to make people watch fairly mediocre cricket? Or are they oppressing the women’s game by PLAYING TOO WELL! It’s baffling…

  • I skimmed through the article, not having the time to read it thoroughly. I’ll look at it more closely as I get time and will be happy to contribute to the discussion. You aren’t incorrect in referring to it as a religion. Back where I grew up the professional football stadium was jokingly referred to as “The Church of Paul Brown” who was perhaps the greatest of the pre-Super Bowl coaches in the NFL. The Cleveland Browns are named for him. In the fall, we went to church twice on Sundays; once to worship our God, the other to worship our gods.

  • ONe thing that sticks out in my head is that when Bo Schembeckler passed away there was a tribute to him on tv.

    What was one of the things to prove he was a great man? The fact that he had taken a young college girl under his wing and mentored and tutored her.

    The fact that he had done the same for close to 100 boys apparently wasn’t ironclad proof of his goodness.

  • Ok, I’ve had some time to read your article and think about your questions. First, football really isn’t like the fashion industry. There may be some commonalities, but they are totally different things, especially from the perspective of the participant. Spectators do seem to live vicariously through the participants, but I think that is about as far as the similarity goes. For the participant, football has much more to do with a rite of passage. These rites are largely absent from American society and team sports helps fill that gap. Think of the young Spartan boy who at the age of seven was taken from his mother and forced to undergo rigorous training to become a soldier. When his training was complete, he underwent a ritual wherein he had to complete several dangerous tasks to prove his worthiness as a soldier and his manhood. In American society, football is one way a young boy can develop the physical and mental skills to prove his worthiness to be a man. This leads to your second question.
    Football and team sports in general appeal to blue collar men because it is a representation of blue collar life. Like blue collar work, football is physically and mentally demanding. Blue collar work is largely comprised of physically demanding repetitive tasks. That is exactly what football is, especially in practice sessions. A player must do the same thing over and over and over and over until he can perform that task without thinking about it. This not only takes physical stamina, it takes mental stamina. Football teaches, builds, and then demonstrates these skills. It is also a modern representation of war. It pits teams of men against each other in a physical battle in which injury and even death can occur. Football does this much better than other teams sports in America. It encapsulates blue collar life.
    But it also has appeal for white collar men and appeals to many women for the same reason. Every team has its generals, colonels, and captains. For the upperclass male, football can build leadership skills. It teaches them how to send lowerclass men off to war and/or work. The “big uglies” as John Madden called them are sent out to do the heavy lifting. They block for the running backs and/or protect the quarterback. The quarterback gives the orders and passes (or hands) the ball to those who will do the work for him. For these people, it is not just a representation of blue collar life, but life in general.
    The same can be said for women. I really do think that male competition for the attention of women is an innate trait in the human species. While this can manifest in many ways, football is a throwback to the not so distant past when physical and mental prowess helped determine suitability for mating. This answers your third question about representing masculinity and why women’s sports don’t enjoy the same appeal. While physical and mental prowess may be desirable features, they have never been determinants of mating suitability, at least not on a large scale and not in the same way as with men.
    So to answer your questions, football derives its mass appeal because it is a metaphor for American life, a good substitute for more formalized rites of passage into manhood that don’t exist in America, and because it contains many of the elements of instinctual mating behavior directed towards mate selection.

  • TDOM, I agree with that first point – the vicariousness of the experience and the exploitation of young people are about as far as the parallel goes.

    The rest of your points are really close to what I was thinking too, with the difference being you know what you are talking about here. So thanks.

    I want to look into this because as you say, this is really close to the hearts of a lot of men and we are coming into the season for scolds to start demonizing it again, as seems to be their bell-drool reaction whenenever it’s about something near to the hearts of men.

  • “It is also a modern representation of war.”

    The lining up on a field and the brightly colored uniforms and the strict code of conduct are quite reminiscent of Napoleonic-era military action. I don’t know where I first got that idea, but it has stuck. Mostly the thought was inspired by the fact that sports jerseys are the most acceptable way for men to wear bright colors these days, although that’s loosening up slowly. I was reminded of redcoats and the French blue and all that.

  • There’s a YouTube video (from “barbarossaaaa”) that I like, about football conversation in social etiquette.

  • Football is also one of the ultimate expressions of individual ability and difference combining with others individual strengths for a mutual cause and joint success – in other words the expression of positive individualism. Negative expressions are those players who sacrifice success for aggrandisement – they are pure avatars for the admission of defeat, for they already acknowledge by their play that for all their skill, talent and hard work they cannot contribute anything positive to the culture that values their uniqueness. It’s not all pure disposability; there’s other stuff too.

  • We’ll, firstly, I’d rather clear a clogged toilet than go to church on Sunday, and neither of those fills any sort of spiritual need, yet are analogous in my mind. Men are more secular than women and it’s often the wife dragging her husband to church. Which lines up with the traditional role of football as wife repellant, something that is slowly changing as more women become fans.

    Speaking of Sundays, football actually owes a lot to Monday Night Football and other very clever marketing ploys for becoming as popular as it is. The Super Bowl is yet another such marketing ploy that actually took a very long time to get as popular as it is.

    As for number 1, I don’t see the analogy and I’m not sure if there is one. Women have a plethora of female friendly activities, men have very little.

    As for #2 Football is perhaps a result of cultural deprivation, and you can tell with its popularity in rust belt cities such as Pittsburgh or do-nothing tumbleweed towns in Texas. Whereas women have a consumerist behemoth catering to their every whim, football is among the few cultural artifacts that has traditionally catered to men in a positive way. It has probably saved a lot of laid off workers from suicide, convinced them to stay and tough it out in their hometowns, or otherwise created a bonding experience for a diaspora displaced by job loss. College sports serve a similar function for alumni and smaller areas that don’t have nearby professional teams, but also are more interesting to watch. Amateur sports do have a lot of appeal. The Olympics are also amateur in spirit.

    The 3rd point, I don’t know, but I think it has a lot more to do with marketing than masculinity. Rich men also play football, and they own the teams. And then again I spent entire deployments hearing Marines reminisce about football. I have even participated in combat maneuvers which were inspired by football plays. It’s hard for me to see it as a substitute for yachting. I see other reasons for the falling appeal of novels for men, too. One, have you read the gynpcentroc drivel that displaces literature in schools today? Two, men have adopted technology far more eagerly than women.

  • Dungeons,

    Welcome and thanks for that comment!

    “Speaking of Sundays, football actually owes a lot to Monday Night Football and other very clever marketing ploys for becoming as popular as it is”

    “As for #2 Football is perhaps a result of cultural deprivation, and you can tell with its popularity in rust belt cities such as Pittsburgh or do-nothing tumbleweed towns in Texas. Whereas women have a consumerist behemoth catering to their every whim, football is among the few cultural artifacts that has traditionally catered to men in a positive way.”

    This is what I was trying to get at. Thanks for doing it better.

    I hadn’t though of this but it absolutley fis the timeline. I remember football becoming more and more of a thing. I think the superbowl also helped quite a bit, that things started to take off when it became an event to get excited about and have parties around.

    “The 3rd point, I don’t know, but I think it has a lot more to do with marketing than masculinity. Rich men also play football, and they own the teams. And then again I spent entire deployments hearing Marines reminisce about football. I have even participated in combat maneuvers which were inspired by football plays. It’s hard for me to see it as a substitute for yachting.”

    Wait, dungone, is that you?

    Football and tactics – that isn’t something I ever saw in the SArmy but what I saw was officers – always from state schools – that could talk about football socially and not much else. The concept of winning and of what a winner was was based firmly in football and what coach had taught them about life. That was very dangerous of course when it came to actual modern warfare, though maybe enough familairiity wiht Sun Zi has put the spike through that.

    Yachting- yeah, not really a very god comparison. Actually old-fashioned, chivlarous warfer of the European or Polynesian type – very mannered; trading captives for ransoms and treating enemy officers bettern than your own enlisted or swapping raids between clans to kidnap each other to eat – is closer, and now it’s gone. That transition in the west is a whole separate piece of history to explore/

  • Dungeons,

    “Men are more secular than women and it’s often the wife dragging her husband to church.”

    I’d say that’s a failure of the churches to appeal to men rather than an essential quality of the genders themselves. The Eastern Orthodox Church, for example, seems to be able to attract just as many men as women. I’ll just leave this here:

    I found that through a response to it that missed the mark, revealing its author’s feminist-influenced attitudes toward gender much more than anything contained in the original article.

  • The concept of winning and of what a winner was was based firmly in football and what coach had taught them about life.

    That’s a little more philosophical than what I was describing. Just maneuver warfare explained by analogies to specific football plays as opposed to classic military terms. It actually does work well for combined arms warfare, and football’s popularity means that more than just a few troops have a good chance of understanding fairly complex football plays.

  • Something I haven’t seen mentioned here yet is the popularity of sports, and football especially, among men as symptomatic of the tight box masculinity has been put in by our society.

    It seems like, in all other areas, masculinity is denigrated. Football and truck commercials (which go hand in hand) are basically the only places that masculinity can be celebrated.

    So you have generations of men brought up with nothing but these limited areas where they are allowed to express themselves, of course they are going to get into it.

    Recently I was visiting with extended family and I found myself in the den with four other guys and a football game on TV. Literally all they talked about was football, stats, and players. Even when the game was not on, that’s pretty much all they talked about all weekend. I also enjoy watching football, but I wanted to talk about other things (like movies and music maybe).

    I knew that a couple of those guys were going through extremely stressful situations with their children and families. But while the women in the other room were talking freely about those sorts of things, the men didn’t have the ability (or desire? or allowance?) to connect on that level.

    So they discussed football, because it’s not accepted for men to complain, because football is what they have to distract them from their problems and inspire them to keep going, because football is a common language that men can use to relate even if they are strangers to each other….

    But this is really just seeing it from one perspective, and I’d pretty much agree with most of what was said by all the commenters above. I’m not so much into the fashion industry analogy–but perhaps that’s because I am totally perplexed by the fashion industry and can’t conceive what the hell anyone could possibly get out of fashion shows! But anyway, you’re really getting into a hell of a thorny labyrinth here because football and men’s desires can be looked at and analyzed in so many different ways.

    I wish you luck!

  • Sports (by which you can assume I mean stadium sports/ televised sports and ‘sports culture’) is not so much a reflection of men …… it is more that men are encouraged to be a reflection of sports. Men are the mirror, sports culture is the image being reflected.

    So I don’t think it’s possible to understand sports without first recognising that it has been deliberately placed in our ‘culture’ and depicted as valid, normal and important ….. in the same way that corporate ‘news’ or ‘politics/ elections’ are too.

    Sports is the only recreational activity – the only activity at all – which gets airtime on ‘the news’. This makes sports (which are just games, after all!) appear to be as important as world events like wars, earthquakes, starvation, the economy and so on. We are so familiar with the idea of sports qualifying as ‘news’ that it takes a moment to realise just how absolutely weird that idea is. Sports is put in the news deliberately to MAKE it important in people’s (mainly men’s) lives. Sure men (and women) would still enjoy playing and watching sports, but they would not define their identity by their favourite sport or local team as so many men (and an small number of women) currently do. Without the media manipulation, sports would not be the default topic of conversation for men anymore than hill walking, fishing, canoeing or stamp collecting is (do people still collect stamps in the 21st century?)

    So WHY is sports thrust upon society, and particularly upon men? The answer is that sports is the ‘swiss army knife’ tool of propaganda used by the ruling classes to control society, and men in particular (although increasingly women too these days).

    1. Sports has traditionally been used for centuries to train boys to fight trench warfare. Rugby (think American Football without any of the padding) is basically a load of boys/ men on a muddy field (usually in the freezing cold) trying to advance forward, against an opposing team trying to advance in the opposite direction. That is basically what WW1 and 2 was all about (for the army at least). Sports like rugby are just rehearsals for war, minus the guns, but in many ways just as brutal.

    2. Sports is all about military/ obedience training. Sports and sports training is all about hierarchy. Work as a team. Obey your captain/ trainer (boss, government). The team objective (to win/ conquer) overrides the needs of the individual. There’s nothing wrong with this kind of ‘team work’ training in moderation and if it is balanced with encouraging individuality as well, but the fact remains sports training is a ‘gateway drug’ to full on military training, where the individual will be more systematically erased, stripped of all individuality and replaced with a ‘team player’ drone who will even commit murder on command (or in the case of a politician, will pass any law if the hierarchy demands it).

    3. Sport lays down the template for tribalism AKA patriotism AKA racism. We all have a natural and healthy tendency to feel sentimentally attached to where we were born and loyal to the people who live around us. Sports emphasises this and turns it into intolerance and hatred of foreigners. The emphasis on badges, team colours, flags, scarves, loyalty, leagues and ‘supporting your team’ lays down the foundation for flag waving war mongering patriotism. If all competitive team sports were eradicated from culture the very idea of ‘war’ would seem completely alien to the general public. We would view the build up to a ‘war’ as a dispute between governments, not ordinary people. I’m not saying sports *should* be eradicated, just that we need to understand how they are used to indoctrinate us into being tribal/ patriotic/ racist.

    4. ‘Sports culture’ is used to provide the public with ‘heros’ and and role models who exude qualities we are all naturally attracted to (leadership, courage, guts, determination, self confidence etc). But sports heros (along with pop/ rap stars, actors and other celebs) are a special brand of hero in that they don’t actually display any moral principles or any real values at all (just the desire to win awards and succeed in the hierarchy). Yet they appear (they are depicted) to the public as noble and virtuous, yet without having actually DONE anything noble or virtuous.

    In reality they are often self serving, status/ hierarchy obsessed, perhaps even sociopathic individuals….. not unlike politicians. They might do a bit of charity work here and there, but they will just as quickly stand next to some war criminal politician for a photo shoot. Sports ‘personalities’ rarely, if ever, express (or seem even capable of expressing) ANY moral/ philosophical/ intellectual ideas. If they ever did then millions of people would suddenly feel it was normal and healthy to also think about such things.

    Without these sports heros and sports role models the public might start to looking in REAL LFE to find their role models and heros. Sports heros and role models (and other celebs) all have one thing in common: nothing they do or say ever threatens the ruling classes/ government and everything they do and say endorses the status quo.

    During the 2012 Olympics we witnessed the spectacle of thousands of athletes who’s TV glory, celebrity status (beamed all around the world) and entire careers had all been paid for/ subsidised by taxation. I tis therefore no surprise that in return these rosy cheeked, fit bodied, young, virile, role models were more than happy to stand next to the political elite of the world (despite many of them being war criminals). The ruling classes know how to bask in other people’s achievements, glory and ‘innocence’ and they know how to make it look like THEY are recipients of cheers and applause actually being given to someone else. They should know – they’ve been doing this kind of thing for thousands of years. It’s just another variation of the ‘politician holding the baby’ routine.

    5. Sports also provides us with villains and scoundrels. That guy Richard Sherman’s recent interview or that bike guy Lance Armstrong and his confession of drug taking. Or Tiger Woods’ car crashing ‘incident’. Just as with the ‘hero’ figures these people’s antics are of no real consequence to society. And if we were not encouraged by the media to follow their ‘outrageous’ activities we might go looking for villains and scoundrels IN REAL LIFE…. you know, like war criminals and stuff.

    The media encourages us to feel outrage at some sports guy who deliberately trips up another player in a sports game…. while feeling no outrage at all at the millions of people murdered in cold blood in genocidal wars funded with our own stolen money.

    6. And, as already pointed out, sports is used as a massive distraction from real life and real issues. The drama of the weekly league games is used to distract from the drama of working 5 days a week (or more) and having half of your earnings stolen from you at gunpoint.

    7. Sports is also provided to men as a substitute for men’s natural (and socialised) tendency to get together and discuss the issues that matter for the local community (ie their families). Issues that relate to their wellbeing, safety and survival. In this age that means political policies, prices, local businesses (ones to use, ones to avoid), local gossip and, most importantly, what to actually DO about all of these things, as MEN with families and livelihoods to protect.

    But thanks to sports men have been trained to talk about the lives of OTHER PEOPLE when they get together, not their own lives. They have been trained to talk about some guy’s foot injury, or some manager’s recent strategy, or which players are going to transfer to another team or who will win the next sports game.

    Instead of gathering in thousands each saturday to watch some sports game in an arena imagine if men gathered in their thousands to, ahem, discuss local issues of importance with their local political representatives! I’m NOT suggesting angry mobs with pitchforks, but just the presence of all of that male energy and a list of demands is enough to put the willies up any spineless politician 🙂

    Is this not what ‘manliness’ (testosterone) is supposed to be FOR?… applying a little pressure in order to push society along, where it would otherwise get stuck in a rut or fall down a hole?

    Walking through crowds of men outside a football match is an amazing experience in terms of energy. You can feel this force which is all about getting things done. It could be directed towards getting things done like clearing a bit of wasteland and turning it into a park, renovating some derelict houses and providing shelter for homeless, installing some proper insulation in some old lady’s home…. you know, just ‘sorting stuff out’.

    If men actually ‘did things’ instead of watching games they would still get to do their tribal thing, they would get to josh and muck about, sons would get to spend time with their fathers, everyone would get a chance to network their businesses, let off some steam, do something they can feel proud of….. but instead all that male energy is directed at sitting on benches and stuffing themselves with hotdogs and beer watching overpaid drones in fancy costumes ‘get stuck in’ to kicking a ball about for two hours. No wonder men have a tendency to get frustrated (ie violent or abusive) during or after a match. It’s like putting 10,000 children on benches and forcing them to watch 30 children run about and play with a bunch of toys.

    If the media did not present sports games to men as vitally important and part of their manhood, then when men got together they might talk about their own lives and concerns and what to do about it……… and if one of them suddenly said “Can we talk about games now” the rest would look to him like he was some kind of immature idiot.

    8. As mentioned already, sports are supplied to men as a surrogate for the ‘manly’ activities that technology/ government and a feminist agenda has taken away from them. The state has largely taken over from men as the ‘providers and deciders’ in society (which translates as: they provide nothing and don’t let you decide anything).

    But the ruling classes know that until all men are drugged or microchipped at birth some men will still have an urge to be ‘manly’ and so rather than try to suppress this (which could be dangerous to the ruling classes) they instead provide men with a couple of outlets to express their manly urges…… either men can become sportsmen or sports spectators…… or they can join the army.

  • I came to the conclusion some time ago that both pornography and sports watching is a “not really very subtle but let’s pretend it’s not obvious”, socially accepted expression of male homosexualism, particularly a submissive kind of homosexualism that arises from sexual frustration from not being able to live up to ideals of “alpha maleness” and therefore seeking protection from alignment with one. Now on a primary level this is most obvious with porn: men get sexual pleasure from (and sometimes pay for the privilege of) watching another man have sex. With sports they watch other men prove their worth as “real men” and as a consequence, get the real adoration of women and quite a bit of money, while they sit around thrilled when “their men” succeed. Once you see it, really see it, you can’t deny it. It’s just too obvious. This sounds kind of crazy to the average person because the narratives we have of human sexuality make “homosexualism” something you are, not something you do or experience. Sure, if you are a woman you can “experiment” and you are just being fun, but not if you are a man. The reality is not like that, at all. The reality is that most men, throughout history, likely had no choice but to turn to homosexuality in one form or another. Even in “homophobic” cultures today men are routinely raped during war and they are also raped within micro-war situations of urban crime. The systematic molestation of boys in Sparta was probably a significant factor in the longevity of the city-state. This is to establish the “alpha male” status of the rapist, to establish his social primacy. Being able to embrace the role of a beta male as opposed to being executed or dying in combat has likely selected for a very significant degree of homosexuality among males (remember that I am not equating homosexuality with a biological identity, but an experience and role, homosexuals can procreate quite easily if given the chance). I think this is a very important angle that should not be dismissed or ignored. If you watch football fans in action, the degree to which they are affected by the sport, it is very obvious that there are deep survival and sexual instincts at play that are closely connected to the practice of war. The fan is rooting for his pack leaders, the alpha males over them, to win the battle over the enemy. If you never watched a soccer riot you might be excused for not realizing how literal this is.

  • You spoke of soccer starting as an “elite” sport and then moving to the lower classes. I think this is a very important point. People that -participate- in sports are participating in the traditional activity of competition, of proving one’s worth as a man or simply learning certain skills. Spectators are doing something else entirely. And that is what the “beta” masses do, they are spectators. Women’s sports don’t get the same kind of attention because there is no sexual drive towards it. Even though there is always some degree of genuine admiration and curiosity, this can’t rival the primal sexuality that is at the root of male sports. The jock gets the cheerleader, remember?

  • Welcome, Andre!

    “Women’s sports don’t get the same kind of attention because there is no sexual drive towards it….
    The jock gets the cheerleader, remember?”

    It’s true the jock gets the cheerleader but that doesn’t seem to be the real objective in male sports. The girl is just swag after the game; it’s the game that matters. In other words the real focus is on the competition between the men.

    Mlae sports are a drama of masculinity, and of course female sports are never going to have that drama to offer an audience. Female sports are not dramas of femininity. This explains why even female spectators have more interest in male than female sports, and attend those events more heavily.

  • Actually, that -is- the real objective of male sports. It is the -display- of masculine traits, particularly competence in “war”. This is what “gets the girl”. This is also what tells the bottom 90%+ of males in a society who the so-called “alpha males” are. To challenge the supremacy of an “alpha male” is extremely dangerous in any animal species, yet it is a humiliating experience when your king has a harem of 10,000 women and his “top guys” have smaller harems, while you have nobody and have to work to sustain those harems. I believe male homosexuality is, among other things, an adaptation to the desperation brought about by this disconnect. Males had to have a psychological mechanism by which to bear the psychological burden of being submissive to other males. Sports are part of the “play” by which men learn and then sort male hierarchy. I know personally, I am extremely affected by the sense of “social status” (which in practice really means sexual ranking and the ability to define what is and is not legitimate behavior). It is physically painful for me to observe myself to be in a lower position relative to another man and my instinct to strangle him is very, very hard to control. And I have not had to deal with the extremes that have existed in some other points of history. I find it extremely difficult to deal with the idea that other people are defining proper behavior for me, in contradiction to my own sense of what is right and wrong. I know for a fact that a large portion of people who identify as being “homosexual” were victims of sexual abuse at a young age. They were broken into it. But the seed of that homosexuality (which certainly does have more than one facet to it, don’t get me wrong, it’s not quite that simple) exists in every single male by nature and “sports watching” is an expression of it. Now that I see it this way, it is very, very clear to me that this is what it is, plain and simple. The ultra-rich buy the sports team, they become kings of their little gang, the blue collar masses, the peasants, cheer.

  • I honestly don’t “get” what you mean by “drama of masculinity”. Yes, it is roleplaying but it’s not really a “drama”. I think the fashion show parallel is actually very, very insightful. Women compete in fashion shows and similar modeling events to display their sexual value, men compete in sports. There is a degree of fantasy in both situations, of looking at that top model or sports hero and thinking “That is who I want to be, that is who I will imitate, who I will grow up to be like.” Or put it another way, these are my superiors in the social hierarchy.

By Jim Doyle

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