Thursday, November 04, 2004

a heaping helping of hegemonic masculity for ya! (or, once more jeremy feels alienated from his gender) is running this charming story with NFL players talking about the joy they feel on those occasions when they get to hit one of their colleagues* REALLY hard. Selected excerpts:

Michael Strahan (6'5", 275 pounds):
"On the best hits you've built up speed, the person doesn't see you and you're coming at an angle where you know from five feet out that you're going to have a good shot. You can size 'em up. The best target is a quarterback who's stationary and has his back turned. I don't want him to see my eyes. I want to run through him as if I'm trying to hit somebody 10 feet past him. You're going through him. On the hit you wrap your arms and lift. You get him off the ground, and you make sure to put all your weight on him when he lands."
Mike Singletary (6'0", 230 pounds):
"…[T]hen it happens. All of a sudden Bam! And it's just like you imagined -- and it gives you goose bumps. It's inexplicable what it feels like in your soul. It comes all the way from your toes to the top of your head.... You just know, Maaaaan! That was it! And it's such a great feeling. Your reality matches your fantasy. In life that doesn't happen often. For me anytime I got a big hit, I'd scream. If the guy is lying there and he can't get up, I start screaming because I know I brought it and I know he felt it…."
Chris Hope (5'11", 206 pounds):
"How close I get to the guy before he realizes I'm there determines how hard the hit will be. If I can catch him off guard, I can really deliver a big hit…. I want to get lower than him and hit him right up under his chin, in his face mask, or I put my helmet directly in the middle of his chest. It's a great feeling when I hit him. It's kind of like a car wreck."
My own affection for football is not without guilt. Indeed, one reason that I have never gotten into the NFL the way I have college football is that those guys are so big and so fast that it really does become too much carnage for my taste. That said, I would be lying if I said I had never before experienced vaguely primal moments of glee in watching a football game and seeing somebody in uniform for My Team collide viciously into somebody in uniform for the Other Team, especially if said vicious collision caused the opponent to drop the ball or to be seemingly disincentivized from future intrepid conduct on the football field. I am not proud of this.

Also: contrary to rumors, I am not part of the Faculty Fight Club that meets in various parking garages around Madison.

* I am presuming that "colleague" is the correct word, since they are all professionals and members of the same organization (the NFL).


Anonymous said...

Lawrence Taylor maybe could deliver the hardest hit of all, though my heros have always been cowboys who ride bulls and won't stoop to the wimpiness of tackling men who are wearing pads and helmets.

Anonymous said...

more ammunition for the argument that the quickest and best way to eliminate all Title IX inequities is to eliminate football. heck, i'll even support rodeo, as long as they don't try to tie up 90 full scholarships.