But it is interesting to notice how okay it is with fun-football loving christians that men touch men in public when a little ball of some sort is involved.
Check out these two links.
Link 1 - from the SF Chronicle.
The rules are long and often make no sense, but they can be simplified into a male touching playbook.
1. It's less awkward to embrace when lots of men are around: Two uncivilized heterosexual guys alone in a room never know what to say to each other, and will almost never hug lest someone walk in and assume they're lovers. But as more people are watching, they're willing to experiment with arms around the shoulders, playful ruffling of hair and other friendly physical contact.
2. The manlier the activity, the more spontaneous touching is acceptable: This is something men experience when playing sports, drinking low-quality beer and engaging in other bonding rituals. I recall a recent Las Vegas bachelor party where no one got a lap dance, but a hotel-streaking incident turned into a weekend-long all-male group discussion on the tightness of each other's posteriors.
3. In moments of extreme happiness, stress and imminent peril, embracing another man is OK: In other words, while it may create an awkward situation to give another man a little sugar when he's departing for the supermarket, a hug is a wonderful thing if someone is leaving for an independent contracting job in Fallujah.
Combined, these rules begin to explain why football is such a male grope- a-thon. Because: 1) there are so many people watching, 2) the players are doing manly things, and 3) the pressure is so high, there's nothing participants can do except take turns jumping into each other's eagerly waiting arms.
End slice 1.
Link 2 - one which you may find more disturbing, yes, from "academia." The author is talking from the male perspective and advising us how to use femanist pedagogical practice to engage a classroom full of undergraduates.
...After reviewing the syllabus and discussing the previously outlined introduction I give in all my courses, in hopes of further setting the tone for the upcoming semester, I introduced two notions about sport that I knew would cause controversy. First, using Dundes (1980) psychoanalytical analysis of the homoerotic nature of American football, and making careful note that I was not suggesting that football players were gay, I outlined the ways in which such an activity can be viewed as symbolically homosexual. For instance, I asked them how can they account for a sport where two groups of men spend untold amounts of energy trying to penetrate their opponent’s defenses in hopes of “touching” the ball in their end zone to “score”? I further asked them why football used vocabulary such as tight ends and wide outs? Why does the center present the ball in the prone position? And why is the reward for good play a firm pat on the bottom, hugs, and sometimes kisses? As one might guess, my queries were met with emotional responses ranging from laughter to outright anger, the latter most strongly expressed by several football players.
After the initial clamor subsided, I asked if they could think of other ways that sports could be considered symbolically homosexual. To the chagrin of several of the football players, expressed in terms such as “don’t tell him about that,” and to the disbelief of several other class members, one of the players fondly recalled towel fights, “turd fights” and “golden showers” (urinating down a teammate while he has shampoo on his head) as locker room activities. After this, several people in the class not only were angry at me for what I was suggesting but also at the classmate who had openly shared such apparently secretive information. As the discussion continued, a former wrestler described two wrestling moves that he thought were symbolically homosexual: “checking the oil,” where the thumb is inserted into the opponent’s rectum to force him to the mat, and “five-on-two,” a means of forcing an opponent to the mat by grabbing his scrotum. Class members and I offered several more similar examples of homoerotic activities in sports before moving on to the next topic.
End slice 2
God bless America!
PS. Go Patriots!