When I was a child, even though I paraded around my parents' living room wearing pink pants while singing the entire score from The Sound of Music on repeat, I always had an affinity for America's favorite pastime, football. My grandaddy was a diehard fan of the Washington Redskins and made damn sure that each and every one of his grandchildren shared his love for the burgundy and gold. Long after he passed, I moved to New York, and even though I continued to parade around in pink pants singing show tunes, my love for the Redskins never waned. Yes, "Piece of Me" by Britney Spears has been played on my iPod 1,352 times, but I also know that after 33 carries for 200 yards, Alfred Morris set a franchise record in rushing yards during the Redskins' final game of the season. Yes, I spend most Sunday mornings enjoying brunch at some of New York's most famous eateries, but when the rest of my friends are "liking" pictures on Instagram, I'm constantly pressing "refresh" on my Yahoo Sportstacular app, to make sure I know who's winning what game. Within one 24-hour time frame I posted status updates on Facebook that communicated not only how overjoyed I was that All My Children and One Life to Live were coming back but how upset I was that my beloved Redskins had lost their playoff game to the Seattle Seahawks. It's something my friends never understood, even though I've tried to explain to them time and time again that football is a gay man's best friend. So many of the things that go down on Sunday afternoons between September and December are homoerotic that it's a wonder that more gay men aren't football fans.
Here are five reasons why football is indeed America's gayest pastime:
1. The fact that you can day drink: We gays love to enjoy a spirit or two; however, getting trashed at brunch is gauche, and if you drink too much, you friends will call you an alcoholic. However, getting blackout drunk at 1 p.m. on a Sunday while watching football is not only excepted but a requirement. It's not uncommon for those ramped-up football fans to partake in one too many adult beverages during the Lord's day while a good championship rivalry is going down. And if you pass out before 5 p.m., no one judges you for your excess.
2. The Super Bowl: The Super Bowl is literally the gayest event of the year. This year, not only was it announced that Beyoncé would be performing during the halftime festivities, but it was rumored that she would be reunited with the former members of Destiny's Child. I honestly don't think I've ever heard of anything gayer. Oh, wait, I have, because Madonna headlined the event last year.
3. The men: I don't know about the rest of you, but watching grown men wearing tights and beating the shit out of each other brings me instant gratification. I don't understand why more gay men don't enjoy a sport that consists of men wrestling each other for an hour, but I suppose that's just me.
4. The drama: Personally, I believe the best part of Sunday afternoons happens before the games even start. Each and every network that hosts NFL games has its own theme music equipped with avatars of the players looking super-pissed and out for blood. Not only that, but words like "anticipated," "heated," "longstanding rivalry" and "payback" are thrown around with the greatest of ease during the promotion of each upcoming game. It's so overly dramatic, and I personally can't get enough. If you threw Madeleine Stowe up there with the dramatic lighting and ominous music, you'd think you were watching a preview for Revenge, not FOX's NFL Sunday.
5. Tom Brady: I couldn't care less about the New England Patriots, but let's face facts: The man is gorgeous. I would honestly watch him sell manure to a pig farmer in North Dakota for hours on end. That chiseled face, those pearly white teeth and the fact that he always looks fresh with hair product even after he takes off his helmet makes him a god, and every gay man should bow down in thanks.
6. The sexual innuendos: Not only do these hardworking men beat the crap out of each other for a living, but for whatever reason they also love slapping each other on the ass. Get a couple of Green Bay Packers up in there, and it's better than any gay porn I've ever paid for -- and it's free!
So although my love of the Julie Andrews canon of musical theater and primetime soaps from the 1980s continues (I'll do anything for a Falcon Crest should out... holler!), I have to say that I think it's about time that the rest of my contemporaries jump on the football bandwagon, because, come next September, I will be leading the charge as my love for the Redskins continues. Sure, they have the most racially offensive name in all of sports, and sure, they consistently make it to the playoffs only to lose horribly in the end, but I will be there in full support with my pink Redskins hat on, supporting not only the Skins but breast cancer awareness, and I will have the biggest smile on my face, because nothing makes me happier than cheering on my favorite team.
Follow Mark Brennan Rosenberg on Twitter: www.twitter.com/markbrosenberg