10/8/2005 - Minnesota 23-20 Michigan - 3-3, 1-2 Big Ten.
It's no secret that people largely define themselves in relation to external things. They are an occupation, a set of friends, and perhaps for some of the more marginally sane, fans of a particular team. So when we find out that something we defined ourselves in relation to is not what we thought it was, we react adversely because we're forced to reassess who we actually are. This often results in awkwardness or anger even if the revelation in question has no direct impact on your life.
Given the place I live and the people I hang out with, meeting gay guys is a fact of life, and it's unalarming, but if a friend I'd had for years had all of a sudden taken his Gay spinach and gone Gay Popeye on me, I would find myself momentarily rudderless, because my definition of myself would require serious reevaulation. My best friend is gay? Am I gay? Even if I'm not gay, am I somehow more effeminate? Why is this guy gay? How could I not know? What am I, stupid? Usually we get over these things, but it takes some readjusting. There's a period of suck.
It is for this reason that I find the fact that my football team is gay--fifth grade gay, the gay that combined with "-wad" forms a noun, the gay that is the ultimate generic pejorative for preteen boys--to be disorienting. (Just to be clear: not just a little gay, totally gay--gayer than Kit's Hello Kitty trapper keeper.) My team has never been gay before. It's shown occasional flashes of gayness, sure, but whenever I've doubted it, the team has always done something totally rad like waste that dumb kid from Ohio in bloody knuckles.
But now there can be no doubt: the team is gay. Wicked gay. Totally wicked gay. With extra gay. And gay sprinkles. The denial phase is over. We've got serious wad action taking place. This isn't the time to do any serious thinking--it's awkward, it's angering, there's a tendency to disown it or, I dunno, duct tape it to the flagpole and piss on it. Not that I did that to anyone in fifth grade. Sober.