Earlier this year, when the Ravens were on their way to the Super Bowl, I requested off so that I could participate in the festivities. When my boss saw my work request, he said to me, “You like football!?” His question was stated in a tone of disbelief; along the lines of, “You? A gay guy! Like football?” Throughout the next few days (leading up to the Super Bowl), he started quizzing me on football trivia, and on all of the names of the Ravens players. He was trying to see if I was REALLY a Ravens fan. He just couldn’t wrap his mind around the fact that a gay dude could have so much passion for sports. I have to admit that his attitude annoyed the hell out of me. But, I played it off in a humorous way. Because he isn’t the first who has been puzzled over a queer liking sports. For whatever reason, it is a common misconception about the GLBTQ community.
My love for Football was instilled in me by my parents. We’d watch The Baltimore Colts on television, and would also go to Memorial Stadium (to see them live). This was in the days before tailgating became all the rage. Our approach to a Colts game usually involved my dad cooking stuff on the grill, and my mom making hot chocolate. Other than my parents drinking some beers, our football experience was pretty tame. Although, my parents tended to yell, a lot, at the television; and I find that I do the same thing now that I’m an adult. Of course, that sad day came when Bob Irsay took the Colts out of Baltimore (in the middle of the night). Charm City’s entire metro area mourned. We were now a football town without a team.
It took 13 years for Baltimore to get another professional football team (thanks to Art Modell bringing us the Cleveland Browns). My momma was ecstatic about the Ravens’ arrival; and anything that makes her happy simply causes my heart to pitter patter in a joyous rhythm. Anyhow, as for me, I didn’t exactly warm up to Baltimore’s new team. I had been in Seattle for almost a decade, and was fully behind the Seahawks. However, once I moved back to Baltimore, I found myself falling in love with the Ravens. I was amazed at Charm City’s loyalty to the team. The fanaticism seemed to eclipse the love that Marylanders had for the Colts; and I found that to be a beautiful & glorious thing. But, what is really cool is that the Seahawks are having a stellar 2013-14 season. I would fall to pieces if they and the Ravens had a showdown at the Super Bowl. And, just the other day, I said to my boss, “If the Seahawks make it to the Super Bowl, I am requesting a week off; because I am going to be at that game.” He gave me the same perplexed look that he gave me last year, and I laughed in his face.