Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Football Playin' Sissies

This morning, because of the recent death of former NFL superstar Deacon Jones, the hosts of a radio show were referring to his appearance on the old show "The Brady Bunch."

In the episode, Peter is on both the football team and in the glee club at school. The football players make fun of him, calling him a "canary" and a "sissy" and Deacon chimes in and tells the kids that he and some other guys on his NFL team have a singing group and that they perform when they are not playing. "Am I a sissy"? Deacon says. The coach then refers to Rosie Greer, who also was a singer (and who was very tough on the football field; with a name like Rosie, I suppose he had to be).

Deacon the sissy with the boys.
One of the radio hosts said that this particular episode rarely airs now, because it is "politically incorrect." Presumably, this is because of the use of the word "sissy."

Am I the  only one who doesn't see the word "sissy" as a reference to being gay? I always saw a sissy as someone who can't stand up for himself; a wimp. As a quality of "sissiness," being gay never entered into my mind. I don't see all gay men as wimps. Never have.

And there is nothing in that episode that implies gayness in any way. The kids just believed that wimps sing and tough guys play football.

In yet another example of half-assed analysis, this radio host, in trying to sound superior and above the old, corny show with its unsophisticated ways, was insulting the very people he was trying to publicly protect; whose pats on the back he was trying to garner. He reveals, in making the statement, that the show was politically incorrect for its reference to "sissies"; that he thinks gay men are wimps.

How many of you know gay men who could beat the crap out of you? (I'd have to raise my hand.)

Once again, we see that deep social analysis should be left to those who are good at it. There is a new kind of racism, sexism and homophobia being bred out of the obsession with fitting in with the "tolerant."

Such a need to be seen as one of the cool kids. It's embarrassing. I want to believe that, some day, we might arrive at honesty. But I don't. We're still playground kids looking for approval.

I say, kudos to the Brady Bunch writers for sending a message to kids that it is okay to be tough and to be expressive and artistic, too. It wasn't a great show, but I watched it as a kid and I remember this episode. It did make an impression.

And I'm still a musician at 45. And I sing.

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