October Issue: Randall Park Is Not Ready For Some Football

It is that time of year again. Time for us men to be MEN. It is that time when we call over our boys, click on the tube, squeeze into that loveseat and cheer on our favorite tight end. It is that time for us to scream and sweat and swallow down beer after beer, wiener after wiener.  You know, manly stuff. Yes, it is football season. And just like every year around this time, I don’t get it.

Don’t get me wrong. I always wanted to be a part of it all. I understand and even appreciate the idea of sports, the spirit of competition. I love that it is one of the few things in this country that bonds us despite our many cultural divides. Black or white, rich or poor, obese or pudgy, we Americans love our sports. So when my buddy asks me if I saw “last night’s game,” I generally answer with something like “Nah, man. Missed it,” as opposed to the more truthful, “Nah, man. I was busy watching the Bridezillas marathon on WE.”

Not to bring race into the conversation, but I’m about to bring race into the conversation. As an Asian man, I feel even more at odds with my distaste for America’s most masculine pastime. As we well know, our popular media has the tendency to depict us Asian men as sexless at best, if not downright effeminate. Therefore, I sometimes feel that it’s my duty as an Asian man to care about the manlier things our culture has to offer: things like football, HBO’s Entourage or hunting animals for sport. But the fact of the matter is none of these things appeal to me, and one of them I find morally reprehensible.

Seriously, I can’t stand Entourage.

At the risk of emasculating myself, let me just say that sports is nice and all, but I consider myself more of an artsy type. I enjoy things like music, fashion and the arts. I like movies and books—stories about relationships, life and love. This is who I am, and this is why I can openly and honestly tell you that my favorite thing about football is how, at the end of the game, the big guy pours the Gatorade on the old guy. I always get a kick out of that.

And there are plenty of others out there just like me: men of all races who are completely at a loss when it comes to sports. Does this make us any less of a man? According to me? No. According to my buddies? Kind of. But while my friends are playing fantasy football, I’m fantasizing about more important things. Like making the world a better place. Or at the very least, doing something about those crazy-ass Bridezillas.

To enjoy more of Randall’s work, visit www.randallparkplace.com.