“What sets him apart is what he wears - or doesn’t wear - once he takes the field...He cuts out the lining, belt buckle and pockets of his pants, punches holes in his jersey, even slices off all but half an inch of the band above his athletic supporter, creating what amounts to a G-string jockstrap.”

Of whom is the writer rhapsodising? The inside techniques of a strip-o-gram employee? A closeted exhibitionist from a segment of Jerry Springer?

None other than hunky wide Denver Broncos wide receiver Ed McCaffrey in yet another homoerotic issue of Sports Illustrated. For the feature on the studly footballer, McCaffrey posed shirtless wearing only a pair of worn old-fashioned shoulder pads, his taut belly exposed for all to see.

Portrayed as a lovable lunk (married and happily breeding. Sorry!) a la Gary Cooper - albeit with a propensity for Chippendales couture - McCaffrey is chided by wife and teammates for his decidely unfashionable style in both attire and hair.

I compliment the underdog Ed on his fashion adjustments. Would that other players were so daring in their attire, and that more such treats would be shared for the viewing public.

Of course, years back, I made a living wearing tights. Then, it was called modern dance. And shoulder pads that wide are in other circles reserved for Joan Crawford impersonators.

But in the world of football, it’s macho. It’s manly. Yes, bend over again, please, and call yourself manly. Stick your hand between another man’s legs and say to yourself, “I have a manly job.”

My recent trip to visit a dear college friend in the Mile High City revealed a sea of Broncos-mania of endemic proportions. Along with this fervent tribal lust was the obligatory logo saturation.

It didn’t take me more than two glances to detect a certain familiarity with the image. Sure, at first glance, it’s a bust of a fierce snorting bronco preparing to stampede.

Look again and you’ll see the real power, and hence the familiar appeal that goes way back to those Greek temples of fertility. The reason for success in this twisted world is not how big you are, but how big you are perceived to be, and how deftly you can appropriate ancient symbols, particularly those of the below-the-belt nature.

Imagine the implied power of your corporate logo emblazoned on everything from cups to plates, caps and even baby pants. How shocking to imagine, in Denver, the epicenter of anti-gay legislation, the back yard of Matthew Shepard’s murder, the next door neighbor to Colorado Springs and the swill factory of Coors, that the most frequently reproduced and displayed image is that of an erect penis.

Why do so many people there hate fags? Maybe it’s because they’re all faced with the cartoon image of this equine boner, and the strange thoughts it stirs up.

I know, I know, you’re preparing the strait jacket. But before I go back to my cell, look. Look what they’re getting away with. You don’t have to be a horn dog to get it.

One horndog who offers what can be one of the only honest forms of appreciating this form of phallic phun is Goodboy. On his web site, the increbibly hung gent poses in a pilfered jersey actually worn by Ed McCaffrey. Do pro jocks know the truth behind such fetishization?

As the new phallic logo and team designs were unveiled a while back, the great John Elway, among other players, took to the catwalk to display the trendy new designs. It seems the revered quarterback and your average Click model have more in common than he’d like to admit.

The fact that it’s Super Bowl XXXIII in 1999 should be alarming to all you fundie followers, 33 being the number of years the Christian god supposedly lived before being strung up by the Roman linebackers. Will His re-appearance be the halftime show? Maybe not, but what could be more pre-apocalyptic than Cher singing the National Anthem?


This may be impossible for anyone to imagine as you stock up on GLAAD-approved Coors Lite and Doritos in preparation for your own home version of this annual jock fest, but what if there was no football, ever, and some guy walked into a gay bar wearing such gear? Would it still be sexy, or would he be laughed out of the Castro?

Why is it that football players can dress up in what anywhere else would be considered exhibitionistic clown kink? Is it the numbers that imbue them with a sense of officialness? Why is it that in the hetero bastion, revealing white tights are macho, but anywhere else a man would be beaten to a bloody pulp for looking like a ballet dancer?

Why is it that, when I was flying from Denver, a caustic remark about one football team made by a stewardess resulted in a cacaphony of grunts and growls from heterosexual passengers like audience members at “Tool Time?” Why did it make me feel like the only chimp in a gorilla herd from “Planet of the Apes?”

Why do millions of other people see a family institution, where all I see are chunky dudes in tights showing off their butts? Why do straights see a bastion of wholesomeness, when all I see is simulated sodomy? How can they remember all those damn statistics, when you could broadcast the same game every night, with John Madden’s blathering voice dissecting every step, just change the colors, and it would look no different?

Tell me again how a clothed orgy of simulated war helps better a young person. Tell me again how inducing spinal injury builds strong bones. Tell me again how the entire “Us versus Them” paradigm improves social skills beyond that of cromagnon, how training kids to attack people in different colors is a good thing.

Tell me again how wearing tights isn’t queer. Tell me again how the honest depiction of sexuality is considered obscene, while the sly theft of phallic imagery for profit isn’t. Tell me how wearing a corporate logo of a penis disguised as a horse isn’t strange. Tell me again how an industry that lauds religious bigots is worth your attention and fanatical devotion.

Tell me again, because I still don’t get it.