Arms raised for battle cries set free the smell of sweat. Faces painted in war-colours – friends and enemies clearly defined. Somewhere in the crowd someone beats his fist to his chest, ready to fight. Drums, drums from afar.
At Wembley Stadium, right under the watch of Bobby Moore, I couldn’t help but think of one thing only: MEN.
Well, it clearly wasn’t my fault. It was American Football night, the Denver Broncos vs. the San Francisco 49ers. Only once a year does the NFL sell tickets for a game in Wembley.
And it seemed to me as if every single male inhabitant of the area was determined to turn that night into a memorable event.
There they were in their total maleness. Something that rumours say was lost some time ago.
And I now have an idea why:
Roaring, half-shaven hordes of men clenching their beers trailed over the space in front of the stadium. Willingly queuing for every opportunity to throw a ball – no matter at what.
Suddenly, it didn’t matter any more that they have big bellies. It didn’t matter that most of them didn’t have much hair left and the Bruce Willis look doesn’t work out after all. All the big and small shortcomings were gone in the ‘mateness’ of the event.
I couldn’t suppress a grin when suddenly this bear of a guy next to me jumped up and down like a schoolboy on a fair and tucked his mate’s jacket. His voice was almost gone when he yelped “Cheerleaders!”.
Hours after the little dance-routine I still overheard guys sharing their video taped cheerleader-moments with each other in awe.
After observing the male behaviour very thoroughly that evening I can only come to one obvious conclusion:
Battlefields have been transferred. To sports.
Since there are no or hardly any occasions where men can actually feel manly about beating their chests, painting their faces and roaring at the top of their voices, they have to use what they get.
(And to be honest, there were a lot of seemingly decent guys as well.)
I guess there is something like a definition of “manly”. Something that is in danger to be lost. If that is a good thing or not, I cannot say. But I noticed that men seem to enjoy these manly moments.
What does that mean for us women?
Well, I don’t know if it’s a matter of genes or whatever, why men enjoy playing the gorilla sometimes. But I guess one of two things is bound to happen.
a) As the women’s role in society, rules of behaviour and ways of thinking/ attitude have changed, and so need the men’s.
If this is what it is, those men I saw at the stadium are part of a dying race.
b) Men will always be like that – no matter what.
Decide for yourself.