Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Testosterone: you're soaking in it

For whatever reason, in this small world I inhabit, today will forever be known as "Testosterone Tuesday." A couple of things happened overnight in the arena of sporting news, which have contributed to this aura of intense, male energy.

First of all, in the world of football, which is already dripping with machismo, our local Seattle Seahawks fired their coach, and in the span of a few hours, replaced him with the former head of the highly successful Trojans of the University of Southern California, Pete Carroll.

I listened to a bit of his introductory press conference. According to Mr. Carroll, "If you know anything about me, you know I can't pass up this challenge. If someone challenged me to something, even right now, I'd probably take it on." Okay, here's a guy who will be collecting roughly $6 million per year, and he sounds like he's ready to choose up dodgeball teams at recess. I was expecting the his next utterance to be something like, "Who wants a piece of me?"

The other overnight development concerned Mark McGwire, former all-star baseball slugger and one of the all-time home run leaders. He's been retired for a few years, but back during his playing days, he resembled The Incredible Hulk. His body was so ribboned with muscle that his biceps had their own triceps; his forearms were five-arms.

Mr. McGwire had always been rumored to indulge in anabolic steroids, an allegation which he either steadfastly denied, or simply refused to comment upon. Well, he finally decided to fess up yesterday, that yes, he had, in fact, dabbled with performance-enhancing drugs during his tenure with the Oakland Athletics and St. Louis Cardinals. To me, this admission was similar to Burt Reynolds or Bill Shatner admitting that they've been wearing toupees all these years. Seriously, all a person needed to do was look at the guy. It would have been a difficult choice between El Capitan or Mark McGwire's chin as the most difficult sheer surface to scale without the aid of safety lines.

I understand that the public, especially the male public, yearns for all which is exceedingly manly. Why else would products exist like Speedstick, Powerade, or the Five-Dollar Footlong? Why else would we spend so much money on suped-up cars and stereos and super-caffeinated beverages?

One of my favorite movie lines was uttered by Uncle Rico in Napoleon Dynamite. He constantly pined for his former high school athletic grandeur, and as his eyes focused off in the distance, he blurted out, "See those mountains over there. I'll bet I could throw a football over them."

I seriously doubt that he could. But I totally could.