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dudes can now have a "man crush"

Tom Isern
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This is amazing. The breeder boys are now able to admit that they have a "man crush" on another guy! What is the world coming to? An African American is running for president and the heteros are crushing on each other. Amazing, wonderful days!


Chicago Tribune



Men got a crush on him



> From talk radio to bars, guys are not afraid to say, 'Dude, I love

> you, man'



By Rex W. Huppke

Tribune reporter

February 3, 2008


The standard Super Bowl recipe - one part chili, 99 parts

testosterone - has been spiced up this year with a pinch of "man crush."


The heterosexually acceptable term, aimed with increasing frequency

at Hollywood-handsome New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, has

risen from awkward obscurity to become a comfortable part of everyday



It permits anyone, from male sports talk radio hosts to the chubby

fellow at the end of the bar, to openly admit their affection, or

even infatuation, with another man and his manly life.


Take, for example, die-hard Chicago Bears fan Jeff Hughes, co-founder

of a Web site called Da' Bears Blog. On the blog, Hughes wrote about

his man crush a couple of years ago on retired Bears wide receiver

Tom Waddle.


"To an entire generation of Bears fans, he's something of a folk

hero, kind of like a Paul Bunyan," Hughes said, wistfully. "I wonder

if he knows it?"


He might, but Waddle is presently preoccupied. On his ESPN 1000

morning radio show, the receiver, legendary for his on-field

toughness, has repeatedly confessed to having a man crush on Brady.


Hughes said he understands, and isn't jealous.


The term "man crush" doesn't carry any sexual implication - it's just

one man's acknowledgment that another man is attractive and leads an

enviable life. Take Brady -rugged good looks, a supermodel girlfriend

in Gisele Bundchen, tons of money, can do no wrong. It echoes back to

the days when men longed for the lady-draped lifestyles of Frank

Sinatra or Dean Martin.


Of course men back then didn't call it a crush or devote much time to

examining the phenomenon. Which raises a question: Is admitting to a

man crush just smart-alecky, modern-day bar room banter, or does it

reflect a loosening of the normally uptight American male's sexual



Eli Coleman, director of the Program in Human Sexuality at the

University of Minnesota Medical School, said language often signals a

shift in sexual attitudes. In this case, it could suggest another

step away from homophobia.


"If this term is legitimizing that it's OK for a straight man to find

another man attractive in a non-sexual way, then I would hope it

would be something that would help break down barriers," he said. "I

think it's very healthy. Our men have traditionally had difficulty

emotionally connecting with other men, and underneath that the

difficulty has always been the fear of homosexuality."


When the good-looking "Broadway" Joe Namath was tossing the pigskin

for the New York Jets in Super Bowl III, it's unlikely many gents in

Newark were talking about their crush on the QB. But now, sky's the

limit. Man crushes on George Clooney, Brett Favre and Brad Pitt abound.


"We have not in the past found men, even in an open kind of way,

acknowledging how attractive another guy is," said Rick Garcia,

political director of the gay rights group Equality Illinois. "Women

could say, 'Oh look at Sophia Loren, isn't she gorgeous?' But years

ago you never heard guys say, 'Rock Hudson is so handsome, isn't he

great looking?' People are just much more comfortable with same-

gender feelings."


And to any who might think the "man crush" term is a sign of

lexicographic hedonism, take note: the No. 1 ranked guy on the Web

site mancrush.com is none other than Jesus Christ. (As of late

Friday, Tom Brady was at No.2 , manwiched between Jesus and Elvis .)


"Men are very jealous of what other men have," said Waddle, the

unabashed Brady admirer. "To see a guy who has three Super Bowl

titles, the beautiful girl, everything. It makes you think, 'Hey, if

I could go back and be somebody, that's who I'd want to be.' "


Marc Silverman, Waddle's on-air partner at ESPN 1000, credits Brady

and the hype surrounding the Patriots run at an undefeated season

with the recent rise in man crush declarations.


"I think it's certainly adopted more by sports fans, for sure,"

Silverman said. "When we were kids, how many times were you

pretending to be your favorite sports guy? This is the same kind of

thing, only for adults."


Undoubtedly there are some grizzled men who bristle at this

development, wondering how, exactly, talk of crushes seeped into the

granite of guy lexicon.


The concept may have risen from an early 1990s episode of the TV show

"Seinfeld," in which baseball star Keith Hernandez befriends Jerry

Seinfeld. The comedian behaves like a smitten teenager, at one point

saying: "I know he's a guy . . .but I LIKE him!"


Christopher White, director of education and training at the National

Sexuality Resource Center at San Francisco State University, has a

different theory.


He believes the not-too-distant metrosexual phase, in which men were

told it's OK to use hair and body products, dress nice and be

sensitive, may have left some American males with a desire to return

to their traditionally masculine roots. So guys today look at stars

like Brady and put them on a pedestal.


"It's kind of twisted," White said. "Straight men don't seem to know

how to deal with their own sexuality now. They've been told they

should be primped and perfumed and dressed up, but then they see

these masculine guys and they want to be them. It's a weird

convergence of all these trends."


Call it bromance or bromosexuality , call it what you will, but

there's no doubt that come Sunday night, many straight men will be

glued to Super Bowl XLII, watching the game, the halftime ads and, in

particular, a sweaty, stubble-faced Tom Brady. Some of those men will

get googly-eyed and wish they and No. 12 could be best buds.


Crushes will blossom. And there won't be a darn thing wrong with that.

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