Fun with Pictures, or Oh Yes I Did!

Now everyone just take a long deep breath and GET THOSE FINGERS OFF YOUR KEYBOAD I HAVEN’T EVEN STARTED YET (waving a wooden spoon imperiously).

First a ten-carat caveat: No, this picture does not say anything about who’s zoomin’ who, and no it is not our business anyhoo. Yes, the picture has inspired a barrage of homophobic bloggage and yes, homophobia is bad and no, such bigotry is not worthy of our attention, at least our attention and no, this picture has nothing to do with the hand-wringing, teeth-gnashing, spinal-disk clenching end of la Liga. But this picture has gone viral, it has inspired its own Facebook page (now closed, I understand) and has made the first page of El País and Yahoo en español. Let us not feign ignorance in order to avoid the appearance of ignorance.

I, for one, find this picture fascinating, and in a prurient way … not in a Paglia-esque sexy way because frankly the image is not sexual. It’s not going up on any salacious sites and it’s not sending anyone of any persuasion or gender into paroxyms of passion, or at least anyone not predisposed to such paroyxisms. The image is shocking for its emotion, its intimacy, regardless of its reality. And I suspect that this emotional intimacy is driving the homophobes and homophiles and frees-to-bes-with-yous-and-mes into a bevy of blogging.

It is also non-rehearsed. I saw videoclips today on TVE’s ‘Telediario’ that show, as usual, players departing from the team bus to wherever it is that teams go pre-game. And I also noticed that the camera focussed, without comment (as if), on Pique, then Ibra, separated by some small, insignificant agent, surrounded by a throng of fascinated fans, walking calmly, smilingly, carefreely … that was rehearsed: ‘We’re cool! It’s all good! What Facebook page? Not that there’s anything wrong with that!’ We get it.

Statistically we know that there must be some gay soccer players out there somewhere, and politically we know that we ought to say that homosexuality in sport doesn’t really matter to the sport itself, and regrettably so, because we are all enlightened enough to celebrate gays among the Guy-est of Macho Guys. We might even declare that homoeroticism is inevitable. You know, lockerroom highjinks and all that. Bonds over the intensity of the unique experience. Buddies. Bromances. And in a team like Barça, with this exclusive, ‘més que un club’, philosophy-driven, super-glue bonded, mentor-paired team that pleases with its teases of intricate movements, quick little passes and psychic understandings (as opposed to big, manly, power runs and strong shots in the EE and EPL), well, there is a sort of mental-emotional bond fostered among the players by the system itself. Who doesn’t love a good blaugrana brodance? Xavi-Iniesta? Messi-Alves? Bojan-Henry? Ibra-Maxwell?

So what is Pique saying? We’re glad you’re here? We’re here for you? I’m here for you? I love you, man? Who carest.

Homoeroticism is part and parcel of the sport. It’s out there. Deliberately. Rehearsedly. Because sport is a business that sells itself and sex sells. And if you only have men to do the sellin’, and mostly men to do the buyin’, well, that leaves you with a limited set of options, i.e., which man is the hottiest?

Oh nooo, say you. The players are paid for how they play, not for with whom they may play. Oh yeah? Why isn’t Ribery at the EE right now? Hmm? Why does he seem, on the surface, a better ‘fit’ for Barça, in spite of ZouZou’s insistence? Because, in part, he looks the part: a) short; b) ugly; and c) funny haircut. Or perhaps you believe that this is an accident, a happenstance:

Or this:

Or this:

So maybe Fifi is not exactly singing ‘RedRoverRedRoverletRiberycome over’.

My little guy brought pictures of Xavis to preschool for Show-N-Tell ‘X’ day. Which photocopy, perchance, did the lovely Miss Preem prefer?

Exhibit A:

Or Exhibit B:

Who’s getting the international endorsements? Who’s in Vogue?

Well there’s him:

And him:

But he’s a playah! Paris! Kim! And that one is married! Oh yes, those are some sexy ladies. I venture that those relationships are as much a commercial venture as an emotional adventure. ‘Tis true, a Beckham caught on stateside like wildfire among the ladies. This one:

Well, the New York Times crows that Mexico is the United States’ favorite team. Sí, señor. With Becks biting some serious LA dust even as his superstar Spicewife struts the red carpet, who will lead the soccer charge? Who will finally bring football to America?


Who he?


I don’t think so.


Here comes your man.

A final thought: Ought we really to be ‘shocked, shocked’ either by the Ibra-Pique pic or the hullabaloo that followed, given our own mixed media messages?

And, no, there’s not anything wrong with that!

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SoccerMom obsesses over FCB and this blog instead of grading papers, burning dinner and/or raising her small children. She blames a Spanish husband and easy access to Hispanic-targeted cable sports channels for her football addiction and consequent failure as a professor, housekeeper and mother.

68 Comments

  1. lovelymofo
    May 8, 2010

    Fantastic! And can I say? I for one love this picture. Hearts and flowers and everything. It didn’t make me think “they’re gay!” anymore than pictures of the players embracing each other on the pitch in celebration. It’s all a brouhaha over nothing. It does tell me that they are intimate – which like you said, is a good thing in this team.

    • Luna
      May 8, 2010

      I agree with this, though, it doesn’t stop me from wishing top profile players would come out b/c I know they are out there. Though one can imagine how hard that would be for that trailblazer coming out of the closet in such a global high profile sport. *sighs* Hate and violence are all to common a response 🙁

      For me, this photo, well I love it *__*

      I also loved how all the players celebrated Messi’s goal, including Ibra (which btw he gets bad press on way too much), how they were all out on the field when the final whistle blew. I love to see how they are all a team.

      One more match BFB’ers, and on with history!

      • Luna
        May 8, 2010

        correction: I believe we see the bench stand up to celebrate Bojan’s goal, though they probably did for Messi’s as well but the camera guides our eyes

      • ElShowDeJason
        May 9, 2010

        “I agree with this, though, it doesn’t stop me from wishing top profile players would come out b/c I know they are out there.”

        You also have to remember that soccer players are, whether they like it or not, role models, and many of them want to set a good example.

        Beckham for example, has tattoos all over his arms, so he always plays with a long sleeved Jersey, and mothers the world wide appreciate him not setting a bad example.

        • Luna
          May 9, 2010

          I would think coming out is setting a good example. I know if any of my children were gay, I’d want them to have all sorts of role models. Sorry if I misunderstood your post.

  2. Karo
    May 8, 2010

    well I’m pretty sure Ibra and Pique are not gay that’s just weird pic taken from an awkward angle at an awkward moment. Ibra has a wife and kids for heaven’s sake!!!!
    anyways, take a look at Ibra’s response to this, it’s hilarious

    *http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQuRy1MWQdI

    • ElShowDeJason
      May 8, 2010

      stupid bitch… she just wanted to get a rise out of him, wasn’t actually interested in a real response.

      • Karo
        May 8, 2010

        Ibra said come to my house and see if I’m gay then realized the bitch is too ugly and said bring your sister 🙂

          • Karo
            May 9, 2010

            He said come to my house and see if I’m gay LOL
            then her said bring your sister 🙂

          • LM
            August 28, 2010

            Karo, there’s nothing remotely funny (to anyone with a developed brain) about being homophobic and it’s worth noting while you’re sitting bigging Ibra up for being a hero that at the same time he also insulted his apparent girlfriend and their kids by asking some random female to come to his house where he’d f**k er and her sister.

            Not only does the lady protesteth too much, he’s damn corny with it too.

  3. kamikaze kontiki
    May 8, 2010

    Lol, cool post. But what are lockerroom highjinks ?

    • Luna
      May 8, 2010

      towel snapping and what not…it seems almost universal from what I hear from my male jock relatives & hubby

      • Kxevin
        May 8, 2010

        It’s called Rat Tails and yes, in an unaware moment, there is nothing like the “KAPOW!” of a snapped, wet towel to bring you back to your senses.

        Excellent post, SoMa, as the best blogging team on this here Internets thing just keeps getting better.

        • Luna
          May 8, 2010

          It seems our Barca boys enjoy the Rat Tails from what’s been reported on the lighter side of things…

          • ooga aga
            May 9, 2010

            “hijinks” just means tricks and gags. funny, wacky stuff, you know. another possible example of “lockerroom hijinks” would be intentionally dropping your soap and then telling your mate to pick it up for you.

  4. Museum
    May 8, 2010

    Gudjohnsen is currently in sort of similar trouble in England for the camera catching him in a pose that could be interpreted as a Nazi salute. Same thing happened to David Bowie.

  5. inNYC
    May 8, 2010

    Did anyone see this SI profile of the Welsh rugby player who came out? It’s worth a read. It’s easy to understand why nobody wants to be the “first” or even among the first athletes to come out, but the trade-off of what people go through by staying closeted is not pretty.

    *http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1168953/index.htm

    I like the pique-ibra photo too (I think it’s sweet), but then again I am a lot less invested than many fans in the message about masculinity i’m supposed to be getting from my sports fandom. The media shitstorm around the photo is instructive, but a bummer. To your point, SoMa, I think a high level of homoeroticism on the field is built in and acceptable in sports culture, but stuff like this crosses a supposed line for a lot of people. Lame.

    • ooga aga
      May 9, 2010

      exactly, why does everyone smile when they hug (or console eachother) in their jerseys, but frown when they do it in street clothes. ridiculous. the haters are more gay than they realize. we all got half and half, people.

  6. barca96
    May 8, 2010

    recently i saw a photo of ronaldo in a vanity fair magazine.
    me oh my, that ronaldo was showing his 20pecks with some colored dude.
    i didnt catch who that other guy was as i was counting ronaldo’s pecks lol

      • Kxevin
        May 9, 2010

        “Colored?” 😀 Damn, yo. That’s dredging one up from back in the day. Interestingly enough, some people were pretty worked up because the U.S. Census form offered “colored” as an option.

        Funny thing is, it isn’t that accurate because technically, everybody is colored. Even my redheaded wife, whose color is “freckle.” (Bwahahahahaha! I crack myself up.)

        Um, have watched the match once, but have to go to bed now. You haven’t lived until you’ve watched our boys on 58 inches of plasma goodness. Lord today! Expect a review tomorrow afternoon, which is good, because you all need to marvel at SoMa, who is smarter than me put together …. or something like that.

        • BA
          May 9, 2010

          Kxevin’s right. if we’re going to be racist at all, at least let’s pick on the ones who deserve it: gingers.

  7. Elguerosinfe
    May 9, 2010

    Here’s another one to fuel the fire. Personally, I would be ecstatic if Ibra and Pique were having an affair.

    [IMG]http://i222.photobucket.com/albums/dd91/elguerosinfe/bojantitix.jpg[/IMG]

  8. May 9, 2010

    so let me get this… you are saying

    1) we should sign Ribery because he is ugly
    2) EE players are more beautiful than our Players
    3) ugly players win championships, but pretty players win Vogue contracts
    4) Marquez is leaving soon to the MLS to sell underwear

    Man, so our customary Ibra/Bojan debate will now be about who is cuter in thongs?

    Soccer Mom, told you english is my second language. Please dont confuse me.

    • Vj
      May 9, 2010

      I think she meant

      1) EE like to sign more glamourous players.. Not sure if this is true, but they passed on Dinho because of his appearance and signed you know, Beckham.. Its cliched but we only factor in a player’s ability(and ‘signability’) when giving him a shot..

      2) Glamourous would be more like it.. Why? They wanna sell more shirts, and having Models wear those shirts would make them more appealing to certain sections of the market (‘Some’ girls, new fans etc).

      3) Good players win championships, pretty players sign glamorous contracts – Who would be a better candidate for a thong shoot – Ronaldo or Ribery?

      The Ibra-Bojan debate should not be about looks or appearances, only about what they would do on the pitch – That’s the point!

      • May 9, 2010

        Thanks VJ… I was just trying to be funny at 3:00 in the morning as I couldn’t sleep.

        Seriously though, this angle of signing players that are both talented and Glamourous never really occurred to me before.

        • Vj
          May 10, 2010

          Geez, I thought you were serious.. Lack of sleep I guess..

    • Blow-Grenade
      May 9, 2010

      That was a funny interpretation!!! Ha ha.

  9. Fares
    May 9, 2010

    And the bad news, Xavi will miss the Valladolid match due to the yellow he picked up against Sevilla!

    • Helge
      May 9, 2010

      No, Xavi is on 4 yellows. I’ve looked up the stats on 4 different sites, and they all say it was his 4th!

      Maxwell is on 5, that’s true. But he’s injured anyway (and Abdial is back)

        • Helge
          May 9, 2010

          But I’m still wondering why Xavi is on 5 yellows. He didn’t receive a yellow in Copa del Rey, and all sport sites are listing Xavi as 4 yellow cards…
          Wasn’t Busquets also supposed to be on a 5-yellow-card ban and then, he appeared as a substitute? Maybe the official website is wrong 🙂

        • Lou
          May 9, 2010

          Well it’s not like the official site is always right. They also said that Abidal would be traveling with the squad but would be unable to play this weekend, and last week for Tenerife they said that Busi was suspended and he ended up playing.

  10. Helge
    May 9, 2010

    That’s Sergio Ramos, in the pic between Iker and Kaka? 🙂
    I’d never have recognized him there. My favourite character is nonetheless Guti from Crackovia.
    And I don’t care about the sexual interests of our players or any other player. They shall feel attracted to men, women, both or even transgender.

    • ooga aga
      May 9, 2010

      they should have the crackovia madrid characters model underwear too

  11. Vj
    May 9, 2010

    First of all, HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY, SoccerMama.. although I might be a week late in some countries..

    About the pic, it has been blown out of proportion.. Not really our business, As Kxevin put it, it doesn’t matter if they screw yak..

  12. Eklavya
    May 9, 2010

    Oh yeah!
    Happy mothers Day SoccerMom! Or shall I say, HAPPY SOCCERMOM DAY, SOCCER MOM!! 😀 LOL

  13. Eklavya
    May 9, 2010

    whose watching Inter playing? Both teams scored an own goal! Rofl!! 😀

    • jose011
      May 9, 2010

      can’t watch those guys play for a whole 90 lol

      just gets so damn boring

  14. May 9, 2010

    As long as we don’t witness another Justin Fashanu tragidy, it’s all bearable.

  15. Kari
    May 9, 2010

    Barca put me in a stress-induced coma.

    With the CL elimination, Busi’s antics, the Ibra hate, Bojan finally getting the love he deserves (kinda), Messi’s goal scoring chase, Ibra/Pique pic (which, guys, is just the angle and moment it was taken. I don’t mind it since it’s just a sign of Bromance. Ibra needs it with all the hate he’s been getting!), the Sevilla match ( which was made more edgy because of EE’s late match blitz (Seriously. What. the. fudge.) …

    My doctor said that too much Barca is not good from my heart. My mom always says that Barca will give me a heart attack one day. My teacher was wondering what the hell I was doing on my laptop on a school trip (I was pretty much close to hysterics after the Sevilla match. I’m pretty sure I cried for my mommy and I think my hands are still shaking).

    I just can’t wait for the Valladolid match, and next season, so I can experience it all over again.

    Oh, and Blow-Grenade: Me? Leave the blog? Because of Inter? Psh, yeah right. 😀 If that were the case, I’d have stopped being a fan after 06/07 season.

    With school trips (got another one coming up), exams and test and assignments, I had to suffer by myself, with only my laptop keeping me company 🙁 ( 😀 )

    P.S DAMN HOCKEY PLAYOFFS (the Basketball playoffs are fine (who else wants the Cavs to be eliminated just for the heck of it?)!

    • Blow-Grenade
      May 9, 2010

      Oh Kari! I was just taunting you to post more. Glad you are back! I feel like I am the only Canuck in this blog without you.

  16. Kari
    May 9, 2010

    And SoccerMom is one of the administrators?! So we get her posts on a (more) regular basis? Officially? With pictures?!

    ASDFJE$^(#+(@_(FAO%%&EX(*!!JFGO$T

  17. ooga aga
    May 9, 2010

    how old are you kari? wouldnt have guessed you would be on a field trip with your teacher. rock on, start early…

    • ooga aga
      May 9, 2010

      and yet you have a doctor consulting you on your heart condition…wow… 🙂

  18. ooga aga
    May 9, 2010

    maxwell was hurt in the match, you might remember he was grabbing his hamstring at the same time keita had a scare. he kept playing, but now the official site says he pulled something and they will run tests monday. then the site says:

    “Con todo, el lateral no puede jugar contra el Valladolid, como Xavi, por acumulación de tarjetas.”

    “Either way, the lateral can not play against Valladolid, like Xavi, due to accumulation of (yellow) cards.”

  19. lovelymofo
    May 9, 2010

    Also, off topic, but I hope Sid Lowe predicts that EE will win everything next year. He always gets his predictions wrongs. I’ll start to worry when he starts predicting that Barça will win.

  20. Miguel
    May 9, 2010

    as my funny gay friend once said, “a little latent homosexuality never hurt me.”

    feliz dia de las madres, soccermom!

  21. Henke
    May 9, 2010

    “homophobia is bad” Wow! That’s new! 😀 (joke)

  22. Bojan
    May 9, 2010

    Our basketball team won the European Team
    VISCA EL BARCA 😀

  23. Vj
    May 9, 2010

    We are the Kings of Euroleague in basketball.. a ‘crack’ team of Xavi, Pique, Puyol, Busi and CT accompanied Laporta to Paris to watch the proceedings.. We defeated Olympiacos 86-68..

  24. Helge
    May 9, 2010

    Euroleague in basketball is not the equivalent of Europa League in football, it’s the same as the Champions League!
    So it’s the biggest title you can win as a non-American basketball team (I dare to say so^^). Congratulations, Campions!
    Visca el Barça

  25. mcoe11
    May 9, 2010

    I don’t even think that this picture means everything. I have been living in Spain now for half a year, and from experience I can say that my Spanish male friends are very touchy-feely guys with each other. Things that American boys would NEVER do with each other is a normal way to act here among guys…

    • ElShowDeJason
      May 9, 2010

      just remember, American isn’t a culture.
      every region in america has it’s own culture.
      a southern Californian is culturally different than someone from New England, or from the midwest, or than a New Yorker.

      Sarcastic/ Joking homo-eroticism is common around some parts of America in some demographics.

      • mcoe11
        May 10, 2010

        Sorry I wasn’t perfectly PC with that

  26. ooga aga
    May 9, 2010

    and culture in america isnt all about geography either. just to add that. now for the point of this post:

    **http://www.fcbarcelona.com/web/castellano/noticies/futbol_base/temporada09-10/05/09/n100509110908.html

    just wanted to add this link to news regarding the barcelona cantera’s successes this year. included are pictures of boys in the lockerroom, expressing their brotherhood. thus i think it fits in with the main theme of this thread.

  27. December 6, 2010

    Really enjoyed looking around on your site, it’s a bit like my site! If you have time, you should have a look at my blog. You can post comments and it’s always nice to get opinions from people I don’t know.

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