Nov 7, 2014

Knowing Your Straight Friends #2: Basketball

Maybe you're not in danger of assault, getting fired from your job, or stupid homophobic questions like "What do they think causes that now?", so you don't need to pretend that you're straight.  But you still want to hang out with straight guys, get invited to their parties, be accepted as one of them.

First thing to realize: You will be asked to evaluate women's breasts and potential sexual prowess.  Straight guys think you are attracted to women -- you just happen to like men a little more -- and they can never be convinced otherwise.  So just go with the flow and say "Oh, yeah, she's hot. If I wasn't gay, I'd do her in a minute!"

Second thing to realize: You will be discussing The Game.  A lot.  If you don't know something about Sports, you will quickly become a wallflower.

Knowing about football will do the job pretty well, but for a backup, or off-season, you will also need to know about two subsidiary sports, basketball and baseball.

Straight guys love to compete over projectiles.  In basketball, they play on a "court," trying to throw the projectile through a hoop on the opposing team's side.  They can't grab or tackle each other; they can only block throws and try to wrest the ball out of their opponent's hand.

I was forced to play basketball in school.  Whenever I got the ball, I immediately handed it to whoever was standing closest to me, regardless of the team.

The good news:
1. Professional basketball doesn't have as many teams, ranks and categories as football.  There are only 30 teams in the National Basketball Association (NBA), and they're divided into six divisions.

2. You just need to follow "your team," the one closest to you geographically.  Not necessarily in your state.  For example, when I lived in Dayton, my "team" was the Indiana Pacers, not the Cleveland Cavaliers, because Indianapolis was closer than Cleveland.

The bad news:

1. Each team plays a whopping 82 games!

2. The season lasts from October to April, so for three months, the worlds of football and basketball collide!

Straight guys seem to have no trouble juggling the massive schedules.

3. Football players have to tackle you, so they tend to be big and buffed.  Basketball players have to throw a ball over your head, so they tend to be long and lanky, not particularly attractive.

But...a lot of regular hunks play basketball, too, and shirts-skins team patterns are not uncommon.

The big event of the year is the Playoffs, in late April, to decide the best team in the NBA.  During the last few years, the winning team is usually the Miami Heat, the San Antonio Spurs, or the Los Angeles Lakers.

College basketball is divided into the same divisions as college football.  It doesn't draw nearly as much interest, but you should know about March Madness, technically the NCAA Men's Division I Championship, when 38 college teams compete. Recent winners have included Connecticut, Louisville, Kentucky, Duke, Florida, and North Carolina.

You only need to know about the high school teams in your own city. and then only insofar as team members might be recruited for college teams or the NBA.

A lot easier than football, right?

See also: Knowing Your Straight Friends  #1: Football